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There is nothing more frustrating, disappointing or stressful than having your immigrant visa request denied. This is worse for those cases that are required to have an interview at a United States Embassy in another country. For immigrant visa applicants who may have been waiting for 20 years or more, this could be a serious setback that may cost you years of time wasted or thousands of dollars to try to fix a problem. For some, certain problems could require starting over from scratch, filing some sort of waiver request or having to admit defeat and just quitting altogether.
Since our primary goal at our firm is to help clients win their cases, this article is intended to provide some tips to help immigrants avoid problems that could lead to a denial. If followed, these tips will absolutely increase your chances of avoiding a denial or significant delays in your process.
First, it is sometimes easy to forget that the visa process is a very strict and formal procedure where the U.S. government is evaluating whether to allow someone from another country to either enter the United States. for a specific purpose, certain period of time or to permanently relocate to the U.S. Therefore, preparation is critically important for success. You should know with confidence and certainty what your process is and what makes you eligible for that process. It is a mistake to assume that it is the agent’s job to tell you whether you meet the requirements or for you to completely rely on another person to tell you that you are legally compliant with immigration law. You must completely understand how the process works and know with certainty how you meet all the requirements. If you leave this to anyone other than yourself, you are setting yourself for a very difficult interview and an increased chance of failure.
A second common mistake we have seen people make at the embassy stage of the visa process is for the applicant to not be ready for the interview by not having the proper documents with them for the agent to inspect (such as updated financial documents, a valid passport or original birth certificates). Regardless of whether you had an attorney help you file your initial process, the embassy has a whole bunch more requirements that need to be fulfilled beyond what was required by USCIS. If you do not have an attorney helping you at this phase of the process, a helpful tip to avoid forgetting important documents is to follow the checklist provided by the embassy. Every applicant is provided access to checklists and interview preparation information specifically designed by the embassy to help an applicant succeed at their interview. Failing to follow every bit of information on these documents is always a big mistake.
A closely related mistake made by some applicants at the interview is to arrive with a bad or argumentative attitude. Although it may be a bit irritating dealing with bureaucrats at the embassy, never for an instant should you allow yourself to fall into the trap of acting out or reacting poorly to the questions or requests of an agent. Similar to someone being pulled over by the police, a successful encounter often depends on your attitude. It is always a good idea to act as if your interview is the most important encounter of your life and treat that agent with the respect and patience they deserve. Many immigration agents, especially while we are still recovering from the pandemic, are severely overworked and understaffed and probably come to work expecting to be treated poorly by applicants. Showing your compassion and patience to embassy staff is an excellent way of ensuring an approval will not be withheld from you for some arbitrary reason or because your agent is having a bad day.
A fourth reason an applicant can leave a visa interview with a denial or a lengthy delay is either having health issues that conflict with immigration law or by failing to obtain the proper documentation showing they are free of certain health issues. We are not talking about being free of health issues, just certain easily identifiable “communicable” diseases that put others at risk. If you do not know whether you have these diseases or have had certain vaccinations, do not wait until your immigration medical exam to find out. Coordinate with your medical provider well in advance to make sure you are good to move forward. Often success can hinge on getting a few vaccinations a few weeks or even days before your interview. This has recently become a big problem at embassies across the world for those who cannot or do not want to obtain the Covid-19 vaccine. Like it or not, U.S. immigration law specifically bans individuals from entering the U.S. or from becoming a legal permanent resident if they cannot prove their immunity or vaccination status, such as with Covid-19. This may seem unfair, but it is the law and immigration agents strictly follow these requirements.
These are just four examples of countless issues visa applicants run into when navigating the immigration process and how to avoid them. If you are thinking about trying to apply for a visa or are preparing for an interview at a U.S. embassy and would like to increase your chances of success, please contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation. You can do this by calling our office at 616-805-3435 or by using the following link to schedule an appointment online: https://marvinlawoffice.com/schedule-a-consultation/