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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawShould I Go to the K1 Visa Interview with My Fiancé?

Should I Go to the K1 Visa Interview with My Fiancé?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the K-1 Fiance Visa interview which is generally held at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. 

I am going to make this video specific to the US Embassy here in Bangkok. We are based in Bangkok, Thailand so most of the cases we deal with arise and process through this Embassy. That being said, I have dealt with the US Embassy, the Immigrant Visa unit, at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh as well as the Immigrant Visa unit at the US Embassy in Vientiane, Laos, as well as Malaysia, Myanmar although with the travel ban on Myanmar, that is not really frequent these days as well as the posts in Singapore and Vietnam. So we are very Southeast Asia centric in our firm and we are very Thailand-centric in our firm but a lot of this insight can be garnered at a general level as well. 

So the thing to understand about the fiance visa interview is, I get people that ask me, "Do I need to come over for my fiancé visa interview? Do I need to be there when she goes in for the interview?" and it is usually a "she" in cases involving Thailand, although the gender roles can be reversed; or same sex cases we often times see them  asking, "Do I need to be there with my fiancé?"  The short answer is "No, no you do not", and in fact there are negatives that can arise as a result of being present. We have seen situations where for example a Consular Officer where an American citizen shows, up goes ahead and initiates what's often times referred to as a Stokes' interview where they basically start grilling people on the ins-and-outs of their relationship. That is not really place you want to be but as a practical day-to-day matter, that doesn't really come up very often. However security protocols at the US Embassy, at least here in Thailand, are ever-present and generally speaking unless there is something specific the Consular officer needs clarification on, only the applicant is going to be able to be present at the interview.  I have seen a lot of fake lawyers out on the internet talking about this and I don't know if it is specifically to go after me or to go after other Consular processing attorneys that deal with this a lot and some of them will say "well no one can ever be at the interview!", that is not necessarily true. There are circumstances where attorney presence may be warranted in an interview but as a security matter, generally speaking, no we are not going to see that. 

Now I have dealt with the Embassy frequently. I was just down there a couple of weeks ago dealing with the Immigrant Visa related matter. That being said it is not the most frequent thing in the world and where I do have to deal directly with the Immigrant Visa unit, generally speaking some sort of appointment is in order. It is not something that just comes up all the time but it does happen and I have been down there and I have dealt with them directly in many different situations when it comes up. What we do assist with and what I think is very important with respect to a Consular processing attorney is providing insight into how the post processes the case; that can be vital if for no other reason than it puts the applicant at ease about going through the process. Just understanding what they can expect at both the interview and the intake. There are a substantial number of security protocols at the US Embassy in Bangkok alone, notwithstanding the fact that there are different protocols for example at the US Embassy in Laos or the US Embassy in Cambodia. So again, these things shift a little bit and having someone on hand that has dealt with this for a prolonged period of time can be really beneficial especially for someone who does not speak English natively and does not really deal with Government agencies on a frequent basis, it can really lighten the load on those folks to have some insight into how this is going to work. 

That being said, the thing to take away from this video and really what was the main focus of this video is, "Should I go?" "Should me, the American petitioner be going with my fiancé to the interview?" and especially with respect to Thailand and Southeast Asia, the general answer is no and if you are going to be going generally speaking this is going to be a case involving some rather extenuating circumstances and you are probably going to want to go ahead and get some legal advice, professional legal guidance as to what to expect at the interview or even have representation at the interview if the circumstance is warranted because generally speaking the American petitioner's presence is not going to be allowed at a K-1 Fiancée Visa interview.