How to obtain a waiver for the requirement to meet in person within 2 years.

To bring your fiancé(e) to the U.S., you must file a Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) and demonstrate you have both met each other in person within 2 years of filing the petition. If you are unable to demonstrate that you have met in person, can you obtain a waiver of this requirement?

There are two scenarios when a waiver of the 2-year meeting requirement may be granted:

    • If a meeting between the petitioner (the U.S. citizen) and beneficiary (the fiancé or fiancée) would result in “extreme hardship” to the petitioner; or
    • If such meeting would violate long-standing customs of the beneficiary’s culture.

1. Extreme Hardship to the Petitioner

USCIS interprets this requirement as close to it being physically impossible for the petitioner to be able to meet the beneficiary.

Here are some situations that would not qualify for extreme hardship:

  • The petitioner is not financially able to make a trip;
  • The petitioner is not able to take enough time off work to travel;
  • The petitioner is unable to travel because he or she is incarcerated.

Situation that may be considered as an extreme hardship is when a petitioner is suffering from a medical condition in which he or she is physically unable to travel.

2. Meeting prior to marriage would violate long-standing customs of the beneficiary’s culture.

In some cultures, it will violate long-standing cultural traditions of the beneficiary’s country if the petitioner and beneficiary met prior to marriage. Therefore, in such a situation, a waiver may be sought. The petitioner must be able to provide documentary evidence to prove this custom.

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Copyright 2021. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Enterline and Partners only.