Overcoming Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Posted on 

On average, more than a million visa applicants are rejected every year under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Nonimmigrant visa applicants, excluding H-1B and L-1 visa holders, bear the responsibility of demonstrating their non-immigrant intent. Under 214(b), applicants must not only qualify for the visa but also agree to adhere to its terms upon entering the US. For B visa applicants, proof of a foreign residence and temporary visit intentions for business or pleasure is necessary. F visa applicants additionally need to demonstrate both qualifications for studies and the intent to return home after completion. Employment visa seekers must exhibit qualifications relevant to their visa type. Notably, there’s no time restriction on invoking 214(b); for instance, prolonged previous stays in the US leading to suspected employment violations more than 10 years ago can prompt its application. Consular officers commonly resort to visa revocation. This affects thousands annually…

Read more

Comparison of Immigrant Waivers

Posted on 

The journey to obtaining permanent residency in a new country can be fraught with challenges, and for many immigrants, overcoming certain legal barriers is a crucial step in this process. One such hurdle is the need for immigrant waivers, which allow individuals with specific grounds of inadmissibility to immigrate and continue their pursuit of a better life. Ideally, one would not need a waiver, and as illustrated throughout this site, if you believe that there was a factual or legal mistake made in the decision to bar you, you should certainly challenge that decision first.  Here, we will delve into and compare three types of immigrant waivers, each of which are submitted on Form I-601. 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Misrepresentation A waiver for a willful, material misrepresentation is available to a spouse or child of US citizen (USC) or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). The legal standard to qualify for the waiver is “extreme…

Read more

AzTech, Integra, Wireclass, Andwill Update: We Have Obtained Shocking Internal ICE Documents Concerning its Investigation. Part 2.

Posted on 

In Part 1, we described the materials recently received from a Freedom of Information Act request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The materials are not only eye-opening but indeed shocking: they show that the students were let down by delinquent government and university actors that failed to warn them of the scam.  Most mind-boggling: the US government is now using its own delinquency as a sword against these students in permanently barring them from the United States and using shell-game tactics to make it is as difficult as possible to challenge the bars.  Here, we provide additional details from those ICE reports: The Homeland Security Investigations Wilmington office identified approximately 1,925 STEM OPT students associated with AzTech. HSI administratively arrested 15 STEM OPT students.  (An administrative arrest is the arrest of a foreign individual for a civil – not criminal – violation of U.S. immigration laws.  These cases are then…

Read more

AzTech, Integra, Wireclass, Andwill Update: We Have Obtained Shocking Internal ICE Documents Concerning its Investigation. Part 1.

Posted on 

In addition to Amazon, Intel, and Google, according to ICE statistics, Integra Technologies was one of the top 4 employers of OPT students in 2017 and 2018.  In 2019, AzTech was one of the top 4 employers, together with Amazon, Google, and Deloitte. During these three years, Integra and AzTech “employed” nearly 5,000 foreign students.  So why did it take until January 2020 for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to launch a comprehensive investigation into the activities of Integra and AzTech?  This is the mind-boggling conclusion evident in materials received as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. Why was ICE asleep at the wheel, while thousands of innocent, unwitting foreign students were victimized by a years-long scam and now are permanently barred from the United States under Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) as a result? And where were the university DSOs during this scandal? Last week we finally received internal ICE…

Read more

All the Reasons USCIS Can Deny Your Employment-Based Green Card

Posted on 

On this site we list 40 reasons an applicant for a student visa can be refused; 34 reasons for a visa denial under Section 214(b); 16 reasons for a K-1 visa refusal; and 14 reasons for an EB-3 visa denial. But not to be outdone, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in its internal training materials, lists 31 reasons to deny an EB-13 multinational executive/manager immigrant petition; 7 reasons to deny a National Interest Waiver petition; 49 reasons to deny an EB-2 advanced degree/exceptional ability petition;  46 reasons to deny an EB-3 professional petition; 41 reasons to deny an EB-3 skilled workers petition; and 29 reasons to deny an EB-3 other workers petition.  These training materials, obtained as a result of filing a Freedom of Information Act request and suing USCIS, offer eye-opening details about the myriad of possible reasons that a petition can be denied. No wonder USCIS…

Read more

For Long Delays, Mandamus Works.

Posted on 

I’ve known this for years because we won one of the first visa-delay cases – ever.  The year was 2005, 4 years after 9/11, which resulted in the creation of a new government security bureaucracy. This bureaucracy has grown exponentially over the years – with more and more agencies and personnel involved in the decision-making process, triggering more and more delays. The recent pandemic made the situation much, much worse – leading to colossal delays in adjudicating petitions and visas.  As a result, the time has never been more ripe than now for the filing of mandamus lawsuits. The last month alone provides testament.  In a B-1 visitor visa case that had been pending under Section 221(g) for more than 5 years, we filed suit against the Department of State.  Within 3 ½ months of the filing of the lawsuit, our client was issued a visa. In an I-829 EB-5…

Read more

“What has Changed Since Your Last Interview?” Consular Abuse of 214(b)

Posted on 

Have you ever been refused a visitor (B) or student (F) visa and re-applied again a short time later, and when you attend your new interview, the consular officer asks you: “What has changed since your last interview?”  And within seconds or a minute or two, the consul then handed you a refusal sheet – again?  The funny thing is – well, it is not-so-funny – there is no such legal requirement to show that something changed in your circumstances in order to qualify for the visa. The Department of State and the consular officer concocted this “requirement” out of whole cloth: it’s fictitious. Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act has two requirements for B and F visa applicants: 1) overcome the presumption that he or she is an intending immigrant to the United States; and 2) qualify for the visa.  To qualify for a visitor visa, the…

