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Visa Finance Interview Checklist

Filipino K-1 Visa Couple

Like any other interview, a fiancé visa interview can be stressful. You might be asked a bunch of questions that you’ll need to answer. Nothing is really off-limits.

If you do not take the time to prepare carefully, it may lead to a bad experience. It could also lead to a denial.

This is why I want to share with you some of the questions you need to get ready to address.

In this blog post, we’re going to explore what happens at a fiancé visa interview abroad.

Let’s get started.

Both fiancé and fiancée are French words. The two words confuse many English speakers.

  • Fiancé (with one “e”) is a man who is engaged to be married.
  • Fiancée (with two “e’s”) is a woman who is engaged to be married.

For the sake of simplicity, we will use “fiancé” on this page to apply equally to both males and females engaged to be married.

Also, to explain various concepts and ideas, our examples will assume a male U.S. citizen who is planning to marry a female from another country.

But the situation could be flipped, and it could be a male immigrant planning to marry a female U.S. citizen.  The points addressed here would still be valid.

There are certain areas that are likely to be explored, almost without exception, and I’m going to help you get ready for that interview.

What you have to remember is a fiancé visa interview is really about preventing fraud.

In recent years, and especially under the current administration, the U.S. government has taken on a more rigorous approach to interviewing individuals who are seeking any kind of immigration benefit.

Tweet This: A fiancé visa interview is really about preventing fraud. under the current administration, the U.S. government has taken on a more rigorous approach to interviewing individuals who are seeking any kind of immigration benefit.

A fiancé visa is on this hit list. The interviewing officers want to make sure whomever they give permission to enter the United States in the hopes of getting married is involved in a legitimate and real love relationship.

Further, they want to feel assured a marriage will soon follow. Because as you probably know, when you apply for a fiancé visa, if you’re granted, you have 90 days to come to the United States and get married.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve broken the questions down into certain categories.  I do not want to overload you with too much information. I’ll go over each category, one-at-a-time, to help you better understand the types of issues which will be explored.

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Before we dive in deeper, here’s an important point.

The interview is intended only for the foreign fiancé. Even though the U.S. citizen may go with his or her spouse-to-be for moral support, it is the foreign fiancé who is the subject of the interview and must address the questions asked.

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1. How Did You Meet Your Fiancé?

This is one of the first questions that will be asked. It will be followed by a series of other relevant questions, such as did you meet online, through the internet via a dating service? Or did the U.S. fiancé go to the country of the immigrant fiancé on a vacation, company business, or to visit relatives who live in that country?

Here are other questions that could be asked.

  • How did you start corresponding with each other?
  • How do you communicate now?
  • How often do you correspond?
  • How many times have you met in person, and where?
  • What did you do together?

These types of questions will shed important light on how you and your fiancé met and how the relationship developed.

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2. Your Engagement And Wedding

At what point did you or your fiancé say, “I’d like to marry you.”? Or “I would like to marry you?” Or something similar.

This line of inquiry is often asked early in the interview, as part of the process to ensure the person being interviewed is really involved in a legitimate love relationship.

Although this moment might be difficult to recall for older, long-time married couples, for folks who only recently fell in love, questions about that special event should be relatively easy to answer.

  • When did the relationship turn romantic?
  • Was it online and were there emails going back and forth and suddenly someone proposed?
  • Or was it during one of the trips either to the immigrant fiancé’s country, or here in the United States?
  • How did the wedding proposal happen?
  • Was anybody else there, friends, family?

With a fiancé visa, when you enter the United States, you’re supposed to get married within 90 days.

Tweet This: With a fiancé visa, when you enter the United States, you’re supposed to get married within 90 days.

Hence, questions about your wedding plans are also likely to be probed.

  • Is the wedding ceremony going to be in a hall, at a hotel, or at a home?
  • Will the wedding be at a church or courthouse?
  • Is the American fiancé going to engage in some type of pre-marriage ceremony in your home country before the marriage?
  • Are your parents going to fly to the United States to be there for the wedding?

