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Fiance Visas Under Increasing Scrutiny

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on November 08, 2015

Falling in love abroad, or with a foreign national just down the street is something that happens to millions of people every year. While love knows no borders, the US immigration system does. When an individual proposes to a foreign national, they will most likely need to request a fiancé visa so that they can stay in the United States with them as they make their wedding plans.

One of the easier types of visas to secure, the system has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of the California terror attacks and reports that the fiancé visa is being used to facilitate human trafficking. It’s a problem concerning the Department of Homeland Security and audits are currently being conducted to determine precisely how often the system has been abused. Right now, it appears to be a relatively small number among the hundreds of thousands of fiancé visas that have been issued over the past decade.

“Most individuals seeking fiancé visas do so out of love. There is no nefarious intent involved. The fact that a handful of individuals have chosen to abuse the system will negatively affect thousands of couples seeking legitimate visas,” remarked Illinois immigration attorney Ronald Shapiro.

Individuals seeking a fiancé visa must provide evidence to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that the petitioner is a United States citizen and that they intend to marry within 90 days of the fiancé entering the country. They must also show that they are both free to marry, and that they have met at least once within the previous two years. There are exceptions for financial hardship and cultural differences. However, individuals should seek guidance in determining whether their reasons for not meeting USCIS requirements are justified.

“Increased scrutiny by DHS and USCIS means that individuals seeking fiancé visas in the coming year should square away their paperwork as soon as possible. The better the evidence and information provided on the I-129F petition, the easier and more expedient the process will be,” commented Illinois immigration attorney Ronald Shapiro.