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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawK-1 Visa Myanmar: Proving a Bona Fide Relationship

K-1 Visa Myanmar: Proving a Bona Fide Relationship

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the K-1 Fiancée Visa. Specifically we are discussing it in the context of a fiancée who hails from Myanmar, the Union of Myanmar here in Southeast Asia; the country directly adjacent to Thailand. 

We deal with a fair number of cases arising from Myanmar or involving Myanmar Nationals, and the issue of the bona fides of the fiancée relationship is something that has come up in the past and comes up with increasing frequency here in this most recent administration because we are seeing a larger number of Requests for Evidence issued, so-called called RFEs, and in these RFEs one thing that I have seen that has seemed to be a trend is and this is usually in conjunction with a request for other documentation, they ask for further evidence of relationship. 

Evidence of relationship has always been integral to obtaining a K-1 Fiancée Visa but it seems especially under this Administration, that this evidence is increasingly important or is viewed as increasingly important by the Administration and for that reason it is a good idea to understand that this could be an issue going into the overall process.

Another thing that is notable about cases that come up out of Myanmar is usually the couple does not necessarily co-habit in Myanmar very often. In Thailand I often see fiancée cases that pop up in a variety of different factual circumstances. For example somebody may have been living here for a prolonged period of time, wishes to take someone they met back to the United States. Someone was working here for a prolonged period of time. Perhaps someone was on vacation here for a while and met someone and wishes to take them back to the US.  In Myanmar this does not seem to come up with the same amount of frequency. What am I talking about here? Well for example, oftentimes I see Myanmar Nationals meeting their American counterpart in Thailand. So they may be working in Thailand and they just happened to cross paths with their American counterpart and they may want to process out of Thailand.  It may or may not be possible depending on their visa status but they may not have anything to do with Myanmar. 

Also the other thing is the Americans that go to Myanmar do not tend to spend a lot of time in Myanmar so I often find that documenting the relationship is a little more difficult in cases involving Myanmar Nationals compared to other countries; compared to for example, Thailand. Often times you know photographic evidence, there is a plethora of it. Meanwhile those that have met someone from Myanmar, there isn't necessarily a plethora of it. 

Also another thing that comes up with respect to fiancée visas from Myanmar and I do see this rather frequently, is cases involving sometimes Burmese or just Myanmar nationals generally, who fled the country at some point, usually early in life and became refugees in the United States, subsequently became US citizens and end up meeting someone back in Myanmar or here in Thailand when visiting, that hails from their hometown or just their home country and they want to go ahead and marry that person. Again proving up the bona fides of that relationship can be rather difficult. Sometimes it is because I think Immigration Officers may look little askance at those kinds of unions because they are worried that perhaps it is being solely entered into for purposes of conferring an Immigration benefit and that certainly is something that the fraud prevention units have a mandate to guard against. 

The other thing to keep in mind with respect to Myanmar Nationals is the fact that Yeah we just don't see quite as much physical presence by the American in Myanmar,  that we see for example in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, or Vietnam. They are just not over there in the same numbers. For that reason, I think it is probably not a terrible idea to contact a legal professional to go ahead and ascertain options and a strategy for dealing with the issue of proving up the bona fides of the relationship especially if you think that such evidence may be rather scant and it needs to be proved up as best as possible in order to get the case processed through with an ultimate approval.