Consular Processing and Visa Denials

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National Visa Center (NVC)

The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant’s priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

At Baughman & Wang, we can represent clients in their final stage of receiving immigrant visas.  Do not underestimate this final step of getting visa.  Many visa applicants make mistakes in this stage and caused the delay or even denial of the visa applications.

Priority Date and Visa Bulletin

Except immediate relatives of US citizen, all other immigration will be subject to visa availability.  Visa priority is set when a labor certification is filed, or when visa petition is filed if no labor certification is needed(such as I-130 or EB-1 or EB-2 national interest waiver or EB-5).  If your visa priority date is not current, your case will be stored at NVC waiting for the visa number.  You may check visa bulletinaround the 10th of every month to see the priority date for the next month.

Age-out Issues

Children of immigrants may immigrant with their parent to the United States provided that you are under 21 at the time of entry into the United States.  Children’s age may be recalculated based on Child Status Protection Act of 2002(CSPA).  In general, the time a visa petition is pending at USCIS can be deducted from the child’s age.

CSPA age and its calculation are complicated therefore competent legal consultation is strongly recommended.

We have successfully changed NVC and consulate determination of aged out children.

Preparation for the Immigrant Visa Interview

Visa applicants must be well prepared for the interview.  All required documents, forms, evidence to support the claimed relationship, employment history, qualifications, knowledge of the petitioner, knowledge of the co-sponsor, if any, must be obtained prior to the interview.  Once the visa application is denied, it will be harder to overcome.

Common grounds for Visa Denials or Refusals

All grounds listed under Inadmissibility may cause denial or refusal of a visa application.  Most often seen reasons for denials are:  lack of documents; public charge; unlawful presence in the U.S. for more than 6 months or 12 months and departed the U.S.; claimed relationship not credible; previous fraud or misrepresentation.

What Can You Do After the Denial or Refusal?

If the refusal is based on lack of documents, you may always submit additional documents to overcome the ground.  If the refusal is based on public charge, you may also provide additional documents to overcome the ground.  If the refusal ground is based the fact that the visa officer does not believe your claimed relationship(family based petition) or the bona fides of your employment(the offer, your qualifications, etc), you can provide additional evidence to overcome the ground.

We have represented many clients either before or after the visa interview.  If the denial is final, the Consulate will return the file to USCIS for revocation.

Once the visa is denied by the consulate, the immigration file will be returned by the consulate to USCIS for revocation.  It may take many months or years for the USCIS to issue “Intent to Revoke”.  A response must be received by USCIS in 30 days.

We have successfully helped many clients in this critical stage.  In 2009, we helped more than 12 clients upon receipt of the “Intent to Revoke” and all of them were reaffirmed(approved) by the USCIS.  Upon reaffimance, USCIS will send the file back to the consulate for visa issuance.

LPR Stays Outside the U.S. for More Than One Year

Lawful permanent resident (LPR) aliens who are unable to return to the United States within the travel validity of their Form I‐551, Permanent Resident Card(one year), or Reentry permit(two years) may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB‐1) visa.

a.  An applicant seeking a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB-1) visa must complete Form DS-117, Application to Determine Returning Resident Status.

b.  The applicant should file form DS-117 and supporting documentation at the post in the consular district in which he or she currently resides.  

c.  Visa officer will conduct a personal interview with the applicant to determine whether the application for Returning Resident status is approvable.

d.  If the visa officer determines that the applicant has provided sufficient justification and evidence, subject to supervisory approval from a consular manager, DS-117 will be approved.

e.  LPR alien will then apply for SB-1 IV at the post where immigrant visas are issued(all security and medical exmination requirments apply).   

SB-1 visa is very difficult to obtain and professional representation is strongly suggested.