40 Reasons for F-1 Student Visa Denials

Posted on 

Today we are publishing a new article on this site about student visas.  In the article, we catalog 40 reasons why an F-1 visa can be denied. Straightforward 214(b) rejections, complicated 212(a)(6)(C)(i) permanent bans, and protracted 221(g) delays are some of the most common problems arising from an F-1 application. What would appear to be a straightforward, simple visa process can turn into a veritable minefield for the unsuspecting.  And while some of the denial reasons may be beyond the control of the applicant, what is obvious is that some students are unprepared for the visa application process – with many receiving avoidable refusals.  Contact us to discuss your situation.

Read more

221(g): Visa Application Status Check Leads to Refusal Shock

Posted on 

Visa applicants whose applications were pending under Section 221(g) received a shock yesterday morning when they went to check the status of their cases on the Department of State’s website.  Suddenly, the status of their cases changed to “Refused” from “Administrative Processing”.  Imagine the trauma inflicted on applicants who have been waiting months or even years to see that suddenly, their applications had been refused: their chance to immigrate, visit, study, or work in the US was denied. Only after reading the remaining text on the Status page does it become clear that the applications were not definitively denied, that they remain under adjudication, i.e, no final decision has been made. The small explanatory note under the bold heading of Refused states: If you were informed by the consular officer that your case was refused for administrative processing, your case will remain refused while undergoing such processing. You will receive…

Read more

221(g), a Consular Wall, and Unavailable Documents

Posted on 

You have been denied under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and despaired because the consular officer demanded a document that is unavailable or unobtainable. Although rare, this does happen – perhaps a birth certificate was lost and the archives in a city burned down in a fire, or the birth certificate lists the wrong information.  This is what happened to a recent client – whose son was stranded outside the United States for more than two years while he attempted to resolve consular demands to have a  local court amend the birth certificate of his son to reflect him as the father. There is hope in such situations.  US immigration law anticipates such problems. If a visa applicant can show that there is “actual hardship” in trying to procure the document, not just “normal delay and inconvenience”, then the consular officer is empowered to waive the document…

Read more

Hadi Deeb: Tsar-Consul of Uzbekistan

Posted on 

They call him The Tsar.  And deservedly so. Who else can unilaterally, singlehandedly reinterpret Uzbek divorce law to deny numerous  Uzbek Diversity Visa applicants?  Who else can crush immigrant dreams using a variety of creative pretexts: disqualifying an applicant for failing to include a 3 day old baby (with no legal name) in a DV entry; a single woman for failing to include her nonexistent husband in her DV entry; a family for not including a second child in their entry, a child who was stillborn? Who else can have his staff ask a single woman applicant why she is not married or an infertile woman why she does not have more children? Who else can test an applicant’s knowledge of his third and fourth languages – i.e., not his native language and the language he learned in school – in black letter violation of the Department of State’s own…

Read more

Myth #3 – A Consul can “close” a nonimmigrant visa application

Posted on 

Z contacted our firm recently with an unusual request: help him submit a new B visa application to a US consulate after he was told that his previous application was “closed.”  Not understanding exactly what this meant, I asked him to forward any correspondence he had received from the consulate. The correspondence stated that because more than one year had elapsed since his interview, the case had been closed administratively and that if he wanted to pursue a US visa, he would have to reapply again.  A reapplication meant that he would have to submit a new DS-160 application form and pay a new visa application fee. But this was wrong – his application had been pending under Section 221(g), and the US government failed to take any action on his application. The government cannot “sit on” an application and then use that non-action to “close” a case. If that…

Read more

DV-2015 Lottery Fever

Posted on 

Congratulations to the winners of the DV-2015 Green Card Lottery. Against great odds, you were selected. Now comes the hard part. As you know, selection does not guarantee a visa. 125,514 individuals were selected for DV-2015 (out of 9,388,986 entrants), but only 50,000, including their family members, receive visas. Winners must receive their visas by September 30, 2015 or before the 50,000 quota or 3,500 country quota is exhausted. In general, the lower the case number, the earlier the interview and the better chances of receiving the visa before the elapse of the program. Interviews will commence October 1, 2014. The big difference in DV processing this year is that the selectees and their family members will submit their immigrant visa application online and no paper will be filed with the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC). Each Lottery visa applicant must meet the general requirements for admissibility to the United States….

Read more

Russian Visa Applicants Struck by 221(g) Epidemic

Posted on 

Via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, I was able to obtain visa statistics (221gMoscowstats0001)  for the US Embassy in Moscow.  Russian visa applicants are no exception to the epidemic of 221(g) decisions around the world.  From 2007-2012, the number of Russian B visa applicants at the US Embassy in Moscow subject to 221(g) more than tripled.  Students and employees of US companies also had their applications increasingly scrutinized: the number of students and H applicants subject to delays more than doubled, and the number of L visa applicants encountering 221(g) increased more than eightfold! The good news is that the overwhelming majority of Russian applicants subject to Section 221(g) receive their visas.  However, the spike in the number of 221(g) delays and bureaucratic hurdles encountered by Russian visa applicants contradicts the public Embassy pronouncements about facilitating travel to the US.   If you are the subject of a substantial 221(g) delay,…

Read more

The 221(g) Epidemic and What You Can Do About It

Posted on 

The statistics are stunning. Over the past four years, more than four million visa applications have been temporarily denied under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, that is to say, the Department of State collected tens of millions of dollars from visa applicants, only to put their applications on hold. Year 221(g) findings in Immigrant Visa Cases 221(g) findings in Nonimmigrant Visa Cases Total 2009 273,227 616,284 889,511 2010 286,889 694,620 981,509 2011 312,968 837,477 1,150,445 2012 303,166 806,773 1,109,939 More stunning is the wait time that thousands of visa applicants are subject to. The US Embassy in London publishes on its website a list of nonimmigrant visa cases subject to 221(g) administrative processing and the intake dates of the applications.  As of October 25, 2013, the list encompasses 141 pages and thousands of applicants.  6 individuals have been waiting for four years for action on their applications.  More…

Read more