What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Was Denied” Mean for My Form I-129F Application?

In a Nutshell

If you see “Case Was Denied” as your USCIS case status online, it means that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received and reviewed your Form I-129F and decided not to grant you a K-1 fiancé visa. If USCIS denies your case, it will mail you a denial notice explaining why. It can be disheartening to go through months of processing for a fiancé visa only to have your case denied. If this happens, you may want to get legal advice about the next steps.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated February 17, 2023

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Was Denied.” What Does That Mean for My Form I-129F Application?

“Case Denied” means that USCIS reviewed your case and decided that you do not qualify for a K-1 fiancé visa. Unfortunately, you do not get your fees back, and you will not get the green card you applied for. USCIS will send you a denial notice that explains why it chose to deny your case. 

This can be very hard news to hear after waiting many months for your case outcome. You can appeal your case, but you will likely need an immigration attorney to guide you through the process.

Where in the Form I-129F Application Process Might I See “Case Denied” as My Status?

“Case Denied” indicates USCIS’s final decision on your application. You won’t see “Case Denied” as your status until the very end of your application process, after USCIS has received and reviewed your fiancé visa application packet, which usually includes the following:

  • USCIS Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)

  • All required supporting documents and evidence to show supporting the fiancé is a U.S. citizen, evidence that all previous marriages have been terminated by both partners, and evidence proving your current relationship

  • $535 Filing Fee

Throughout the process you will see other case statuses that indicate ongoing progress. These are some of the most common ones and what they mean: 

  • Case Was Received: When USCIS receives your application, it should update your case status to “Case Was Received” and send you a receipt notice. You can use the receipt number from this notice to track your case status online

  • Case Was Rejected: Case Was Rejected” means that you made some kind of mistake in your application process. However, your filing fee will be returned. You can easily correct the mistake and refile it. 

  • Request for Additional Evidence Was Sent: Requests for evidence happen when USCIS needs you to send more evidence or documentation to confirm the accuracy of your case. 

  • Case Was Transferred: This status means that USCIS transferred your case to a different service center. USCIS occasionally does this, depending on each center’s capacity to handle cases. 

Does the Case Status “Case Was Denied” Mean the Same Thing as “Case Was Rejected”?

No, “Case Denied” does not mean the same thing as “Case Rejected.” If your case was denied, USCIS reviewed your Form I-129F and decided that you do not qualify. 

On the other hand, if your case was rejected, you can usually fix the problem and resubmit your case. “Case Rejected” means that you made an error in your application. USCIS will tell you specifically what was wrong with your application if it rejects your case. You can usually correct the problem and refile your application on your own. 

If you USCIS denies your fiancé visa, it will be quite difficult for you to address this issue on your own. Many people who face denial need legal help to appeal their case or find another immigration option.

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Denied” for My Fiancé Visa Case?

If you see that USCIS denied your case, unfortunately, you will not receive the fiancé visa you applied for. You have two primary options.

Your best choice is probably to hire an immigration lawyer to help appeal your case if you believe you have a reason to appeal. An immigration attorney can also help you to decide if you have grounds to appeal or other better options. 

You can also consider applying again, but you will need to prove that something changed in your case. Changes could relate to eligibility factors for a fiancé visa or the facts of your case. You will need to file a new application and pay another filing fee. However, if you choose to follow this route, it is still best to consult with an attorney. 

When Should I Contact an Immigration Attorney About My Form I-129F Case?

Many people can easily file Form I-129F on their own. However, because your case was denied, you will likely need to contact an attorney to decide how to proceed.  If USCIS denies your fiancé, remember that help is available. While it is difficult to address a denial on your own, you can do so with legal help.