Read more

Massive Visitor Visa Interview Delays Mean High Stakes for Applicants

Posted on 

Below is a table of the current interview wait times for B-1/B-2 applications at certain embassies and consulates around the world. Despite promises from the Department of State, the massive wait times in most countries, as you can see, have not been reduced.  City October 7, 2022 March 24, 2023 May 19, 2023 Rio de Janeiro 347 449 449 Sao Paulo 338 554 595 Brasilia 315 469 483 Mumbai 825 332 507 New Delhi 833 247 379 Hyderabad 459 246 351 Chennai 780 680 337 Kolkata 767 357 490 Guadalajara 806 664 731 Mexico City 641 695 730 Tijuana 555 541 567 Lagos 735 486 563 Abuja 850 409 307 Madrid 380 329 335 Paris 520 50 93 London 34 89 90 Berlin 58 87 42 Prague 100 16 105 Outrage is growing among the American business community, as wait times exceed 1 year (!)  for an interview at dozens…

Read more

Top 15 Trends and Observations in 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Visa Decisions – Part III

Posted on 

Here, we finalize our list of the top 15 trends and observations relating to Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) – findings of willful, material misrepresentations: 11. The Role of ICE/HSI.   Most individuals who have either submitted a work or immigration petition or application or entered the United States are familiar with the government agencies involved in those processes – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), respectively.  And many are familiar with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as the “immigration police”: ICE enforces US immigration laws within the United States.  But not many are aware that the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) branch of ICE has officers embedded into certain consulates overseas and that those officers make findings of inadmissibility. ICE denies that it makes such findings – its position is that it is the consular officer who makes such findings, not ICE.  However, we have seen internal government…

Read more

Top 15 Trends and Observations in 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Visa Decisions – Part II

Posted on 

Last week we began the list of the top 15 trends and observations relating to the consular imposition of permanent bars under Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) for willful, material misrepresentations. Hopefully, this will inform and educate as you plan for future visa applications.  Here, we continue that list: 6. OPT Fraud.  Much ink and many tears have been shed over the OPT scandal, with the full impact only now being felt.  Starting in 2020, thousands of individuals have been permanently barred from the US for their association with scam OPT companies, such as Findream, AZTech, Integra, Wireclass, and Global IT Experts.  More can be read about this scandal on our blogs, but suffice to say that the consequences will be felt for the rest of the lives of not only these individuals, but close family members and American employers as well.  Instead of being able to live the American dream, these talented…

Read more

Top 15 Trends and Observations in 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Visa Decisions

Posted on 

Unlawful presence (212(a)(9)(B)), misrepresentations (212(a)(6)(C)(i)), and alien smuggling (212(a)(6)(E)) continue to be the most frequently invoked inadmissibility bars to entry to the United States by consular officers.  And while unlawful presence based on overstays in the United States is a relatively straightforward legal decision, determinations of willful, material misrepresentations and alien smuggling are not.   How does one define “materiality”? Was the misrepresentation actually “willful”? What does it mean to “aid and abet the illegal entry” to the United States? This 3-part blog will focus on the latest trends in consular misrepresentation (“6Ci”) decisions; later, we will address recent trends in smuggling (“6E”) adjudications. Notwithstanding the pandemic and the limited operations of consular posts, the rendering of 6Ci determinations continues unabated.  In the pandemic years of FY2020 and FY2021, consuls entered more than 17,000 misrepresentation findings. During this time, we have observed the following: Politics is Overestimated. Many thought that with…

Read more

Fires and Visas: More in Common than You Think (Or the Importance of the DS-160 Visa Application)

Posted on 

It is fire season here in California, and inevitably talk turns to what could have been done to prevent the latest big fire, that the fire could have been prevented if only…. The lessons learned are so applicable to visas that I even have a painting of firemen and a firetruck in my office.  Clients come to me with a “five-alarm fire,” and often my first thought is what could have been done to prevent the fire.  Sometimes, the problem is as simple as correctly and properly filling in the DS-160 visa application form or even having a copy of the visa application form. In many of these consultations, inevitably the topic turns to what was indicated in the visa application form.  I ask for a copy of the DS-160 visa application form and the client does not have one. The client attempts to reconstruct the application or tries to…

Read more

How WhatsApp Messages Can Lead to Cancelled Visas, Expedited Removal, and Permanent Bans

Posted on 

Just because you have arrived at an airport in the United States does not mean that you are protected by the US Constitution and the right to be free from unreasonable searches. This is the unfortunate lesson learned by hundreds of travelers each day to the US.  Worse, the messages on one’s own phone can lead to a cancelled visa, a return trip home, and a permanent ban on entry. As international travel has reemerged after the pandemic, so have the problems experienced by international visitors to the US. Just over the past few months we have conducted numerous consultations with individuals subject to intrusive CBP searches at the airports, including luggage checks and the contents of telephones.  These searches have led to accusations of unlawful employment (most common), prostitution, drug use, intent to remain in the US beyond the length of permitted stay, intent to marry, and intent to…

Read more

I-601 Waivers and Challenges to 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Decisions

Posted on 

Heartbreaking are the immigrant visa cases when, because of a youthful indiscretion or transgression, the applicant is denied the visa to join a spouse or parent or child in the United States under Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This section of the law renders a person permanently inadmissible because of a conviction or admitting to committing a crime of moral turpitude. Thankfully, there are solutions. One solution is to challenge the decision.  In a case we recently handled, the applicant had been denied an immigrant visa as the husband of a Lottery winner on these grounds, and then 10 years later, denied again as the parent of a US citizen on these same grounds.  But the criminal case which was the basis for this visa refusal decision had been terminated before a final decision was made by the judge because of an amnesty. We challenged the 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)…

Read more