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jamie916

K1 or CR1? American Woman Engaged to Indian Man (merged)

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I (a US citizen) am engaged to my fiancé in India (we've been together 6 months now; just came back from finally meeting for the first time in Thailand) and we are trying to figure out which route has the best chances of approval for getting him here.

I contacted and made friends with a woman who runs a blog and Facebook group for Western women engaged/married to Indian men. She is married to one herself and has been fighting to get him here for FOUR YEARS now. After starting with/applying for the K1/fiancé visa, she has warned me not to apply for it like she did, but to get married abroad and go straight for the marriage visa instead. She says that I/we will surely be denied if we go for the fiancé visa (especially because he's a Muslim from Kashmir), as the Indian government (even though going through the US Embassy) is very unique and rarely approve Indian citizens marrying outside of their culture; she says they will surely try to prevent that from happening and deny us.

Is anyone familiar with this, as it pertains to US/India marriages specifically? Is it really that difficult to get a K1 visa approved? Because I've talked to an immigration lawyer and have read elsewhere that the process is/should be rather easy... Does it differ depending on the country??

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The Indian government has nothing to do with approving a K1 fiance visa, that is up to USCIS/ the US government.

The main thing is that you can prove a bonafide relationship- you know you have one, but would an outsider see the same? For example, you have only met once; "face time", ie time spent together, is important; the longer/ the more visits the better, and also meeting eachother's families. You can absolutely get approved with one visit, but the more visits you have, and the longer those visits are, the better your chances. Also, you say he is Muslim. One question that will come up is about the religious difference; will you convert, and if not, how will you manage that? What does his family think about your relationship? How will you bring up any kids you may have?

Do you have any other "red flags", such as a big age or educational difference, recent divorce, has he tried to immigrate to the USA before?

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It's a little complicated... Problems arose in his village in Kashmir during the investigation by the German Embassy when he and his ex-wife were filing for the German marriage visa for him. They had a Muslim marriage in India in which she converted to Islam. But when the Embassy left a neighbor's house after questioning/validation, that neighbor decided to spread rumors in his village that Ashiq had, in fact, been the one to convert, to Christianity, causing conflict for him with the locals in his Muslim state--conflict that could, potentially, put him and/or his family in danger. He was denied twice by the German Embassy, simply on the basis of doubt. Then, after fighting/appealing it in court, she cheated on him just before their final meeting with the Embassy, in which the visa was finally going to be approved. This has, in turn, complicated OUR process, as he is afraid something like this (false religious accusations) could happen again and put his family in danger (Kashmir is...well...unique...)

He says his parents and family would accept me with open arms, as they did his ex, but because of the accusations against him there in the past and the fact that his family has never traveled outside of Kashmir, my meeting them in person will prove to be difficult (I still haven't even met them on Skype, as Ashiq has stayed away from Kashmir these last few months to escape the recent conflict, up until just a few days ago.

I was raised Christian and, although I am open to Islam and have researched the Quran and its teachings, he knows I am not ready or willing to convert. I've asked him about how we would/will raise our children if/when we have them, if I don't convert, and he told me (and I agreed) that we will teach them what is common between Muslims and Christians, and let them choose for themselves. He is seven years younger than I (he lied about his age at first, the brat!). I am a high school graduate with some college; he has his 10th grade standard. He is going to sign for/finalize his divorce in February when he goes back to Delhi, which he claims will be simple, as it was a Muslim wedding that took place in India and is under Sharia Law (he has rights in Islam because of her affair, which he also has proof of, and because their marriage never became valid in Germany due to his initial visa denials and voiding/withdrawing their application for it). My divorce was finalized in 2014.

There is SO much involved...it's mind-boggling. But... you know how far love can take you! Lol ?

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I don't know about the questions in regards to religion as I don't remember being asked any. Me and my Fiance have different beliefs. She is Catholic and I am a non believer and they never once asked how it will be dealt with when having children or anything like that. Sadly I cannot say that they will deal with it in the same way.

I have seen lots of posters on here that have gone through the K1 route in India and been accepted for the visa with no issues, so as Penguin says, prove you have a genuine relationship and have everything else in order and you should be fine for your K1, India don't decide on whether to accept the K1.

Jamie, I would also agree with Penguin that the amount of time physically spent together is something they look at, although they say you only have to have met once they will more than likely ask you how much time you have spent together.

I know you may have already done this but I would also advise that if you are a different faith from your Fiance then you do have a really good discussion about the differences, such as Penguin says, how you will bring up children or whether either of you would convert your religion. This can pop up at any point in your relationship before it even hits the Embassy asking your Fiance in his interview.

As I am not religious but my Fiance is, early in the relationship we agreed that when we were to have children she could educate them on being Catholics and allow them to make the choice later in life whether they want to carry on practising that religion or any other as they so please. After many hours of talking about this on several occasions she was aware of my feelings towards religion and how I would not be able to assist in educating on religion (I know nothing about it because I don't believe) and that side of things would be left to her. We agreed for her to bring them up as Catholic as I have no religion, So in that respect it was easier to make the decision but I think it will be harder to make the decision if you both believe in different religions. I guess this is just personal advice but I would just make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to this as you don't want to get your wires crossed at a later date as this could have devastating consequences.

