Ms. B is married to an American man. She had been permanently barred from the United States by a consular officer and advised that she needed a waiver. The standard for granting a waiver — to prove that the American citizen would be subjected to extreme hardship in the event of denial — is a difficult standard to meet. Instead of submitting a waiver application, we challenged the finding that she had committed a crime of moral turpitude as erroneous. After review of our submission by the Advisory Opinion Division of the Visa Office in Washington, the finding was overturned and she was able to join her husband in the US.
Thank you for visiting our website. White & Associates has been practicing US immigration law for more than 25 years. Kenneth White, the managing partner, has lived overseas for more than a dozen years, and has represented thousands of visa applicants in their dealings with US embassies and consulates. He has created this first-of-its-kind website dedicated exclusively to the problems and issues faced by visa applicants overseas. This site supplements the firm’s two books on American immigration law, as well as its other websites: www.e-b-5.com, which is dedicated to assisting those interested in becoming US permanent residents through the EB-5 investor immigration program, and www.bridgewest.com, which outlines the firm’s services related to US citizenship, work and student visas, and the Diversity Lottery, as well as family and business immigration.
More than 2 1/2 million US visa applicants are denied every year by embassies and consulates around the world. Approximately 75% of these applicants are individuals applying for a visitor, business, or student visa, who, according to the consular officer, did not prove they would return to their home country or otherwise prove eligibility.
For more than 25 years, we have been helping visa applicants avoid visa refusals and fighting erroneous consular decisions. Consular officers have a difficult job — they are on the front lines of our fight with terrorism; must deal with fraudulent documentation submitted in support of visa applications; and have very little time to interview applicants. Because of their limited time and resources, it is not surprising that consular officers frequently make factual mistakes, misunderstand applicants, make legal errors, and ignore relevant facts and documentation in reviewing legitimate applications. Consular officers, in general, are not lawyers, and have limited training in US immigration laws. We have helped hundreds of clients overcome mistaken decisions. As a result of our efforts, individuals who were permanently barred from the United States, barred for 3 and 10 years, and continuously denied visas have been able to receive visas: to visit, work, and immigrate to the US. An unfounded consular denial is not a death knell; rather, it should only be the beginning of a process to ensure that the visa which should have been issued in the first place will be granted.
Of course, the best way to avoid an erroneous consular denial is to prepare thoroughly for the initial visa interview. We are happy to prepare visa applicants for their future visa interviews: an ounce of prevention is truly the best medicine.
For individuals who have already been denied, it is necessary to spend time assessing the circumstances surrounding the denial to plot a course of action: what is the background of the applicant? What is the purpose of the application and type of visa applied for? What led the consular officer to make the decision he did?
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