On April 21 2009 the Administrative Appeals Office rejected the appeal of a K1 petitioner who wanted to use a future visit as proof of meeting her fiance within two years of filing her I-129F.
This one is kind of silly really but it does indicate the kind of cases that backup the USCIS and cause delays for everybody. The U.S. Citizen petitioner filed the Petition for Alien Fiance with the Vermont Service Center on July 11 2008. This means she would have had to meet her Egyptian fiance in person sometime between July 11 2006 and July 11 2008. Simple enough. In completing the I-129F at lease the petitioner was honest. She did check “NO” on question 18 where they ask if you have met within the last two years. Of course the petition was denied. Perhaps she just didn’t understand the requirement? After all this whole process is incredibly complicated and it is easy to get confused reading the cryptic instructions provided by the USCIS. But unfortunately the meeting requirement is hard-and-fast. She was notified that her petition had been denied and given the reason.
I guess she figured she had nothing to lose by filing an appeal. In her appeal she said she traveled to Egypt in January of 2008 but her fiance who is commercial seaman was stuck in the Black Sea due to bad weather and was unable to see her. She included documents proving that her fiance was a commercial seaman. She then stated that she was heading back to Egypt in January of 2009 and would see him then. She was hoping the USCIS would waive the meeting requirement because of the nature of her fiance’s work and her plans to meet him in January of 2009.
So once again we see that the USCIS will not accept excuses for not having met within two years of your petition filing. Fortunately for this petitioner she can re-file her I-129F after she actually meets her fiance. However because of this incident and the fact that the petitioner and her Egyptian fiance are first cousins she should expect the adjudicator to take a very hard look at her next petition.
Although we all are critical of the USCIS adjudicators at times in this case I think they got it right. The meeting requirement is very clear and this case does look a little fishy.