Information in US Visa application documents of Tashfeen Malik could bolster complaints of critics in Congress who said flaws in the immigration system meant Malik was not thoroughly investigated. U.S born Syed Rizwan Farook claimed that he met his wife, Malik, and became engaged during the October 2013 Haj Pilgrimage to Mecca with their families, according to other documents obtained by Reuters on Tuesday. Discrepancies in the application raise questions about whether the two could have met in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on the date stated in Malik’s visa application. Farook stated the couple met in person, as required under U.S. visa policy for a K-1 fiancée visa, on Oct. 3, 2013 in Mecca. However information on the documents shows that the Pakistan-born Malik did not receive her visa to enter Saudi Arabia until Oct. 5, 2013. Additionally, unlike Farook, Malik did not hold a Haj visa, which is required before entering Mecca during the annual pilgrimage, which means she would have been barred from entering Mecca during the time claimed in her U.S. Visa application.
A review of Malik’s U.S visa application was made at the request of the House Judiciary Committee, and many different questions were flagged. The entry stamp on Malik’s passport shows she entered Saudi Arabia on June 4, 2013. Her 60-day visa would have required Malik to leave Saudi Arabia nearly two months before Farook’s passport shows he arrived, on Oct 1, 2013. U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in a statement said Malik’s application needed a more careful review than it received. “Visa security is critical to national security, and its unacceptable that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services did not fully vet Malik’s application and instead sloppily approved her visa,” Goodlatte said.
Malik’s initial visa application was posted on the internet by Goodlatte on Tuesday, and was part of a form Malik submitted to U.S. authorities to obtain a K-1 visa allowing her to enter the country as Farook’s fiancée. In the application Malik said the couple first met over the Internet on a “matrimonial website.” Farook includes a narrative of how the couple first talked online and then met in Mecca in October 2013. Farook’s statement said the couple intended to marry within the first month of her arriving in the United States. Reuters reported last week that U.S. consular authorities in Pakistan did not seek a more thorough background investigation of Malik before granting her an initial visa to enter the United States as Farook’s fiancée.