The issuance of K1 Fiance Visas were down sharply in 2017 by nearly 33%. This trend seems to be continuing in 2018. This downward trend in approvals is due to tougher standards of proof and a slow down in processing times.
To meet these new challenges, I recommend that each applicant provide more proof of their relationship and further take steps to plan your wedding in the US. Additional proof would include more examples of your online communications while apart, a history of love letters and cards, and now maybe more than one in person meeting. Although only one meeting in person is still the requirement (within a 2 year period), proof of more than one in person meeting would be very helpful. As the US Citizen Petitioner, you might consider making a second trip a week or two before your fiance’s interview, so that he or she can provide the Embassy with addition pictures of the two of you together.
I would also suggest making more formal wedding or reception plans in the US. Once approved, many of my clients have simply gotten married at a local court house instead of spending for an elaborate wedding. This is still ok. But, I would now take steps to at least plan and secure a date for a small reception or dinner party at a special restaurant or reception hall to show the Embassy that you are treating your marriage as a special occasion. I would then provide proof of a deposit or reservation at the Embassy interview.
The reduction in approvals is also a result of slower than normal processing times. Less visas are getting approved each year as some are being denied and others being placed in Administrative Processing for further review. The current processing times for a K1 Fiance Visa is now at 8-10 months.
Don’t be discouraged by the downward trend in approvals for K1 Fiance Visas. Honest cases, with sufficient proof and patience will typically and most likely get approved. Even with the harder Embassies around the world, we are still getting all of our approvals with some extra work and patience. I am certain that these new challenges can be met by you and your counsel.
If you have any questions about the K1 Fiance Visa or wish to discuss your matter with me, you are welcome to call me anytime. I can be reached toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeff Pettys