Thu | Jun 17, 2021

Is our age difference the reason I'm being denied?

Published:Tuesday | June 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

 Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I applied for a visiting visa three times and was denied. My fiancé filed for me and my two kids. We did the medical tests plus paid the visa fees at the day of interview. I spent almost $135,000 and still I was denied. I was told that I entered into a relationship solely for immigration purposes and that I don't have a bona fide relationship.

I am now married. Can they deny me a visa again? I am 47 years of age and my husband is 77 years old. We really love each other and I want to live with him. He is living alone and I am really worried about him. I chose to marry a man of his age because of what I have been through in my past relationships. Could it be his age why I was denied a fiancé visa?

- AM

Dear AM,

Whenever a couple applies for one of them to migrate to the United States (US) or to change status in the US, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and by extension the US embassy's consular officers assume the relationship is entered into solely for immigration purposes. The burden is then on the couple to prove that their relationship is valid.

Although you are now married, your green card can still be denied if the consular officer believes that your marriage is fraudulent.

FRAUDULENT MARKERS

Unfortunately, a 30-year age difference is one of the markers that the consular officers use to determine that a marriage/relationship is fraudulent. They also take into consideration the answers given by the beneficiary (you) at the interview and the documents you present to prove the validity of your relationship.

When your then fiancé filed the petition for the fiancé visa, he filed it with USCIS which approved the petition and forwarded it to the US embassy in Kingston. As with any petition approved by USCIS, the embassy (consular officers) decide if they will issue the actual visa. When a consular officer has a belief that the visa should not be issued, they return the file to USCIS to revoke the approval of the petition.

In your case, the fiancé visa application is now void because you are married. Your husband needs to file a petition for alien relative for you and separate petitions for each of your children (if they were under 18 years of age when you were married). Ensure that your file is strongly supported by documentary evidence of the validity of your marriage.

I suggest hiring an immigration lawyer to guide you through the process. Your immigrant visa petition may be denied again, because whatever caused the denial of the fiancé visa will be in your records.

Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida; and an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College's School of Criminal Justice. Email: info@walkerhuntington.com