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K1 Visa denied at Phnom Penh Cambodia Embassy, questions and concerns on what to do next. (merged)

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Posted (edited)

I met my fiance in Dec 2016, we talked everyday and I flew to Cambodia in April 2018 for an engagement ceremony. Upon getting back I immediately filed the I-129F along with a packet of about 50 pictures, printed text messages from talking every day since 2016. USCIS approved the petition and sent it to the NVC which approved it and sent it to the Embassy in Phnom Penh. Where my fiance had their interview on March 21st of this year.

 

The interviewing officer denied her Visa on grounds of misrepresentation and that it seems they only want to gain entry into the U.S. I honestly thought we were over prepared for this. I have been married in the past, but sent my divorce decree along with my I-129f. I sent all the necessary papers. Affidavit of support, I make well over what was required. The G-325A, along with my fiance having copies of every form needed. My friend also just went through this same process, so he looked over my paperwork and made sure I had everything needed.

 

Come the interview day, as they get denied, they asked questions of where my parents live, work, and names. They did ask why I wasn't there, I couldn't get the time off work. And didn't know it was neccessary, my fiance answered all questions, when asked how we met, she stated truthfully, through a family member. She had a hard time hearing the officer and asked multiple times for them to repeat questions upon which they brought in a translator, she was not offered an interview in her native language, although she does speak great English.

 

So after asking how we met, she couldn't hear because she said it was noisy and must of thought he asked who I came to Cambodia with, it was her sister. The officer states, first you say your Aunt, now you state your sister. After that the interview was over and she was given a paper with denial 221G that the petition states false information and it is not a real relationship, only one solely to gain entry to the U.S. Nothing else besides the paper was given to her, no actual reason on what they thought made our relationship false.

 

So I have gone to my state senator office and signed a release form for them to contact other agencies on my behalf. I also have an Immigration attorney meeting this coming week.

Looking for anything I can really do now that it's at a denial. If anyone had had this happen and has had success getting their fiance to the U.S. Thanks and on mobile, so sorry for the wall of text.

 

I'll add as an edit- I've only gone there one time, for the engagement and spent a week and a half there. I send her money fairly regularly, as she has a decent job and says she doesn't need much. I still send her money though. Also, neither of us has any criminal background. And we have pictures of us together with her relatives there going all over Cambodia and our engagement ceremony pictures and we also have a video of it.

20190323_184751.jpg

Edited by Dataunavailable

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25 minutes ago, Dataunavailable said:

I met my fiance in Dec 2016, we talked everyday and I flew to Cambodia in April 2018 for an engagement ceremony. Upon getting back I immediately filed the I-129F along with a packet of about 50 pictures, printed text messages from talking every day since 2016. USCIS approved the petition and sent it to the NVC which approved it and sent it to the Embassy in Phnom Penh. Where my fiance had their interview on March 21st of this year.

 

The interviewing officer denied her Visa on grounds of misrepresentation and that it seems they only want to gain entry into the U.S. I honestly thought we were over prepared for this. I have been married in the past, but sent my divorce decree along with my I-129f. I sent all the necessary papers. Affidavit of support, I make well over what was required. The G-325A, along with my fiance having copies of every form needed. My friend also just went through this same process, so he looked over my paperwork and made sure I had everything needed.

 

Come the interview day, as they get denied, they asked questions of where my parents live, work, and names. They did ask why I wasn't there, I couldn't get the time off work. And didn't know it was neccessary, my fiance answered all questions, when asked how we met, she stated truthfully, through a family member. She had a hard time hearing the officer and asked multiple times for them to repeat questions upon which they brought in a translator, she was not offered an interview in her native language, although she does speak great English.

 

So after asking how we met, she couldn't hear because she said it was noisy and must of thought he asked who I came to Cambodia with, it was her sister. The officer states, first you say your Aunt, now you state your sister. After that the interview was over and she was given a paper with denial 221G that the petition states false information and it is not a real relationship, only one solely to gain entry to the U.S. Nothing else besides the paper was given to her, no actual reason on what they thought made our relationship false.

 

So I have gone to my state senator office and signed a release form for them to contact other agencies on my behalf. I also have an Immigration attorney meeting this coming week.

Looking for anything I can really do now that it's at a denial. If anyone had had this happen and has had success getting their fiance to the U.S. Thanks and on mobile, so sorry for the wall of text.

