When applying for a US visitor visa, is it advisable to disclose that the person is my boyfriend?

When applying for a US visitor visa, is it advisable to disclose that the person is my boyfriend?

US consular officers get pretty good at being able to tell when a visa applicant is lying; we don’t necessarily know what the lie is, but know that it’s there so will refuse the applicant just on that principle. So it’s best to simply tell the truth frankly and openly. Many, many friends and lovers of US citizens acquire US tourist visas every day.

True story here:

While working the visa line in Paris, in about 1988, I refused a visa to a young man from (I think) Yugoslavia, a refugee in Paris with a girlfriend in the US, no home, no job, no family in France, no passport except for a French refugee travel document, and very good English. A textbook-perfect intending immigrant. When I refused him, he said, “Yes, I figured you’d say that and it’s okay. It’s just that I have a job lined up that won’t start until next month, she’s on a school break, and this is the perfect time to see her and meet her family. Thanks anyway.”

Couldn’t get him out of my mind. I KNEW he was telling the truth. So the next day I asked one of the FSNs to find his application form, we called him, asked him to come back in, sent a cable to Washington asking permission to issue a visa (a procedural formality required because he had no valid passport), and sent him off with my best wishes.

A month later who should come striding into the consular section but the young man himself, his US girlfriend with him, to show me that he had returned, she had decided to move to Paris to be with him, and my trust was not misplaced. He gave me a sweet, touching gift – a cheap picture book of Budapest, that I got permission from my boss to accept and still have.

Thousands and thousands of visa applicants later, he’s one that I will never forget.


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