I know it is non of my business so my apologies for rambling about that, I just know that this can creep up on you at any point in the relationship unless you both know exactly where you stand. Religion is a powerful thing when it comes to peoples expectations or life choices :)

So long as everything is in order I do not see one reason to avoid the K1. Unless obviously you have personal reason for not using the K1 that we are not aware of as its not our business ;)

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Just read your post about how it is complicated...

I have never heard of the US Embassy asking anyone else questions about your K1. I mean I guess this could happen and maybe other people going through the US Embassy has had them do this. :S I have just never heard of it happening myself.

You don't have to have met the parents but It would be good to speak to them as they may ask you how his parents and yours feel about you getting married, do they approve and so on... If you have never spoke on Skype with his parents how do you know how they truly feel. As you said your Fiance said they would welcome you with open arms... Do they even know about you at all?

Some may see that as a bad thing in the embassy if they don't even know about you.

I like the idea about teaching them both religions or what they have in common and letting them choose. A child in my opinion should always have a right to choose and nothing should be forced upon them when it comes to religion. You have your own mind, educate them to the best of your ability and let them make their own choices! :thumbs:

Do you mean he has filed for divorce and just waiting for it to be finalised? If so, can I ask when he filed for divorce?


Just read your post about how it is complicated...

I have never heard of the US Embassy asking anyone else questions about your K1. I mean I guess this could happen and maybe other people going through the US Embassy has had them do this. :S I have just never heard of it happening myself.

You don't have to have met the parents but It would be good to speak to them as they may ask you how his parents and yours feel about you getting married, do they approve and so on... If you have never spoke on Skype with his parents how do you know how they truly feel. As you said your Fiance said they would welcome you with open arms... Do they even know about you at all?

Some may see that as a bad thing in the embassy if they don't even know about you.

I like the idea about teaching them both religions or what they have in common and letting them choose. A child in my opinion should always have a right to choose and nothing should be forced upon them when it comes to religion. You have your own mind, educate them to the best of your ability and let them make their own choices! :thumbs:

Do you mean he has filed for divorce and just waiting for it to be finalised? If so, can I ask when he filed for divorce?

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*The denials he received from the German Embassy had nothing to do with the investigation and accusations about his religion. Unrelated. That was a problem that arose only with the locals in his village in Kashmir...but is STILL his main concern, as converting can have dire consequences there.

*I've heard how important pictures of me with his family/him with mine can be, and wonder how this could potentially effect the process. What about a notarized letter of acceptance from the parents? And do you think he would have to worry about the same thing happening in his village during the investigation process with the US Embassy? Do they dig that deep, as the German Embassy did?? I'm trying to reassure him, but he has been through it, I haven't, and he is a bit traumatized, to say the least...

I/we have thought about the idea of marrying in another country, as he says marrying there in India again would be a bad idea for him... Any thoughts? Thank you SO much for your help...??

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Hi Zoe. Thank you so much for replying. He says that under Sharia Law in India (and he has spoken to his lawyer about this), all he has to do is sign a document stating that he divorces her stating the reason (her affair), and that's it. It can then be stamped by the Indian government as proof of divorce (marriage papers were signed only by/through external affairs). He got back to Kashmir literally just a few days ago, and will be telling them about me soon. (Introducing a "girlfriend" early on is not seen in his culture; it takes time to get to know someone well enough to trust introduce them to your parents who have lived in a village with those cultural values for so long!) They accepted his ex enough that she and her son moved and lived there in India with him for awhile, so... But I will definitely have met them (on Skype) prior to applying for ANY visa.

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I can only speak on my own experience unfortunately but your post will more than like get moved to a different section where people that have gone through the process in India can advise you better.

On my experience, I worried that I had not met my fiance's father and whether this would be an issue. My Fiance is not in contact with him due to him not having a relationship with her practically her whole life. It didn't seem to raise any concerns at the US Embassy in London (again cannot say this is the same for India)

Is he going to come and visit you and your family in the USA before you file? You could always get pictures of him with your family, I think it works both ways to be honest and not just you meeting his but him meeting yours.

Even if his family didn't agree with the relationship and you didn't meet them that this would be a reason for denial, after all he would be moving away from his family to live in the USA with you.

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I've heard (per my "friend's" knowledge and experience with the visa process as it pertains to India specifically) that even getting an Indian here on a tourist/visitor visa is a challenge... I don't know... It's just what she's told me has been her and "400+ other members" experience with the fiancé visa. Maybe India is as different and difficult as she says...

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You post will be moved eventually and people from India will pick it up :)

If India is so hard to get the visa then it must be really high up on the list of high risk countries where the UK isn't.

My method of thinking would be along these lines...

If its so hard to get a visitors visa, fiance visa or any other visa why is it going to be easier to get your spousal visa?

Someone else may be able to answer that question that have gone down the spousal visa route rather than the K1.

