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K Visas: Tips for Couples — Part 3, Common Problems in K-1, Fiancé Visa Petitions

As an Austin immigration lawyer, I am very familiar with some of the common reasons for K-1 (fiancé visa) denials. This short posting is meant to give you some insight in some of the most common reasons for K-1 denials. There are of course, many others not listed here. My list is meant to give you a general overview. A separate posting will contain additional common reasons for denials.

Reason 1: Missing documents and incorrect paperwork — it’s very easy to miss a step. Fiance visas require attention to detail and lots of tedious work. As an Austin immigration attorney, I often meet clients that had missing/incorrect paperwork that caused months of delays in the case. It is best to carefully review everything before submitting, preferably with an immigration lawyer.

Reason 2: U.S. Citizen does not show sufficient income under the U.S. Poverty Guidelines — U.S. Citizens who are petitioning for their relative must show that they make 125 % above the poverty guidelines. If you don’t meet the requirement, you can get a joint sponsor. Not meeting this requirement can cause serious delays and denial of your case.

Reason 3: Significant age difference between the couple — A big age difference on its own is not enough to deny a case, but you have the burden of showing that there is a legitimate relationship. A significant age difference can create a negative presumption and should be carefully counterbalanced with other positive factors.

Reason 4: Fiancé has a minor child from a prior relationship and cannot obtain written consent from the child’s father for the child to be able to travel outside the country — This can often create complications in a fiancé visa case. The law of the country where the fiancé is living will govern what requirements must be met for the child to travel outside of the country. It is of utmost importance that the fiancé receive authorization and get documents in order to avoid delays when the visa is approved.

Reason 5: Spouse and fiancé are unable to communicate in a common language — although it is possible to prove that the relationship is legitimate even if there is a language barrier, there will be a strong presumption of fraud when the couple cannot communicate. The theory is that most relationships need some type of communication to function and it is your burden to show that you are able to communicate about your life with your fiancé.


The Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC has helped couples all over the world in carefully and successfully filing for fiancé visas. Once we are retained, we take care of all the details of your immigration case so you can focus on your family while we take care of the rest. Call us for a consultation at (512) 329-2770.