During the application process of getting a CR1 visa, one of the most stressful periods is the waiting time to determine if the spouse visa is approved since it affects the future of both U.S. citizens and a foreign spouse. The chance for success increases if the spouses have submitted the correct documents. However, sometimes immigration or consular officers can decide that there is a lack of information or evidence, or some other ineligibility of the applicant, which will, unfortunately, lead to a visa denial.

Main reasons for getting visa denied are:

  • Lack of required documents
  • Submitting documents that are not translated into English
  • Lack of evidence or fraudulent evidence
  • Forms that are not signed
  • Legal obstacles such as the divorce process of the previous marriage
  • U.S. citizen income does not meet the criteria
  • Big age difference, cultural differences, inability to communicate in English, etc.

It is possible to receive a NOIR (Notice of intent to revoke) or NOID (notice of intent to deny) from USCIS, which implies that there is a possibility of visa denial and that it is necessary to provide additional information or documents. The applicant will have 30-60 days to add missing documents and submit evidence, although it is recommended to respond as soon as possible, in order to accelerate the case proceedings. However, sometimes this will not be enough to avoid a CR1 visa to be denied.

What can be done if the application is denied?

The denial can be declared right after finishing the interview, as a consequence of failing to provide the required documents. The applicant can also be informed by getting the notice of denial, which will contain the reason for denial.

There are two options to go forward. They are formed based on the reason for visa denial in the specific case, so knowing the reason will help the applicant decide what to do next. After evaluating the problem, it is possible to:

1. Appeal the denial decision through the Form EOIR-29 within 30 days from getting the decision. The appeal fee is 110$. When the appeal gets filed, it will be reviewed again by the same officer that has brought the denial decision, and then by a different immigration authority. This process can last long, and more, these outcomes can often be unsatisfactory.

2. Reapply for the I-130 visa, or file the visa request based on another alien category class. It is necessary to take action and respond within the same 30 days deadline. This procedure seems easier than the first one, and spouses usually opt for it.

If the applicant fails to respond within the deadline, it will lead to the case closure. The cancellation consequences are long-lasting since that will represent a warning sign for the immigration officer whenever this foreign spouse submits a new petition.

When the petition gets filed, the recommendation is to invest equal attention in preparing the I-130 form and all additional documents and evidence of bona fide marriage. The petitioner should make sure that all the requirements are met.

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