Currently, I would rather process a couple on a Marriage Visa than on a Fiance Visa, but for different reasons than you might think.
Dear Allan, I am still analyzing some of the advantages and drawbacks of each process. Once both the fiance visa and marriage visa covers my daughter who is 16, then the other important considerations seem to be as follows:
- The drawback with the Fiance(e) Visa seems to be that it can more easily be turned down than the Marriage Visa – please verify.
- With the Fiance(e) visa can I work immediately upon entering the USA?
- What is the likelihood of getting through with each visa?
If the Marriage Visa has a significant stronger likelihood of a positive outcome then this may be the deciding factor. Thank you.
Grace, people often misunderstand the advantages of a marriage visa as compared to a fiance Visa. A Fiance Visa is a perfectly fine way to immigrate to the U.S.
Marrying does not assure visa issuance. As far as immigration officers are concerned, marriage is simply a piece of paper. It does not guarantee entry to the U.S. If you are married, we process on a marriage visa. If you are unmarried, we process on a fiance visa.
What is important is that you have a genuine and sincere relationship. The strength of the relationship will be examined carefully, not so much whether you married or not. Generally, the more time you spend together as a couple is best. People who spend a great deal of time together tend to behave like a couple and are settled. Not everyone has the luxury of frequent or extended travel, so just do the best you can do.
Marrying right away when you first meet in person can look suspicious. It can look like a set up. If you want to marry on your first trip, then it helps to avoid marrying within the first few days of arrival. Spend some time together. Relationships are supposed to develop naturally over time. The problem we all have is that long distance relationships are hard to manage, so just do the best you can do. Immigration is all about pluses and minuses. It is a plus to spend some time together in person first before marriage.
It is possible to obtain work authorization upon entry to the U.S. on a fiance visa. We can obtain is about 80 % of the time. If it fails, work authorization can be obtained in just over 2 months currently after marriage in the U.S. as part of green card processing. On a marriage visa, work authorization is automatically granted upon arrival in the U.S.
Some Marriage Visa Advantages
For immigration purposes, there is an advantage to a marriage visa, but it is different than what you might think. In the event the visa is refused, it is easier to challenge a marriage visa denial than it is to challenge a fiance visa denial. This is a matter of how the rules work, not so much a matter of having a stronger relationship simply because you are married.
Right now, when a fiance visa is refused, the USCIS is forcing the case closed, illegally in my view. To challenge improper closure, you need to file a lawsuit, which can be a bit expensive. By comparison, the USCIS has no argument to force a marriage visa closed after refusal on administrative grounds, so we have more ability to fight refusal on a marriage visa.
The final advantage of a marriage visa is that we can preprocess on a green card, even before the foreigner arrives in the U.S. The green card is approved after entry. With the fiance visa it is a two step process. Your fiance must first enter the U.S., you must marry, and then the foreigner may apply for a green card.
If David is in Guyana and you have the chance to marry, I would go ahead and marry. This will help me respond in the event you have difficulty in obtaining the marriage visa. Either visa can be refused, but we have more of a fighting chance with the marriage visa under current conditions.
Kind regards, Allan Lolly
You are welcome to contact me if you like to discuss further.