You're right... it is complicated :S

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Compilation of posts from K1 forum:

I (a US citizen) am engaged to my fiancé in India (we've been together 6 months now; just came back from finally meeting for the first time in Thailand) and we are trying to figure out which route has the best chances of approval for getting him here.

I contacted and made friends with a woman who runs a blog and Facebook group for Western women engaged/married to Indian men. She is married to one herself and has been fighting to get him here for FOUR YEARS now. After starting with/applying for the K1/fiancé visa, she has warned me not to apply for it like she did, but to get married abroad and go straight for the marriage visa instead. She says that I/we will surely be denied if we go for the fiancé visa (especially because he's a Muslim from Kashmir), as the Indian government (even though going through the US Embassy) is very unique and rarely approve Indian citizens marrying outside of their culture; she says they will surely try to prevent that from happening and deny us.

Is anyone familiar with this, as it pertains to US/India marriages specifically? Is it really that difficult to get a K1 visa approved? Because I've talked to an immigration lawyer and have read elsewhere that the process is/should be rather easy... Does it differ depending on the country?

It's a little complicated... Problems arose in his village in Kashmir during the investigation by the German Embassy when he and his ex-wife were filing for the German marriage visa for him. They had a Muslim marriage in India in which she converted to Islam. But when the Embassy left a neighbor's house after questioning/validation, that neighbor decided to spread rumors in his village that Ashiq had, in fact, been the one to convert, to Christianity, causing conflict for him with the locals in his Muslim state--conflict that could, potentially, put him and/or his family in danger. He was denied twice by the German Embassy, simply on the basis of doubt. Then, after fighting/appealing it in court, she cheated on him just before their final meeting with the Embassy, in which the visa was finally going to be approved. This has, in turn, complicated OUR process, as he is afraid something like this (false religious accusations) could happen again and put his family in danger (Kashmir is...well...unique...)

He says his parents and family would accept me with open arms, as they did his ex, but because of the accusations against him there in the past and the fact that his family has never traveled outside of Kashmir, my meeting them in person will prove to be difficult (I still haven't even met them on Skype, as Ashiq has stayed away from Kashmir these last few months to escape the recent conflict, up until just a few days ago.

I was raised Christian and, although I am open to Islam and have researched the Quran and its teachings, he knows I am not ready or willing to convert. I've asked him about how we would/will raise our children if/when we have them, if I don't convert, and he told me (and I agreed) that we will teach them what is common between Muslims and Christians, and let them choose for themselves. He is seven years younger than I (he lied about his age at first, the brat!). I am a high school graduate with some college; he has his 10th grade standard. He is going to sign for/finalize his divorce in February when he goes back to Delhi, which he claims will be simple, as it was a Muslim wedding that took place in India and is under Sharia Law (he has rights in Islam because of her affair, which he also has proof of, and because their marriage never became valid in Germany due to his initial visa denials and voiding/withdrawing their application for it). My divorce was finalized in 2014.

There is SO much involved...it's mind-boggling. But... you know how far love can take you! Lol

*The denials he received from the German Embassy had nothing to do with the investigation and accusations about his religion. Unrelated. That was a problem that arose only with the locals in his village in Kashmir...but is STILL his main concern, as converting can have dire consequences there.

*I've heard how important pictures of me with his family/him with mine can be, and wonder how this could potentially effect the process. What about a notarized letter of acceptance from the parents? And do you think he would have to worry about the same thing happening in his village during the investigation process with the US Embassy? Do they dig that deep, as the German Embassy did?? I'm trying to reassure him, but he has been through it, I haven't, and he is a bit traumatized, to say the least...

I/we have thought about the idea of marrying in another country, as he says marrying there in India again would be a bad idea for him... Any thoughts? Thank you SO much for your help...??

He says that under Sharia Law in India (and he has spoken to his lawyer about this), all he has to do is sign a document stating that he divorces her stating the reason (her affair), and that's it. It can then be stamped by the Indian government as proof of divorce (marriage papers were signed only by/through external affairs). He got back to Kashmir literally just a few days ago, and will be telling them about me soon. (Introducing a "girlfriend" early on is not seen in his culture; it takes time to get to know someone well enough to trust introduce them to your parents who have lived in a village with those cultural values for so long!) They accepted his ex enough that she and her son moved and lived there in India with him for awhile, so... But I will definitely have met them (on Skype) prior to applying for ANY visa.

I've heard (per my "friend's" knowledge and experience with the visa process as it pertains to India specifically) that even getting an Indian here on a tourist/visitor visa is a challenge... I don't know... It's just what she's told me has been her and "400+ other members" experience with the fiancé visa. Maybe India is as different and difficult as she says...

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I see some issues up front. He is 7 years younger (is that common in his culture?), different religions (is that common in his culture?), a very short relationship (only 6 months and already engaged), He is not divorced from his previous wife who also filed a petition for him.

In some countries and cultures I can see this being an issue. I do not know if this would be an issue in your fiance's culture or not. Perhaps post this in the regional India forum because I think a lot of your questions can be answered there with respect to what is considered 'normal' in his culture.

Good luck

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