 

I'll add as an edit- I've only gone there one time, for the engagement and spent a week and a half there. I send her money fairly regularly, as she has a decent job and says she doesn't need much. I still send her money though. Also, neither of us has any criminal background. And we have pictures of us together with her relatives there going all over Cambodia and our engagement ceremony pictures and we also have a video of it.

20190323_184751.jpg

I'm sorry you guys go through this. You met her once, and that was about 1 year ago for an engagement ceremony? I don't know if Cambodia is a hard embassy, but it seems like you guys might not have spend enough face to face time. Also, tons of people were denied on engagement ceremonies (too married for K1, not married enough for CR1), so re-filing I-129F is prob a no no.

 

Probably your best move is to get married and file for I-130, but since she's denied based on misrepresentation and not enough proof of a genuine relationship, I'm not sure if she would be able to get the I-130 by DYI. Maybe someone else that has more knowledge/experience can chip in on this.

 

If you are able to marry and file I-130, make sure you have way more face to face time before you file.

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Only met one time only and file for K1 is a big reg flag. CO know really well about Cambodia culture ( or Vietnam because it's similar ) and only met one time is a big No. Your only option right now is getting married and file for spouse visa. In addition, you must spend more time together( making more trip Cambodia).

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I'm sorry to hear about the experience. I hope it works out in the end.

 

It seems like there are 2 issues:

1) The CO didn't believe there was a bona fide relationship.

2) The CO believes there is materially & willfully false information in the petition.

 

Item #1 can be overcome with more time together.

Item #2 is more difficult as you don't know what the material misrep is for. Please review the interview questions and answers again. Also look at the I-129F that you submitted and see if anything at all is incorrect or could be construed as such.

A material misrep is a permanent bar, although it is waivable via an I-601 with an extreme hardship.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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51 minutes ago, geowrian said:

I'm sorry to hear about the experience. I hope it works out in the end.

 

It seems like there are 2 issues:

1) The CO didn't believe there was a bona fide relationship.

2) The CO believes there is materially & willfully false information in the petition.

 

Item #1 can be overcome with more time together.

Item #2 is more difficult as you don't know what the material misrep is for. Please review the interview questions and answers again. Also look at the I-129F that you submitted and see if anything at all is incorrect or could be construed as such.

A material misrep is a permanent bar, although it is waivable via an I-601 with an extreme hardship.

Thanks, I hope so too.

I looked over the forms and everything looks good. On the form, it asks for parents family name. I put my mother's maiden name, prior marriage.  When I was testing her for the interview, I was saying my mother's current legal married last name,  which is different than my last name. So she said that name, and I am wondering if that was part of the problem with misrepresentation.  I did get a signed letter from my mother that stated her maiden name on the form and her current legal last name. So hopefuly that cleared up any confusion there. I sent it to the Support-cambodia@ustraveldocs email. 

 

Or like the explanation in my OP, that he asked her how we met and she said her aunt, and he asked her something which she said was hard to hear or understand and she thought he asked that after her aunt introduced us, she (fiance) told her sister about us. Instead the interviewer took it as she first says her aunt than her sister introduced us. She had a translator and she said she tried to explain what she meant. 

 

I have two friends that went through this also, and they only went one time to Cambodia, I know every interview is different,  but they said just go for the engagement and you'll be fine. Both of their fiances, now wives,  passed the first time with little issue. 

 

 

These are the questions she said he asked, in no particular order. 

- Why is her fiance not there

- What are my parents names and where they live, job. 

- Do I have a sibling and what's their name and job

- How we met

- Asked why I only came one time

- Asked if I had any kids (do not)

- Asked where her mom lives, at the time it was the same city as on the petition, but she moved to Texas to help a Khmer family, which she told them at the interview

She also said he asked her and my age twice, once in English and once again in Khmer. She knew all the answers to these questions, and if she felt she was confused on a question, like the Aunt-sister thing, she explained what she meant. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dataunavailable said:

The interviewing officer denied her Visa on grounds of misrepresentation and that it seems they only want to gain entry into the U.S.

That is the biggest problem. If it was denied because they don’t think this a bona fide relationship, it can be overcome with more evidence and more face time together. However, seems like she was charged with a 6c1 misrepresentation. That carries a life time bar from entering the US, so even in the next interview, the next CO believes the relationship is real, she will still be ineligible for a visa. This is a huge problem. You need to get together with a lawyer, like first thing Monday morning. And not just any immigration lawyer, you need one that is experienced in dealing with Embassies/Consulates and know how to deal with this exact situation, because this is a very big deal.

