I Have Family in the US – Does it Hurt/Help my K1 Visa?

01 May 2018

Lindy asks: “About to embark on K-1 application. I am from South Africa. My son is already in the US. Will that help my K-1 application? He is not the only family I have.”

It doesn’t help or hurt. They’re really interested in the relationship between you and your fiancee. That’s key. Having family, when you’re trying to get a tourist visa, actually hurts you because there’s a great fear that if you have a brother, sister, mom, etc., and you come here on a tourist visa, you’re just going to come live with them and never leave. And that, in fact, happens a lot. So, it actually hurts you to have family members here when you apply for a tourist visa.

But in a family visa, like a K-1 visa, our experience is, it neither hurts nor helps. It’s kind of irrelevant that you have family here. If there’s any advice I could give you it would be, not to hype that up too much in the interview. You wouldn’t want the consular officer to say, “It sounds like they’re more interested in reuniting with their family than you are reuniting with your fiancee.”

I would try not to give them more than they ask for. That’s another tip we say. If they didn’t ask, why mention it? Try to be very accommodating. These people (consular officers) are dealing with interviews all day long, and there’s no entertainment value for them. The novelty has worn off. They’re just trying to check boxes and they’re probably not going to ask about that. If they do, I would just tell honestly, “Yeah, I have family there.”

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