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Posted (edited)

We have already been approved by USCIS and are waiting for our packet to be sent to NVC and then the U.S. embassy in Ghana. I am so sad because I just read that people have been denied for submitting pictures of their traditional engagement ceremony. We had a traditional knocking ceremony at my dad's house in Ghana, wearing matching cloth. My mother, sister and none of my family and friends from America are there. I also have pictures of me announcing this as an engagement on Facebook.

 

We did not get married. But we included lots of pictures of us with my dying father, his parents, and our family. I'm trying not to cry but it looks like we're screwed! Even if I tell my fiance not to take the pictures to the interview, we've already submitted them in the petition, which the embassy will see. Even though I've included wedding invitations, wedding contracts in the petition, will they still think we're married? This is a horrible mistake that many Americans would make thinking that it will help them. I'm mad and sad at the same time.

 

I am 29 years old and I don't want to wait another 2 years to marry my fiance! I have also spent THOUSANDS of dollars on wedding venue, invitations, DJ, photographer, etc. Please someone help! I am praying and ultimately trusting in God. However, I am really discouraged now. Is there anything that we can do to counter this?

 

Also, what is frontloading?

Edited by Anna1988

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Hi,

 

Frontloading means putting all the evidence of your relationship that you absolutely can at USCIS stage instead of waiting to bring it to the embassy. 

 

Also, are there any photos of you guys exchanging rings or standing in front of a crowd as if you’re getting married? Are there any pictures with you both having rings on your fingers? All depends on what’s in the photos. Doesn’t matter if you don’t bring them to the interview cause they will already see them in your original packet.

 

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21 minutes ago, Anna1988 said:

We have already been approved by USCIS and are waiting for our packet to be sent to NVC and then the U.S. embassy in Ghana. I am so sad because I just read that people have been denied for submitting pictures of their traditional engagement ceremony. We had a traditional knocking ceremony at my dad's house in Ghana, wearing matching cloth. My mother, sister and none of my family and friends from America are there. I also have pictures of me announcing this as an engagement on Facebook.

 

We did not get married. But we included lots of pictures of us with my dying father, his parents, and our family. I'm trying not to cry but it looks like we're screwed! Even if I tell my fiance not to take the pictures to the interview, we've already submitted them in the petition, which the embassy will see. Even though I've included wedding invitations, wedding contracts in the petition, will they still think we're married? This is a horrible mistake that many Americans would make thinking that it will help them. I'm mad and sad at the same time.

 

I am 29 years old and I don't want to wait another 2 years to marry my fiance! I have also spent THOUSANDS of dollars on wedding venue, invitations, DJ, photographer, etc. Please someone help! I am praying and ultimately trusting in God. However, I am really discouraged now. Is there anything that we can do to counter this?

 

Also, what is frontloading?

Sorry to hear.  The USCIS petition approval is the easy part, and for Ghana (high fraud), the difficult part is the consulate.  Yes, it is not advisable to do a traditional wedding ceremony before applying, as it is considered "too married" for the K-1.  There are countless personal stories of such here on VJ.  There is no way to know, in your case.  

 

Hopefully though you did not pre-pay nonrefundable wedding costs in the US?  Because even for a low/no fraud consulate, that would be a huge error.   Never pay for anything (including plane tickets!) without visa in hand!

 

You may well want to look into doing a CR-1 as plan B in the event that your fiancee's interview does not go well.  

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13 minutes ago, gsdc23 said:

Hi,

 

Frontloading means putting all the evidence of your relationship that you absolutely can at USCIS stage instead of waiting to bring it to the embassy. 

 

Also, are there any photos of you guys exchanging rings or standing in front of a crowd as if you’re getting married? Are there any pictures with you both having rings on your fingers? All depends on what’s in the photos. Doesn’t matter if you don’t bring them to the interview cause they will already see them in your original packet.

 

We didn't exchange rings. We we're just taking pictures with family. There is a picture of me sitting beside him. There may be a picture of an exchange of gifts, but I'm not sure. I really didn't know what was going on. But we didn't stand facing each other.

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3 minutes ago, Jorgedig said:

Sorry to hear.  The USCIS petition approval is the easy part, and for Ghana (high fraud), the difficult part is the consulate.  Yes, it is not advisable to do a traditional wedding ceremony before applying, as it is considered "too married" for the K-1.  There are countless personal stories of such here on VJ.  There is no way to know, in your case.  

 

Hopefully though you did not pre-pay nonrefundable wedding costs in the US?  Because even for a low/no fraud consulate, that would be a huge error.   Never pay for anything (including plane tickets!) without visa in hand!

 

You may well want to look into doing a CR-1 as plan B in the event that your fiancee's interview does not go well.  

I did prepay. With vendors you have to book early. Now I see that there is no way to plan an elaborate wedding if your fiance does not have a US Visa or live in the US.

 

And okay, I will look into a CR-1. Thank you

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3 minutes ago, Anna1988 said:

We didn't exchange rings. We we're just taking pictures with family. There is a picture of me sitting beside him. There may be a picture of an exchange of gifts, but I'm not sure. I really didn't know what was going on. But we didn't stand facing each other.