 

The exact legal term is “willful misrepresentation of material facts”. There has to be a misrepresentation, it has to be willful and of a material fact. If it’s the “sister-aunt” thing, the argument has to be made that it was not willful, and probably not of a material fact. The lawyer needs to file a brief and/or a motion to reconsider with the Embassy. 

 

The good news (if any), is like the others mention, even if the charge stands, there is a waiver for it, but you’ll have to marry her and claim “extreme hardship” on the US citizen spouse (you). Either way, it’ll cost some $$$.

 

P.S: By the way, I know a lawyer who specializes in Embassy denial (and in my opinion the best immigration attorney I’ve met). If you need her contact, I’ll pm to you. Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to the lawyer or profitting from this, just passing on recommendation.

Edited by USS_Voyager

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A K-1 cannot be appealed when it is denied for misrepresentation/fraud, the file will be sent back to the US where it will die.  Nothing a senator's office can do.

 

An attorney might be able to help overcome the ban for misrepresentation, but not with this petition, an attorney could only help with a new petition, either another I-129F or if you get married, an I-130.

 

Overcoming the misrepresentation ban will be a long and expensive journey, with the possibility that it may not successful, so if you really love this person and want to spend the rest of your life with her, you should have a plan B like moving to Cambodia to live with her and start a life there together.

 

There may have been something on the petition or visa application that they concluded was false--maybe a long talk with your fiancee about her past would help to uncover the misrepresentation so that you know what it is, for your own understanding, and for your attorney to help advise you if it is something that can be overcome.  For some reason they did not think she was truthful about something, and I doubt it was the aunt vs. sister thing because that does not seem to be a material misrepresentation.  A material misrepresentation/fraud decision by the IO is based on an issue that is more central to getting a visa to go to the US, like her marital status, previous visa applications/denials, or something that may have turned up in her background check that they asked her about that was different from what was on the petition or visa application form.  Since you weren't at the interview it is impossible to know exactly what her answers to the questions were and you don't know what the IO found in her background check.

 

Good luck with your visa journey.

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56 minutes ago, USS_Voyager said:

That is the biggest problem. If it was denied because they don’t think this a bona fide relationship, it can be overcome with more evidence and more face time together. However, seems like she was charged with a 6c1 misrepresentation. That carries a life time bar from entering the US, so even in the next interview, the next CO believes the relationship is real, she will still be ineligible for a visa. This is a huge problem. You need to get together with a lawyer, like first thing Monday morning. And not just any immigration lawyer, you need one that is experienced in dealing with Embassies/Consulates and know how to deal with this exact situation, because this is a very big deal.

 

The exact legal term is “willful misrepresentation of material facts”. There has to be a misrepresentation, it has to be willful and of a material fact. If it’s the “sister-aunt” thing, the argument has to be made that it was not willful, and probably not of a material fact. The lawyer needs to file a brief and/or a motion to reconsider with the Embassy. 

 

The good news (if any), is like the others mention, even if the charge stands, there is a waiver for it, but you’ll have to marry her and claim “extreme hardship” on the US citizen spouse (you). Either way, it’ll cost some $$$.

 

P.S: By the way, I know a lawyer who specializes in Embassy denial (and in my opinion the best immigration attorney I’ve met). If you need her contact, I’ll pm to you. Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to the lawyer or profitting from this, just passing on 

On her denial form, the box 221g was checked. Is that the same as 6c1? Yeah, if you could send me the info that would be great, if anything, she could maybe point me to a good one in my local area. Thanks. 

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4 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

A K-1 cannot be appealed when it is denied for misrepresentation/fraud, the file will be sent back to the US where it will die.  Nothing a senator's office can do.

 

An attorney might be able to help overcome the ban for misrepresentation, but not with this petition, an attorney could only help with a new petition, either another I-129F or if you get married, an I-130.

 

Overcoming the misrepresentation ban will be a long and expensive journey, with the possibility that it may not successful, so if you really love this person and want to spend the rest of your life with her, you should have a plan B like moving to Cambodia to live with her and start a life there together.

