It appears the consulate had already decided to deny the visa even before the interview. The reason for the denial was that there was insufficient evidence to establish a bona fide relation.
After my third trip to China in 18 months I finally got my long awaited interview in Guangzhou China for a K-1 visa. I was not allowed to enter the interview room. My fiance was the only one who was interviewed. After 10 minutes the consulate gave her a boiler plate denial letter. At no time did the consulars ask to review the evidence for bona fide relation. We had accumulated for 2 years many pictures, hundreds of emails, receipts of engagement rings, hotel receipts, plane tickets and much more.
It appears the consulate had already decided to deny the visa even before the interview. The reason for the denial was that there was insufficient evidence to establish a bona fide relation. Yet they never bother to review our folder with the evidence. Our I-129F application was approved by USCIS and the case is now being remanded for revocation. I am so disappointed on how incompetent these counsulars are. We paid high filing fees and feel that we were ripped off by these consulars and they should be held accountable. I am contemplating filing a lawsuit in federal court under the Administrative Procedure Act for abuse of discretion and failure to follow their statutory obligations.
What opinion can you share. We both thank you for your thoughts.
Charlie, I am sorry to hear about the problem, but your situation is not uncommon. Couples who have genuine relationships often find themselves faced with a fiance or marriage visa denial and are at a loss to know what to do. It helps to contact an immigration attorney early in case processing since this is an important family member.
It always surprises couples when they come to realize immigration is an adversarial system. Immigration officers are like police. Some are friendly, but many seem tough and unfair sometimes. The role they have is to protect and serve the government’s interests. Officers have no duty to help you. You need to act defensively throughout case processing or it is easy for an immigration officer to pick at your mistakes as the justification for a denial. Now that you have been denied, immigration officers often will resist reversing the denial.
Simply marrying and processing on a spousal visa does not typically solve the problem. A visa denial is a serious matter that you likely cannot paper over by marrying. It is now part of your fiance’s immigration history, and immigration officers are serious; when they deny, they really mean it. They are denying her access to the U.S. You need to solve this problem of the denial first before taking other steps such as marrying abroad.
Immigration lawsuits are possible, but it is too early for you. You’ve just been denied and so your remedies are not exhausted. Suit under the Administrative Procedures Act can be possible. However, my belief is that you likely have not prepared a case with the possibility of a lawsuit in mind. This is the work of attorneys and you do not have that experience. It is important that your case be properly prepared and defended throughout processing. I will want to know what you have done up to this point and then set out an immigration plan going forward.
Try not to react emotionally to the denial. Immigration officers expect this. What the officer has done is an affront to your family. Even so, an immigration officer has already considered your next moves when the denial was issued. It becomes important to set emotions aside and act strategically. You need to fight for your family member, but smartly.
My first step will be to examine the actions of the government in deciding the case. I will want to see the following:
- A narrative from your fiancée detailing events from the time she entered the consulate for her interview until the time she left the consulate. Immigration officers have detailed notes of the interview and so you must also have your notes. Memories fade. If we were to file suit months from now the government will have a complete record and version of events, but you have no detailed record of the interview. What occurred during the interview is important. The narrative should include a summary list of documents she carried with her to the interview.
- There should also be a separate list of what documents the consulate officer reviewed and did not review prior to issuing the denial.
- A complete copy of what was filed with immigration agencies from the beginning and also a copy of all government notices.
The government has procedures it must follow when issuing a visa denial. If the government failed in its duties, it is important to document them for the record and lodge appropriate objections. This may cause the officer to reconsider, but chances of this happening are not good. More importantly, documenting the record and lodging appropriate objections can help neutralize the damage caused your fiancée by the denial and open the door to further steps needed for a successful visa application going forward.
Please contact me if you are interested in my assistance.