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Fiancee Visa Interview with the Consular Officer

29th June 2010
By Cathy Tran Reck in Immigration Law
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Navigating the US Immigration system is a daunting and complex task. This article provides a basic framework for the US citizen petitioner and his foreign fiancee to prepare for the final stage of the Fiance Visa K1 interview. The fiance visa interview process normally conducted at the US Embassy or US Consulate where the fiance resides. The United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides legal requirements that the foreign fiancee and US citizen petitioner must satisfactory fulfill before the US consular officer will interview the fiancee.

The officer will conduct what is similar to due diligence to determine whether the visa applicant is eligible for the visa. The interviewing officer reviews documents that the American petitioner submitted to USCIS with Form I-129F, and any additional evidence submitted by the foreign fiancee at the interview. The officer conducts a due diligence in examining the facts of the case, relevant information in the file, and ask the fiancee questions to ascertain the sincerity of her relationship with her US citizen petitioner. For some this part of the process is the most difficult as the fiancee may feel intimidated and distressed sitting across a complete stranger and answering personal and sometimes intimate questions.

Additionally, the consular officer may just ask certain atypical questions just to gauge the fiancee's reaction. Therefore, the foreign fiancee has to be prepared to respond honestly and succinctly so to remove any doubt that the relationship is insincere. Even if there are some weak facts in the case, for instance a previous overstay or a previous visa denial, the best policy is to answer truthfully and disclose that information from the very beginning. Chances are the officer is already aware of this issue and will respect the fact that you are upfront about it. This will set the right tone for the beginning of your interview. Finally, the officer will scrutinize the facts and the fiancee's background to determine whether there are any legal inadmissibility issues to prevent the foreign fiancee from being admitted into the US.

Finally, the interview is an attempt to ask about any discrepancies or allow the applicant to clarify and explain any weaknesses in the case. Thus, the consular officer interviewing the fiance visa applicant is merely in charge of ensuring the case is eligible for approval.

Therefore, any temptation to lie to a consular officer is pointless as they are trained to detect those deceptive techniques used to obtain a visa. The penalty for lying to a consular officer could result in an outright denial of the visa application and possibly a bar on entry to the US for years to come. Thus, honesty is the best policy when it comes to answering sensitive questions at the interview.
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About the Author
Occupation: U.S. Lawyer
Cathy Tran Reck is an American immigration attorney working from Bangkok, Thailand. Cathy is the Managing Partner at Cathy Tran Reck & Associates, Ltd. Bangkok with an office in Bangkok, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Cathy is licensed by the California State Bar, American Bar Association, and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She can be reached at or in Bangkok at (+66) 2 302 1448.

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