This Ethiopian fiancee has a valid reason to visit the U.S. in connection with a church function. It is hard to tell the likelihood of success in applying for the B visa based on the information provided.
She has a valid reason for coming to the U.S., but the most important issue is whether she has a good reason to depart the U.S. at the end of her visit. It is important that the foreigner be open and honest when applying for any visa. The B visa has a trap for the unwary that foreigners often fall into. Allow me to explain below.
My fiancée will be coming to the U.S. in June for an orientation with the organization we work for. Following that I will also come back to the U.S. and then take her to meet my family. We will then return to our work together in Sudan. Her appointment for her visa interview will take place in Nairobi on May 30th. Please let me know if this will create any conflict because of filing for the K-1. If it will create issues, can you please advise on how we can document that she will be leaving the US within the specified time.
Thanks for your assistance. I look forward to hearing back from you.
David, It seems as if she is applying for a B1 business visa, correct?
If we file a K visa prior to her entry to the U.S. on a B visa, in all likelihood she will be asked about your relationship since the K visa application will be in process. Chances are that her B visa application will be denied once the relationship is disclosed. There is an inherent risk that someone who has a U.S. citizen fiance may not want to depart the U.S. at the end of the stay on a B visa. Given she is in Sudan, I do not believe she can produce documents to show strong ties to home, Ethiopia. More importantly, an immigration officer will consider the situation. The fact is you are engaged, so she is willing to leave Ethiopia for good.
There is a separate issue to consider about the B visa application. A B visa application should normally not interfere with a K1 petition in process, provided she has been open and honest about your relationship on the B visa application. You are not yet “family” so I do not believe the B visa application references you directly since you are a fiance. As such, she should not need to disclose your relationship unless it becomes obvious she should discuss it during the course of the interview at the consulate, or when talking to a border agent. For example, if an immigration officer asks, “Do you have a boyfriend in the U.S.?” the answer should be, “Yes.” Be prepared to discuss. Her entry to the U.S. may be blocked, but at least she is being honest at all times.
Often, people applying for a B visa make the mistake of hiding the relationship and this can eventually prove disastrous when processing on a K1 fiance visa or CR marriage visa. Hiding the relationship can mean either
- the foreigner was not telling the truth when applying for a B visa and so can be barred from the U.S. for lying to an immigration officer, or
- you did not know each other at the time of the B visa application and so your relationship is not sincere.
You need to be very careful when applying for a B visa so that she does not fall into a trap that will hurt her chances of success on a K visa.
Before proceeding further, you need to assess the likelihood of obtaining a B visa for her. If the likelihood is not good, then consider NOT applying for a B visa for her. Based on what you wrote, it seems her chances are not good, but then I do not know the details. If she wants to continue with the B visa application, it may be best to hold back on filing for a K visa until you learn the results of her B visa application. I hope this helps.
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