Fiance Visa Couple

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3. General Knowledge About Your Fiancé

A variety of general questions could possibly be asked to test how much you know about each other.

Here’s a practical hint.

When preparing for fiancé a visa interview, don’t try to memorize answers word-for-word. It will only cause confusion which may lead to a bad interview experience.

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Based on several years of experience as an fiance visa lawyer, I’ve learned many, many people crumble when their anxiety level goes up.

Allow me to explain.

When you try to memorize precise answers, it will impose increased stress on you at the visa interview.  Plus, you might seem like a robot to the officer asking questions. If you take this approach, then you start to stumble, your nervousness will rise.  This, in turn, could cause you to feel a sense of internal chaos and lead to jumbled answers to the questions posed to you.

Instead, talk to your fiancé ahead of time.  Fill in the blanks what you don’t know, and if you are asked about such details, do your best to explain what you know to the officer.

Sincerity and authenticity counts at your K-1 fiancé visa interview.

Be genuine.  Not a robot.

Some of the questions that might be asked regarding your future spouse:

  • What’s his/her full name?
  • Has he/she been married before?
  • Has he/she been divorced?
  • Does he/she have any brothers or sisters?
  • What are his/her parents’ names?

These are just general check-up issues that most legitimate couples would know about each other.  As a result, they are very important to the success of your interview. They are subject to government interrogation because if you’re engaged in a serious relationship, common sense would seem to dictate you have likely shared this information about each other’s past.

Additional questions that might be asked are:

  • What are your fiancé’s hobbies?
  • What hobbies and interests do the two of you share?
  • Does your fiancé like going to watch movies or plays?
  • Does your fiancé participate in any volunteer activities?
  • Does your fiancé play any sports?

I’m pretty sure you have exchanged some things like this at the beginning of your  relationship. That’s quite common. Of course you probably have not suspected such inquiries are ripe for questioning at your K-1 visa interview.

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4. Employment History

You might be asked about your American fiancé‘s history of employment.

Types of questions will be like:

  • Do you know where he or she works?
  • Do you know his or her salary?
  • What are his or her career goals?
  • Did he or she attend college or obtain specialized training?
  • What days and times does your fiancé go to work?

The same questions can be asked of the immigrant.

For instance, the government agent may decide to inquire whether the immigrant fiancé went to college.

Or does the immigrant fiancé have a career? What are the immigrant’s employment plans after marriage? Is she going to give up her career in her home country when she arrives in the United States?

Some couples think these questions are intrusive or unnecessary. Not so. These types of questions are relevant in the effort to weed out immigration fraud.

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Note To Carlos: Add E-Book CTA Here Maybe?

In the questionnaire checklist that I’m providing in my free eBook, there are about 180 questions. I would love to think that I’ve covered the most pressing questions, or that I’ve covered all of the questions. But that is impossible. Anything is fair game.

And when they’re looking for fraud, any one of these questions could branch out, with your answer, to two or three more questions, depending on your answers. That’s the nature of questions and answers.

The questionnaire guide in my free eBook is a good starting point. But it’s only as good as you use it to prepare and think about other things that you might ask. Other things that you should know.

And it might even give you some incentive to learn more things about your fiancé, soon-to-be spouse, that you would want to know about before the interview.

The fiancé interviews will usually only last 5-15 minutes at the consulate. The person under scrutiny, the person being asked is the immigrant fiancé. The US citizen fiancé can attend, but it’s not their job to answer questions.

Their job is just to sit there and lend moral support, keep quiet. The fiancé is the one that’s under the gun from the immigrant country. They’re the ones that are going to have to answer the questions.

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5. What Are Your Plans After Marriage?

When you win a K-1 visa, the immigrant fiancé is allowed to come into the United States for a period of 90 days. During that 90 day period, a marriage is required.  To figure out your true intentions, one viable area of questioning by the immigration officer is going to be what you plan to do after marriage. In other words, real couples have plans for life after marriage.

