The manner in which the consulate officer’s questions are answered during a fiance or marriage visa interview can sometimes make the difference between the granting and denial of the visa. An experienced family immigration attorney can help avoid this last minute pitfall by advising clients on what to expect and the best way to prepare.
Generally speaking, do not assume that the officer enters the interview with any type of presumption that your relationship is valid. On the contrary, often times their presumption is just the opposite, and it is up to the applicant to convince the officer that he or she is entitled to the visa. One important element that is considered is the amount of time that the couple has spent together, and the existence of documentation that proves as much. Be sure to take the following to the interview: 1) recent photos of the couple that were taken after the filing of the petition and prior to the interview 2) copies of flight itineraries and other proof of travel showing recent trips / visits between the couple since the date of the petition and 3) copies of written correspondence that shows a continuity of the relationship leading up to the interview. Many couples forego emailing and IM chatting in lieu of Skype or other video chats which cannot be documented, but it is a good idea to keep a tangible “paper trail” of other written communications which can be demonstrated to the consulate officer.
Finally, while the petitioner is not formally “invited” to the interview, it can yield a good effect if he or she is available at or nearby the embassy during the interview. It is possible that the officer may want to meet or speak with the petitioner, and though that is fairly rare, it always leaves a good impression when the applicant can state that his / her fiance or spouse is dedicated enough to be waiting patiently outside the interview room on the big day.