The Student Visa as a Fiancee Visa Substitute

May 31, 2013 in Attorney Blog

Student VisaToday a client asked me whether he could obtain a student visa for his fiancee to attend a local community college rather than wait to obtain a fiancee visa. He had researched the requirements to obtain a student visa and believed that his fiancee met those requirements. From his point of view the student visa looked ideal because it could potentially be obtained much quicker than a fiancee visa.

I advised him that a student visa was not ideal or even practical for his situation for the following reasons.:

1. It is dishonest to try to obtain a student visa to enable a foreign fiancee to enter the United States because the exclusive purpose of the student visa is to enable a foreign student to study temporarily in the United States. The student visa is a non immigrant visa; it is not intended to be used by a foreign fiancee to enter the United States to marry an American citizen and live permanently.

2. On a related point the USCIS is well aware of the purpose of the student visa and is very careful to ensure student visas are not issued to foreign women who are engaged to American men. In fact the USCIS specifically asks the student visa applicant whether she has a fiancee in America. Once the student visa applicant acknowledge having an American fianc? the student visa application is typically summarily denied.

3. If the student visa applicant/foreign fiancee does not acknowledge having an American fiancee she may be able to obtain the visa but she will be guilty of material misrepresentation and or immigration fraud. Such misrepresentation is always discovered by the USCIS when the student visa applicant marries her American fiancee and seeks to adjust status to permanent residency. At that point, the USCIS typically denies the adjustment application and issues a finding that the applicant is guilty of material misrepresentation and therefore ineligible to ever live in the United States.

For the above three reasons it is a terrible idea to seek a student visa for your foreign fiancee rather than wait for a fiancee visa to be issued. The USCIS has prescribed that the fiancee visa is the only lawful method to bring your fiancee to the United States. Finally, the fiancee visa is great because unlike the student visa or the tourist visa it is actually easy to obtain if the petitioner and beneficiary follow all the rules and requirements of the fiancee visa.