Do you plan to be there for your fiance's interview?  If so, it could possibly strengthen your case.  Perhaps the two of you will be able to explain  the circumstances of the photos, i.e, that that it was symbolic and not a legal marriage.  

 

So true about the wedding plans/expenses.  We eloped for that reason.  Maybe you could appeal to the empathy of the vendors in this case, as it really is out of your control.

 

*hugs*.  This journey is not easy.  Hang in there!

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8 minutes ago, Jorgedig said:

Do you plan to be there for your fiance's interview?  If so, it could possibly strengthen your case.  Perhaps the two of you will be able to explain  the circumstances of the photos, i.e, that that it was symbolic and not a legal marriage.  

 

So true about the wedding plans/expenses.  We eloped for that reason.  Maybe you could appeal to the empathy of the vendors in this case, as it really is out of your control.

 

*hugs*.  This journey is not easy.  Hang in there!

The embassy in Ghana doesn't let the petitioner inside the embassy only the beneficiary. That embassy is VERY strict

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Posted (edited)

There are so many cases in VJ. Any ceremony will make CO too married for K1, and they will refuse to give visa.

when did you filed petition? Currently K1 route now itself take ~ 9-12 months from start to finish. If recently filed than I would withdraw K1 and go with CR1. 

 

Check this link:

 

Edited by Andrew123

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Anna1988 said:

but it looks like we're screwed! Even if I tell my fiance not to take the pictures to the interview, we've already submitted them in the petition, which the embassy will see. 

You’re not screwed. You need to relax and stop fretting over this. Consular officers posted to Ghana typically get a brush up on our customs. What you describe is a knocking ceremony and everyone knows the knocking is not the wedding (traditional marriage). Indeed in our culture the knocking is exactly the equivalent of a western engagement. If it comes up at the interview, tell that consular to ask any ghanaian working with him/her behind the counter.

 

 
Quote

I am 29 years old and I don't want to wait another 2 years to marry my fiance! I have also spent THOUSANDS of dollars on wedding venue, invitations, DJ, photographer, etc. Please someone help! I am praying and ultimately trusting in God. However, I am really discouraged now. Is there anything that we can do to counter this?

 

That is never recommended, prepaying wedding expenses when you do not control the process. These processes sometimes get delayed. Nevertheless what’s done is done, stay positive.

 

 

Edited by PaulTheSheik

 

 

Citizen of the World!

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1 hour ago, Jorgedig said:

Do you plan to be there for your fiance's interview?  If so, it could possibly strengthen your case.  Perhaps the two of you will be able to explain  the circumstances of the photos, i.e, that that it was symbolic and not a legal marriage.  

 

So true about the wedding plans/expenses.  We eloped for that reason.  Maybe you could appeal to the empathy of the vendors in this case, as it really is out of your control.

 

*hugs*.  This journey is not easy.  Hang in there!

No, I will not be there for the interview. And sadly, I don't think the vendors care.

 

Thank you so much for the encouragement! If we get approved, it'll all be because of God!

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58 minutes ago, Andrew123 said:

There are so many cases in VJ. Any ceremony will make CO too married for K1, and they will refuse to give visa.

when did you filed petition? Currently K1 route now itself take ~ 9-12 months from start to finish. If recently filed than I would withdraw K1 and go with CR1. 

 

Check this link:

 

We applied early June. I wouldn't withdraw unless we're denied, as I've already sent Save the Dates to all of our friends and family here in the US and paid deposits for wedding vendors. Now I will just pray and trust God. Should the Visa be denied, then I'll withdraw and go to Ghana to marry my fiance and do some travelling. That's a plus I guess.

 

I know about the other cases on VJ about being denied in this situation. However, I just found these threads today. I immediately signed up for VJ just to ask this question. This is a very informative site and I wish that I'd seen it sooner.

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1 hour ago, PaulTheSheik said:

You’re not screwed. You need to relax and stop fretting over this. Consular officers posted to Ghana typically get a brush up on our customs. What you describe is a knocking ceremony and everyone knows the knocking is not the wedding (traditional marriage). Indeed in our culture the knocking is exactly the equivalent of a western engagement. If it comes up at the interview, tell that consular to ask any ghanaian working with him/her behind the counter.

 

 

 

That is never recommended, prepaying wedding expenses when you do not control the process. These processes sometimes get delayed. Nevertheless what’s done is done, stay positive.

 

 

Thank you

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14 minutes ago, TBoneTX said:

Before you take as gospel the post that you just quoted, read the Ghana threads in the Africa/Sub-Saharan regional forum, and see what the embassy reviews of Accra might say.  Then you'll perhaps be able to judge your level of risk.

 

Trying to lecture a "consular" is a recipe for failure, if not disaster.

Thanks for the advice, I'll do that now

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4 hours ago, Anna1988 said:

No, I will not be there for the interview. And sadly, I don't think the vendors care.

Did you sign contracts with the vendors?  If so, reread the fine print, might have something in there about refunding terms, etc.  You might not get the entire deposit back, but some places do refund a portion of it (under certain circumstances) or agree to hold it for a set amount of time (in cases where postponement is out of someone's control).

 

If you made only verbal arrangements, still doesn't hurt to ask.   You wouldn't be the first person to request a refund, and if not too much time has passed since paying, you might be pleasantly surprised.


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