Some typical questions are listed below:

  • Does the fiancé plan to go to school here in the United States?
  • Does the fiancé plan to improve their English-speaking ability?
  • If it’s not quite that strong when they arrive, do they plan to go to school here and improve that?
  • Does the fiancé plan to work in the United States?
  • Is there a general plan for finding employment?

Some couples are not going to have a lot of specific details.  Still, general details are ripe for questioning. For instance, perhaps the U.S. citizen has an uncle that owns a company, and he’s going to employ his nephew’s fiancé once she receives work authorization

Maybe the consulate officer will inquire about the long-term career plans not just of the immigrant fiancé, but also of the U.S. citizen? Have the two of you talked about such goals? What are your employment dreams five years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now?

Quick tip.  This is a good line of questioning to help you prepare for your fiancé visa interview.  The more you’re ready to share your goals for the future, the more you’ll be able almost all other kinds of questions.

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6. Culture – Differences And Similarities

This category is one of the most obvious areas for heightened scrutiny. The government official is going to take a deep look at what similarities as well as what differences you and your fiancé may have culture-wise.

When it comes to cultural differences, the further apart you are, the more likely suspicions will arise regarding whether your relationship is built on a good faith basis.

As mentioned earlier, a foremost purpose of the fiancé visa interview is to make sure your K-1 application is based on a real, genuine, bona fide, legitimate marriage – and not just a fly-by-night scheme being done for money or on a pretense of love that enables the U.S. citizen to bring a short-term companion to the United States. That’s what questions about culture are geared to reveal.

Sometimes, individuals from the U.S. have their ethnic roots and family ties in another country. Maybe that led to how the couple met.

Perhaps the United States citizen went to his parent’s country of origin to visit a cousin, an uncle, or a grandparent, and while there, met the love of their life.

Take language.

The interviewing officer may ask about how a couple communicates. It is not just a matter whether a couple communicates by email or Skype or Google Hangouts. How do they communicate language-wise?

Do the parties speak each other’s language? Does the immigrant spouse speak English, or does the United States soon-to-be spouse speak the immigrant’s native language?

Some common kinds of questions are:

  • What is your primary language?
  • What is your fiancé primary language?
  • What other language(s) do you speak?
  • What other language(s) does your fiancé speak?

These are, in reality, common sense questions.

How about religious beliefs? Do you and your fiancé share religious beliefs, or do you have different religious beliefs? What is one person is a devout Christian, the other is a Muslim? What are the plans for sharing each other’s beliefs? How is this going to impact the wedding ceremony?

Cultural differences often lead to dietary differences. If so, how is the couple planning to deal with such differences on a day-to-day basis?

In a fiancé visa interview, culture is a big area. It’s a BIG area because the wider the differences, the more reason exists for an officer to take a distrusting view of the relationship.

Tweet This: In a fiancé visa interview, culture is a BIG because the wider the differences, the more reason exists for an officer to take a distrusting view of the relationship.

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7. Past Marital History

Remember that it is the immigrant fiancé that is being questioned. But that doesn’t mean questions about the United States fiancé are off-limits. In fact, the opposite is more the rule, than then exception.

Here are some basic questions which might be asked in this category:

  • Have you been married previously?
  • How many times have you been married previously?
  • What is your ex-spouse(s) name(s)?
  • If yes, when did you divorce?
  • Do you have any children?

That’s the mere tip of the iceberg. Much deeper questions can be asked.

Suppose the U.S. citizen has children has children from an earlier marriage.

The interview agent might inquire, for example, if the immigrant fiancé has visited the love of her life in the United States? Has she been introduced to the U.S. citizen’s children from another marriage? And if not, why not, and if so, how did that meeting go?

Is the Are they planning to live in the same household? For instance, the United States citizen spouse, which is more likely if it’s a female, but it could also be a male – but in most, given domestic law in the U.S. it’s a female that generally ends up with custody.

