Immigration Issues And Prenup Talks On 90 Day Fiancé

Dec 15, 2023 | Immigration

In the world of reality television, TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé” has captured the attention of audiences globally, showcasing the unique stories of couples from all around the globe and their journey to be a married couple in the U.S. It follows the complexities of international relationships and the unique challenges faced by couples dealing with American immigration processes. This article explores the intersection of love, immigration, and the topic of prenuptial agreements within the context of the popular reality show, 90 day fiancé.

 

All About 90 Day Fiancé 

The show is about couples dealing with a visa process known as the K-1 visa. In simple terms, someone from another country comes to the United States to marry their American partner, but the kicker is that they have just 90 days to wed. Why 90 days? Well, this is simply the timeframe laid out by the U.S. government for foreign partners to get married to their American counterparts. This short time is full of ups and downs, making the couples share their personal struggles openly. It’s not just a reality TV show; it’s a cultural touchstone, allowing viewers to peer into the lives of these international couples while they navigate immigration, culture, and relationship issues. As you watch, it’s like seeing a real-life soap opera with couples facing challenges before the time runs out (i.e., the 90 days). 

 

Immigration Challenges from the Show

This section addresses the legal hurdles faced by some of the real couples on 90 Day Fiancé. 

Real or fraud?
One of the major recurring themes of the show is the question of whether or not the foreign partner is really in it for love or in it for the visa. Some couples on the show are very clearly in love…while others… not so much. It is definitely easy to see (as a viewer) when one foreign partner is faking the relationship. This plays into immigration because immigration officers look into the relationship when deciding whether or not to approve the K-1 visa application. They are quite literally trying to weed out the fraudulent applications. It can sometimes come as a shock to the viewers when certain couples get approved when the relationship is so clearly based on fraud (ahem, Danielle and Mohamed).

Approval (or denial) of K-1 visa 

One often discussed topic is the approval of the K-1 visa. Not everyone gets approved, even on the show. Remember, these are not paid actors or scripted scenes. They are real people going through the immigration process and USCIS does not approve every single K-1 visa application that falls on their desk. Remember Azan and Nicole? Well, Azan’s K-1 visa was denied (allegedly) due to a potential criminal act or overstaying of a visa in a different country. The result? Azan never got to America. This was probably in Nicole’s best interest if we’re being honest! 

Long wait times for immigration appointments

Another common storyline is the extraordinarily long wait times to get a simple meeting with immigration. We’re talking…months or YEARS. Yes, years. One such scene showed just how emotionally taxing this can be for people. Jasmine (of Jasmine and Gino) is shown sobbing after her K-1 visa interview appointment was denied due to a “processing issue.” You can see the whole scene here. It’s quite traumatic when your whole life is depending on one appointment and that appointment takes years or gets canceled last minute. 

Potential deportation 

Once the foreign partner is in the U.S. and happily married to their American partner, it’s not necessarily all roses and butterflies for everyone. There is still the possibility of deportation. This was a possibility for one particular 90 Day Fiancé, Andrei (of Andrei and Elizabeth). When Andrei went to renew his green card, USCIS was alerted that there was a complaint filed under his name. This raised red flags for the immigration officers, who then requested an additional meeting from him to discuss the complaint. The show didn’t dig into what happened with this, but he is still in the U.S., so we imagine that it went well. You can see the scene with his immigration attorney here.

Talk of Prenups on the Show

Prenups are quite popular among international couples, especially those on 90 Day Fiancé. It makes sense why the American partners would want to ensure that they are required to pay anything beyond the Affidavit of Support to their partner. The Affidavit of Support is the contract the American spouse signs with the U.S. government to promise to financially support their foreign partner, even in a divorce. This lasts until the foreign partner either becomes a citizen or has continuous work for at least 10 years. It is a huge financial commitment, so getting a prenup can be especially pertinent in these situations.

Jasmine and Gino

One very memorable scene regarding prenups is the one where Gino asks Jasmine for a prenup and she has a visceral reaction. You can watch the scene here. The gist of it is that Jasmine is worried she will be left destitute if she signs a prenup, especially having given up her life in Panama to be with Gino, she felt it to be unfair. What she gets wrong about prenups is there are clauses she could have implemented into the prenup that protect her, as well! From primary residence clauses to wealth equalization clauses, Jasmine was sorely mistaken on the prenup topic! She could’ve made sure she was comfortable and protected, and potentially walking away from Gino feeling confident. At the end of the day, they didn’t end up getting a prenup because of Jasmine’s protests.

Shaeeda and Bilal 

Shaeeda was presented with a prenup from her partner Bilal and was taken aback. She felt hurt and felt like he didn’t trust her. However, Shaeeda took it in stride and decided she was going to make the prenup work for her. She agreed to the prenup on one condition….that he would agree to have children with her before she turns 40. You can see the full scene here. Now, a clause in a prenup that says a couple has to have kids by a certain date is not enforceable. Why? Because how on Earth would a court go about forcing that to happen? It would be pretty hard to order a couple to have a child, not to mention unethical. 

Debbie and Oussama

If you haven’t seen her yet, Debbie is a lively 67-year-old woman engaged to a 24-year-old man named Oussama from Morocco. In an unusual twist, Debbie plans to relocate to Morocco, so there’s no need for a 90-day visa for Oussama. Despite this, Debbie’s son is worried that Oussama might try to take advantage of her financially, prompting him to take her to a prenup attorney’s office. The entire scene is available here. Even though Debbie is getting married and moving to Morocco, having a U.S. prenuptial agreement could be useful if Oussama ever attempts to claim rights to any of her assets in the U.S.

 

Final Thoughts

90 Day Fiancé continues to rise in popularity and create buzz around its quirky characters and shocking, yet endearing plot lines. One thing all of the characters have in common is their love transcends beyond borders and they are all seeking a way to be together in the U.S. From deportation issues to mandating babies in prenup clauses, there’s no shortage of interesting legal topics to be covered from each and every 90 Day Fiancé episode.

You are writing your life story. Get on the same page with a prenup. For love that lasts a lifetime, preparation is key. Safeguard your shared tomorrows, starting today.
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