Fiancé Visa: What are the exceptions for the two-year meeting requirement?

In order to apply for a fiancé visa, the petitioner (U.S. Citizen) must satisfy the requirement that she/he has met their fiancé within two years immediately preceding the filing of the I-129f application.
Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. 214.2(k)(2), USCIS may exempt the petitioner from complying with the two-year meeting requirement if the petitioner can establish that:
1) Complying with the requirement would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner; OR
2) Complying with the requirement the petitioner may be exempted from this requirement for a meeting if it is established that compliance would violate strict and long-established customs of the beneficiary’s foreign culture or social practice, as where marriages are traditionally arranged by the parents of the contracting parties and the prospective bride and groom are prohibited from meeting subsequent to the arrangement and prior to the wedding day. In addition to establishing that the required meeting would be a violation of custom or practice, the petitioner must also establish that any and all other aspects of the traditional arrangements have been or will be met in accordance with the custom or practice.
Both are very difficult burdens to overcome and are rarely granted. The extreme hardship exemption is usually granted in cases where petitioner has a medical condition that prevents from fulfilling the requirement. The medical condition must be established through credible evidence, including medical documents. The violation of customs requirement is less likely to be granted than extreme hardship. The exemption contains various elements which must be proven with extensive credible documentation.
As such, it is highly recommended that if it is at all possible to try to meet the two-year meeting requirement, then it should be attempted. Otherwise, the case may languish through the system for quite some time before obtaining an approval.
Our experienced immigration attorneys are always available to answer your fiancé visa questions. Please contact our office for a free 15-minute telephone consultation at (248) 557-3645 or at


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