Does the American fiancé have custody or visitation rights with his children? Are they going to live with the couple, either permanently or on the weekends and vacations? Are the children accepting of having a step-mother in their lives?

On the other hand, similar question can be asked the other way. Has the immigrant fiancé told her intended husband about her previous marriage and what are the couple’s plans for those children? Are they part of the fiancé visa application, as K-2 dependents, or are they remaining in their homeland? What’s the rationale behind this decision?

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Fiance Visa Couple Family And Friends

8. Family And Friends

Akin to questions about marital history, inquiries about knowledge about each other’s family and friends provides insight into the degree of sharing between the couple seeking a K-1 visa and the right to live together in the United States.

In short, how much does the fiancé from another country know about the best friends and relatives of the U.S. fiancé. Conversely, how much does the U.S. citizen fiancé know about the immigrant fiancé’s family members and close friends?

For instance, assuming the U.S. citizen has visited his fiancé in her home country to spend some time together, did he meet her parents? How did he get along with them? If he did not meet them, why not?

Are the immigrant fiancé’s parents accepting of the relationship? What do they think about her moving far away?

What about brothers and sisters of the immigrant fiancé? Were they introduced to her future husband? Did they hang out together? Did they go out to the movies together? Did they go to restaurants together? Did everyone get along? Are they accepting of the relationship?

It also goes the other way. If the immigrant fiancé came to the United States, was she introduced to her future husband’s best friends, coworkers, parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and neighbors?

A series of additional question could revolve around the following:

  • What are your fiance’s parent’s names?
  • Have you met your fiance’s parents?
  • Why or why not?
  • Where do your fiance’s parents live?
  • Have you met any of your fiancé’s friends?
  • If so, who?

These questions are an important indicator of a bona fide romance.

Has the relationship evolved to the point that both parties know a good deal about each other? Have they introduced the other person to those who are closest to them? In a normal relationship, such behavior is common. It is in a normal relationship. It is an appropriate subject for government examination prior to granting a visa.

Do you recall that I pointed out that one set of questions depending on the answers, could open up a new line of scrutiny?

Officers who explore meetings with the friends or relatives could easily glide over to assessing the travel history of the immigrant fiancé. Has she ever visited the U.S. in the past, even before she met her soon-to-be husband? Did she comply with the terms of her previous tourist visas?

Since a fiancé is seeking a K-1 entry to the U.S., the American government will assess her travel record carefully to make sure there are no violations of the terms of her previous short-term visas.

The point is this. When you go to a fiancé visa interview, you need to be prepared for a wide range of questions.

It is impossible to think of every possible question that might arise. But if you prepare for issues that might come up at your interview in the categories outlined here, you will have taken a major step forward to success.

If you would like more examples regarding what you might be asked, download the free checklist shown above. It provides a fuller list of 180 potential questions for you to think about before your big day at the consulate office.

Yet, once again, I want to emphasize do not try to memorize your answers and sound like a robot. Instead, just try to remember details about concerns you may be queried about, and provide good, sincere, and honest responses.

If somthing is a little fuzzy in your head, talk to your fiancé about it in advance. Ask him, “When we went to see that play on my birthday, what was the name of the hotel we stayed at? How much were the tickets? Oh yeah, what was the name of the play?”

Take the time to carefully prepare. At the end of the day, you want to win your case. You want to spend your life with the person you love here in the United States.

Now start studying and make your dreams come true.

I wish you the best

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TITLE: Announcements

Immigration law is dynamic field.

Changes happen rapidly, almost without warning.

Many changes, like the announcement about I-601 family unity waivers and DACA, are inspired by party politics.

Often a court decision, as in the post-conviction case of Padilla v. Kentucky, affects how certain rules are to be interpreted.

Other times, an immigration agency, such as USCIS or CBP, adjusts its operating procedures.

In all these situations, it’s important to notify our readers as quickly as possible.