Case Studies

Case of C.A.

C felt like he and his lawyer were being taken on an endless carousel ride by the National Visa Center. USCIS had approved his I-130 petition for his wife. But when his case reached the National Visa Center for the consular processing of his wife’s immigrant visa application, everything ground to a halt. First, NVC was not satisfied with his I-864 affidavit of support, saying that his income level did not suffice, although he had more than enough assets to meet the legal requirements. Then, after receiving the response, NVC demanded that he find a joint sponsor. 5 months had gone by, and C was no closer to being reunited with his wife. C then contacted us. We immediately reached an NVC supervisor, pointing out the errors in NVC’s handling of C’s case. Within 48 hours, C’s case was “documentarily qualified”, approved for transfer to the embassy.

Case of M.A.

M was once bitten, twice shy. His first L-1 petition was referred back to USCIS for revocation by a consular officer. Two years later, USCIS approved a new L-1 petition for him. But this time, he decided that he was going to minimize his risk at the consular stage. He first contacted us for a consultation to help prepare him for the L-1A visa interview. When the consular officer requested additional documents and temporarily refused his application under 221(g), M retained us to represent him in his dealings with the consulate. We prepared the response to the consular officer and continuously followed up. Shortly thereafter, the consulate issued to M the three-year L-1A visa.

Case of F.R.

F was a very successful businessman who had traveled to the US on numerous occasions. But he was shocked when his business partner wrote a “poison-pen” letter to the consulate, leading to the revocation of his E-2 visa. His B visa was still valid, but when he showed up at the border as a visitor, CBP revoked his B visa and denied his entry under Section 212(a)(7)(A)(i). F then applied for a new E-2 visa, but it was denied under Section 214(b). But that wasn’t the worst of it: to learn more about his situation, he did a Freedom of Information Act request. Lo and behold, the FOIA materials reflected a 212(a)(6)(C)(i) misrepresentation finding of permanent inadmissibility. F then contacted us. We first contacted the consular office, which acknowledged the revocation of the E-2 visa and 214(b) decision, but confirmed that it had not made a misrepresentation finding. We then reached out to CBP. After a review, CBP acknowledged that it had made the 212(a)(6)(C)(i) finding and admitted that it had made the decision in error. CBP then removed the finding of inadmissibility.

Case of Z.E.

Z had been spending a lot of time in the US. When he returned back to the US on ESTA, he was stopped at the airport and Customs and Border Protection questioned him in-depth. Z was young, single, and did not hold permanent employment in his home country. CBP cancelled his ESTA and denied his entry under Section 212(a)(7)(A)(i). With this black mark on his record and a subsequent visa denial under Section 214(b), Z contacted us two years later. He had settled in a third country, had a serious American girlfriend, set up a small business, and established himself. He wanted to travel to the US to visit his girlfriend’s family. First, we reviewed his Record of Sworn Statement (I-877) and then we helped to strategize with Z: when would be the best time to apply; how could he strengthen his ties; how can he present his case after having the black mark on his record? We helped him complete his DS-160. After a brief interview, Z was granted the B-2 visa.

Case of S.Y.

S’ conditional permanent residency was dragging on and on and on. Instead of 2 years, her conditional status entered its 7th year — nearly 5 years since she submitted an I-829 petition for the removal of her condition as an investor in the EB-5 program. But she was afraid to file a lawsuit because she thought that USCIS might retaliate against her for doing so. After allaying her concerns, we filed the mandamus lawsuit. Within 30 days, USCIS approved her petition.

Case of R.E.

Some lawyers refer to embassies and consulates as fiefdoms — where the rule of law does not seem to apply, where the whims of a single consular officer can wreck lives. R’s case is a prime example. She was already a US citizen, but had been separated from her young daughter for nearly 6 years. Her daughter’s IR-2 immigrant visa case sat at the US Embassy for most of that time — collecting dust under Section 221(g). Why? Because the consul insisted that R travel to the Embassy with her American husband for an interview, and until that happened, he was not going to issue a visa to her daughter. But there was no such requirement in the law. R’s marriage to her husband had already been reviewed three different times by USCIS. When we brought this to the attention of the State Department, it agreed, and finally the Embassy issued the visa to R’s daughter.

Case of G.Y.

G was a successful business manager and the victim of a poison-pen letter from his ex-wife’s family. The letter made outrageous, bogus allegations. The consular officer and a DHS official apparently did not believe the allegations — but gave them enough credence to take a “time out”, temporarily refusing G’s B-1 business visitor application under Section 221(g). But no final decision was made. A year later, G applied again — and again his application was refused under Section 221(g). After no decision was made, G tried again 2 years later. Same result. At that point, G contacted us. “How is it that my ex-wife’s family can prevent me from going to the US?” he asked. We proactively sought to address the allegations — preparing substantial evidence to prove that the allegations were bogus. When the consul again declined to make a final decision, we filed a mandamus lawsuit in the District of Columbia. After 3 ½ months, the consul issued the visa.

Case of S.N.

S. was a very successful entrepreneur with a wife and two young children. He wanted to take his kids to Disney World, but he was ashamed because he was not able to travel to the United States. On a trip to the US about 10 years ago, he had been stopped in the airport with marijuana for his own personal use. He admitted to possessing and frequently using marijuana and was deported. After that he applied for a visa several times, but he was always refused for a controlled substance violation under Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) and 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. He then contacted our firm. We first did a Freedom of Information Act request with Customs and Border Protection. After that, we prepared a visitor visa application with a request for a nonimmigrant waiver for him. We highlighted how he overcame the 214(b) obstacle with his strong ties and home country prominence, and how he met the Hranka nonimmigrant waiver criteria. After brief consideration the consul recommended the waiver and within 4 months, he had received a 5-year B visa and traveled to Disney World with his kids.

Case of B.T.

B had been denied a K-1 visa, with the consul questioning whether his relationship with his US citizen fiancée A was real. The consul referred the K-1 petition back to USCIS for revocation of the approval. So A and B decided to get married, with A traveling to B’s country for the wedding ceremony. They thought that would solve their visa problem. But it didn’t. When A submitted an I-130 spousal immigrant petition for B, USCIS sent a Notice of Intent to Deny. It was at that point that A contacted us. In the Notice, USCIS cited to the consular accusation that B’s relationship with A was a sham for immigration purposes. But the Notice did not contain information about what led the consular officer to reach such a conclusion: why did the consul decide that the relationship was a sham? So we did a Freedom of Information Act request, and we were able to learn the reasons for the consular officer’s decision. Upon review, we could see that the consular rationale was weak and mistaken. We then were able to rebut the accusations with strong evidence, and shortly thereafter, USCIS approved the petition and the consular officer issued the visa.

Case of P.P.

P. is a middle-aged man who had already begun to lose hope that he would ever be able to visit his parents in the United States. He had committed a willful, material misrepresentation more than 15 years ago. He had immigrated to a Western country, but was denied a visa under Section 214(b) and Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) several times over the years. He then contacted us, and after an initial consultation, we devised a strategy and represented him in his nonimmigrant waiver application process. His case was complicated by a previous marriage to a US citizen. We were able to gather substantial evidence of how his circumstances had changed for the better over the years, how he lived comfortably in Europe, held a professional job, traveled to many other countries, and was in a long-term relationship. We conducted a mock interview with him to allay his nerves and prepared a concise legal package in support of his application. After a brief 5-minute interview at the Embassy, his visitor visa application was recommended for a waiver. 3 months later, CBP concurred, and the Embassy issued to him the B visa with the waiver.