Filing a Fiance Visa the Second Time Around

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A passport visa page with a stamp

It is possible to file a I-129F petition to apply for a K-1 “fiancé” visa a second time. However, it may not be as simple as the first visa application. Depending on the status of the previous application or whether there have been previous denials will determine what additional steps may need to be completed first. A fiancé visa lawyer could be a helpful ally when the process becomes more complicated.

Initial Application Needs to Have Been Canceled

It is common for engagements to be canceled. If an I-129F petition has already been filed to begin the process for a fiancé visa, it will need to be canceled. But because the visa goes through several stages before it can be approved, the petitioner will need to know what stage it was canceled. This information will be needed for a second filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It will also be a determiner in how difficult it will be for the petitioner to obtain the visa.

A Waiver is May Be Required

Petitioners for a fiancé visa may need to ask USCIS for a waiver of previous multiple filings because they can move forward with a new petition. A waiver is required for multiple previous I-129F petitions or if a petition has been filed in the past two years. If a waiver is not requested, USCIS will likely reject the petition and send it back to the petitioner or hold the petition pending evidence from the petitioner. This can delay the application process, but it is necessary for compliance with the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA).

Multiple previous filings can be a red flag to USCIS. The waiver is required to prove that the relationship is legitimate and not a sham marriage for the purpose of gaining citizenship.

How to Request a Waiver

Requesting a waiver is not difficult, but the level of difficulty could increase based on the circumstances behind the request. The petitioner will need to select the correct box on Page 9 in Part 3, Sections 5.a-5.d of Form I-129F. There are three types of waivers.

If the petitioner has no criminal history and has never been at the wrong end of a restraining order, he or she would request a “general waiver.” An explanation and supporting evidence would need to be supplied to explain why the petitioner should be granted a waiver. Such evidence could be proof of an unusual circumstance like the previous fiancé died or simply the reasons why the relationship did not work out. If the former fiancé is still in the United States, the petitioner would need to explain where that person currently lives.

Requesting a waiver when the petitioner has a violent criminal history would require requesting an “extraordinary circumstances waiver.” The third type of waiver pertains to victims of domestic violence. Choosing one of these two waivers does not mean that the request will be denied. However, these waivers often require more evidence before they can be granted and allow the I-129F filing to proceed.