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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105584
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I need some advice. My Fiance who lives in Nigeria, Africa

Customer Question

Hi. I need some advice. My Fiance who lives in Nigeria, Africa wanted to come here to visit me. He tried going through the American Embassy but the refused to give him a visa. They wouldn't even look at all the documents he wanted to present to them. What can we do now?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.
You may have to do a fiancé visa. Have you met in person before during the last 2 years or you have only met online, Skype, etc.?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we met on line
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so what is a fiance visa and how di i get one?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Have you sent any money to help with a visa, passport, airline ticket, etc.? How much have you sent?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never sent any money
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what is a Fiance Visa
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Just be very careful not to send money. There are many romance scams out there. I almost fell victim to this myself. A visa and passport should cost less than $200 and there is no such thing as a Basic Travel Allowance or BTA where he has to show that he has a certain amount of money in a bank account before he is allowed to travel.
Anyway, he could wait 6 months and try to apply again for a B-2 tourist visa if he likes. Here is a link:
http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html
Essentially, he must have a valid reason for visiting, must have a way to support himself without working illegally, must have significant ties to his home country, and must have the intent to return home.
A letter of invitation helps with some of this as it will help to show why he is coming to the U.S., how much time he will need and that perhaps he will have a place to stay so that he doesn't have to spend money. Usually you want to show that he is going just for a few weeks or so. If it is longer than that, immigration will wonder why and will become suspicious. They are almost sure to deny someone that says they want to visit for 5 or 6 months unless they have very strong evidences of everything else I listed above. But keep in mind that a letter of invitation is a small part of the process and isn't even a requirement (people mistakenly believe it is the most important) and it can sometimes be used against the applicant. For example, if the consular officer believes that the applicant will have too much support meaning that they could stay illegally in the U.S. or if there is a romantic connection, the officer would deny the visa. Sometimes it is better to not even have a letter of invitation. The most important part of a case is to have strong ties to the home country.
So your letter should state why you are inviting him and that you will provide room and board while he is here visiting.
Now as to some of the ties, he will need to show that he has significant close family at home, property not easily sold, and a good job for a good company that he has had for awhile that he would not normally abandon.
So if he is young, and without much money or any property or a good job, he would probably be denied. They would see him as a risk for staying illegal. Also, persons that are planning to travel with their spouse and children are a risk as well because some of their significant ties are actually going with them.
I mean some people have been approved with less, but I am trying to give you the idea for the best chance.
I will also provide you with two links that may be helpful. The first is to an article that will explain what they look for when issuing a non-immigrant visa like the B-2. The second is a list of things that can be presented to prove non-immigrant intent and the strong ties to the home country.
http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,0528-schwartz.shtm
https://help.cbp.gov/ci/fattach/get/46680/0/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xMzk3NDE3MzcxL3NpZC85M1BEQ0lSbA==/filename/Intentions+and+Ties.pdf
As far as the fiancé visa, you have to have met in person during the last 2 years in order to get it. This is to combat marriage fraud and romance scams. If you go there and meet in person or both meet in a third country, then you would have three options to get him to the U.S.:
1) The K-1 fiance visa takes 6 to 9 months, but you must have met before at least once during the last two years in order to process it. The I-129F will cost $340 plus a $350 fee for the visa processing fee. After he enters the U.S., then you have to marry and then you have to pay $1070 for the I-485 and he will have to wait about 5 to 7 months and gets another interview that you attend with your new spouse so that he can get Residency.
2) The K-3 spouse visa takes 6 to 9 months, you must be married. The I-129F will cost $340 plus $420 for the I-130, and $350 for the visa processing fee. Then after he enters the U.S., he must still file the I-485 for $1070 and wait for the marriage interview about 5 to 7 months later.
3) The CR-1 visa (or IR-1 if your marriage is more than 2 years old) takes about 1 year or so. You must be married. The fees are $420 for the I-130, $330 for the visa processing fee, $88 for an Affidavit of Support fee. But once he enters the U.S., he enters as a Resident and he does not have to file (or pay for) an I-485 nor does he have to attend an additional interview. He just gets his green card in the mail a few weeks later.
So the K-1 and K-3 are faster but generally more expensive. The CR-1 (and IR-1) are slower, but generally cheaper. And no, there is no middle-visa that he can use to enter the U.S. while that process is pending. He will most likely have to wait outside.
Here is a link to all three:
http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/types/family/fiance.html
and another link:
http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Resources%20for%20Congress/Congressional%20Reports/I-129F%20Petition%20for%20Alien%20Fiance%28e%29.pdf
I know you do not want to wait. I know it is very inconvenient. I know you want to be together sooner rather than later, but I have this same conversation two or three times per day on this website. No one ever likes it and believe me, if there was an easier or faster way, I would tell you. I know you will probably say, “but what about this...?” or “but what about that...?” But I will most likely continue to have bad news for you. I am truly sorry. The problem is that the U.S. concerns over security and fraud in this area are more important than a 6 to 9 months inconvenience to you. The way they see it is that if it truly is a real relationship, it will survive that length of time apart. Again, I am truly sorry. I wish I had a faster and easier way to tell you about.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can even ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.