Request for Reconsideration of Immigrant Visa Denials

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Many immigrant visa applicants are under the mistaken impression that they are not allowed to challenge a negative visa decision by a consular officer. In fact, every applicant for an immigrant visa has a right to submit a Request for Reconsideration of an immigrant visa denial. While technically this is not an appeal, a Request for Reconsideration does give the applicant the right to submit new evidence or arguments to challenge a visa refusal.   A consular officer must review such a formal Request; this is an obligation, one that the consular officer cannot shirk.  This obligation is set out in the Department of State’s own regulations, and an appeals court recently confirmed that this is the consular officer’s duty, punching a hole in the armor of the consular nonreviewability doctrine.  However, there is a time limit on the submission of the RFR: it must be submitted within one year of…

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