When Your K1 Visa is Denied
Originally published 01/20/2009
If you are reading this article its probably too late to tell you that the best way to deal with a K1 fiance visa denial is to avoid it in the first place. K1 fiance visas can be denied at the USCIS level or at the US Embassy or consular processing level. K1 visas which are denied at the USCIS level can be appealed. Unfortunately, there is no formal appeal of a consular denial of a K1 but there are other potential forms of relief. The most important thing to do if you K1 visa is denied at the USCIS or consular level is to act fast and get some professional help. USCIS denials must be appealed within 30 days and review of a consular denial is only available before the consulate returns the petition to DHS which can happen in a matter of days.
How Can We Help with Your K1 Denial?
If your K1 visa has been denied we can help. We have a 100% approval rate for K1 visas. We can assist you by:
- Appealing a USCIS denial
- Seeking review of a consular denial
- Filing a new K1 petition
- Pursuing other options such as a marriage visa
Contact us today for your free case evaluation.
If your K1 petition is denied at the USCIS level don't panic--you have two options:
Options for K1 Visas Denied by the USCIS
- Appeal the Decision. If your K1 visa petition has been denied you have the right to appeal. The official denial form from the USCIS will include instructions for your appeal. Generally, you must file your appeal within 30 days of the date of denial so time is of the essence--DO NOT DELAY. USCIS appeals are complicated and expensive (the filing fee alone was $585 at the time of this article.) This is not something you should handle on your own and I would strongly encourage you to consult and immigration attorney. If you are determined to go it alone or can't afford an attorney here is the form you need to file your appeal.
- Cut Your Losses and File Again. All denials of K1 fiance visa petitions should be without prejudice; that is, just because your case is denied it does not prevent you from filing again. Obviously, starting over is not the ideal solution for most people because of the additional delay. However, in some cases it is the best option especially if an appeal is not likely to succeed. You should consult with an immigration attorney before you decide whether to re-file or appeal your decision.
K1 Visa Denials at the Consular Level
K1 visa applications which are denied at the consular level are much more difficult to deal with. There is no appeal from the decision of a consular official to deny a K1 visa. Once the K1 visa is denied by the U.S. Consul the standard procedure is for the consul to return the denied petition back to the USCIS for revocation or other action.
If your fiance or fiancee's is denied his or her visa at the U.S. Embassy you have a three potential courses of action:
- Seek Review by the Consulate General. Most U.S. Embassies have a procedure for decisions of consular officials to be reviewed by their superiors. You may request that your denial be reviewed by the Consulate General or Supervisory Consular Officer. If the review of the CG is not favorable you have no further course of action. Furthermore, once the U.S. Embassy has forwarded the K1 petition to the USCIS for revocation it no longer has jurisdiction to even conduct a review. Thus, time is of the essence when seeking this course of action.
- Request that USCIS Reaffirm its Decision. Once the USCIS receives the petition from the U.S. Embassy you may file a request for them to reaffirm their decision. Such a request may be submitted with a legal brief or additional supporting documentation. As a practical matter, this may not an attractive option because it is currently taking about 24 months for the USCIS to receive a denied petition and act on it.
- Withdraw the Petition and Refile. Most applicant's and their U.S. Citizen fiance's have already waited a long time and will likely not want to wait an additional 24 months to see what the USCIS will do with the denied petition. The K1 petitioner can submit a withdraw to the USCIS and formally withdraw the case. Once the denied K1 petition has been withdrawn he or she may file a new K1 petition. In many cases, this is the best course of action.
Regardless of your situation, if your K1 petition has been denied you should immediately consult with a qualified immigration attorney. If you would like assistance obtaining a fiance visa please do not hesitate to contact us.