Validate This: How Consular Officers Use Visa Refusals as Punishment

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As a follow up to yesterday’s post, refusal rates usually are inversely related to the economic development of a country:  the lower the level of economic development, the higher the refusal rate. Most African countries have higher refusal rates than more developed countries, such as China, Russia, and Kazakhstan.  But this does not always hold true. An example of this is the refusal rate of the US Embassy in Armenia. While recently lowering its refusal rate, the refusal rate of the Embassy in Yerevan is still at 51%, a level higher than such countries as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Central African Republic, and Burkina Faso.  According to the Embassy, this is due to the results of a “validation study,” an analysis of how many Armenians overstay their visas or do not return to their home country.  The high level of overstays, according to the Embassy, justifies the high refusal rate. As a…

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Visa Statistics – Moscow Refusal Rate Doubles; India Rate Remains at Over 25%; Ukraine Rate Dips

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The Department of State has published its visa statistics for 2010.  The statistics have confirmed what we have seen in our everyday practice: the US Embassy in Moscow has doubled its nonimmigrant visa refusal rate.   It is no wonder that Vice President Biden politely declined Mr. Putin’s request to abolish visas between the countries! The refusal rate jump corresponds with the arrival of a new chief of the NIV section and Consul General. Notable in the statistics is the fact that the refusal rate slightly fell in India, but the consulates there still refuse more than 1/4 of all applicants.  The refusal rates in such countries as China, Vietnam, Ukraine, and Haiti dropped significantly, while the refusal rates in Saudi Arabia increased, although not at the level of Russia. Below are the official statistics: 2010 stats – http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY10.pdf 2009 stats – http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY09.pdf  

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Our Article in Immigration Lawyer’s Daily – Proposed Consular Complaint Procedure

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This subject has been gnawing at me for a while. Why is it that other government agencies, including USCIS and Customs and Border Patrol, have complaint procedures and will follow-up on legitimate complaints, but the agency responsible for our image overseas and interacts with thousands of foreigners a day, the Department of State, does not?  While admittedly raw, the linked article represents our attempt to structure such a procedure within the context of the visa process.  Your feedback is welcomed. http://www.ilw.com/articles/2011,0408-white.shtm

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