 

There may have been something on the petition or visa application that they concluded was false--maybe a long talk with your fiancee about her past would help to uncover the misrepresentation so that you know what it is, for your own understanding, and for your attorney to help advise you if it is something that can be overcome.  For some reason they did not think she was truthful about something, and I doubt it was the aunt vs. sister thing because that does not seem to be a material misrepresentation.  A material misrepresentation/fraud decision by the IO is based on an issue that is more central to getting a visa to go to the US, like her marital status, previous visa applications/denials, or something that may have turned up in her background check that they asked her about that was different from what was on the petition or visa application form.  Since you weren't at the interview it is impossible to know exactly what her answers to the questions were and you don't know what the IO found in her background check.

 

Good luck with your visa journey.

Ok, so let me ask you this. Because another poster made a suggestion to re look at my I-129f, and the only thing I seen after a few looks at it was that I accidentally put my mothers city of residence question,  as her city of birth. So on my G325a, it has both her city of birth and city of residency as accurate. 

 

But on my I-129f, I somehow, stupidly, put her city of birth into the city of residency. So when my fiance said the correct city my mother lives in, the interviewer probably would have seen a different city than what she said. But wouldn't they be able to match the G325a up with the I-129f and see where the mistake was? If that could create an issue. 

 

Otherwise, her police report was clean, she sent me a picture of it. Her sister and mom both live here in the States and say she has never filed a petition to come to the U.S. I have never had any issues with anything illegal. She was never married, because she had to get an approval from her chief of her village in her province, and also have that stamped that she was never married before. I have that paperwork also I believe. I have copies of her family book, and all the paperwork she got for us to get engaged. 

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Wait, am I reading it right that her mother lives in the same city as you (or used to)? 


Removal of Conditions Journey

3/3/2009 - Removal of conditions - sent off packet to CSC

3/5/2009 - I-751 received in CSC

3/9/2009 - Check cashed

3/20/2009 - Biometrics notice received (no NOA1)

4/2/2009 - Biometrics

4/9/2009 - NOA1 date (first undelivered one is 3/5)

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3/26/2010 Early biometrics done at an ASC different from the one assigned to (Original BIO date was 4/15)

4/30/2010 Yellow letter received and info from USCIS mil line they are working on my interview letter (6/17 appt)

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5 minutes ago, milimelo said:

Wait, am I reading it right that her mother lives in the same city as you (or used to)? 

She did at the time of my filing back in July of 2018. Her mother has since moved to Texas for awhile to help out some of her family friends. 

 

My fiance has her mother, sister, aunt and two cousins who all live in my same city, baring her mothers move to Texas. 

 

The two cousins and sister all came here on K1 Visas. The two cousins most recently with one in 2016, who is now married to a co-worker. I've worked with her aunt for years and that's how we were introduced. She just asked if I would like to get to know her niece one day when we were talking about my current dating life at that time. 

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Posted (edited)

There's something strange about your case with all of her relatives in your area in the US, and the fact that you were introduced to your fiancee online, by her US-based relatives who all came on K-1s sounds like the cause of the denial.  Based on all of her family already in the US, and in your same city, it seems likely that the IO saw something that looked like fraud.  This could be the reason the IO was focused on the aunt vs. sister questioning in her interview.  They appear to be trying to get her to the US faster through you given the very long wait times to petition for a sibling or a child over 21.  Cambodia is considered a high-fraud country.

Edited by carmel34
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8 minutes ago, milimelo said:

There’s your reason - IO thinks (and could be likely) that her family set you up together so she can bypass long wait times in family based category for immigrant visa. 

It doesnt help that you’re working for her aunt. 

And that's why I'm so confused by the 221(g) on the paper. Because we are legitimately wanting to marry, I even have a letter from my church that will do the wedding. Nothing she said sounds willfully or misrepresentation of material.  

 

The interviewing officer said she can reapply, but this form is done. 

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24 minutes ago, Dataunavailable said:

She did at the time of my filing back in July of 2018. Her mother has since moved to Texas for awhile to help out some of her family friends. 

 

My fiance has her mother, sister, aunt and two cousins who all live in my same city, baring her mothers move to Texas. 

 

The two cousins and sister all came here on K1 Visas. The two cousins most recently with one in 2016, who is now married to a co-worker. I've worked with her aunt for years and that's how we were introduced. She just asked if I would like to get to know her niece one day when we were talking about my current dating life at that time. 

I think there's no point looking for little errors and inconsistencies in the application. The reason she got denied was that the IO believed she is doing that for immigration benefits. And that is not because of what she said on the interview but because of her family living in the US and most relatives have taken the exact same route. This alone tells IO she is just taking a known family path to move. Try CR-1 but I don't think there are a lot of chances for approval 

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