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

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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…

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

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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…

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

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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…

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E-2 Visa Denials

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One usually does not associate the US Government Accountability Office with “interesting” reports, but last year’s report on E-2 visas was eye-opening.  Of particular note are the reasons why E-2 applicants are denied.  While the report is limited to examining certain countries, it provides critical insight into the thinking of consular officers and obstacles to obtaining E-2 visas. As a reminder E-2 visas are limited to nationals of countries with whom the United States has commerce and navigation treaties. The full list of countries can be found on the Department of State’s website, with 80% of all E-2 applicants originating from 9 countries: Japan, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Italy, and Spain. The majority of E-2 visa applicants are related to large investments (>$10 million) – think of managers and essential employees going from Japan to work in a large car plant in the United States.  However, the…

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