Primary Types of Visa Issues That Applicants May Encounter

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Whether you are applying for a visa or are a current visa holder, challenges and issues can always arise. With the right immigration adviser, these problems can be avoided or managed.

There are three primary types of visa issues that an applicant may encounter. Each can have a profound impact on the outcome of the application:

Denial

Even though visa issues are complex, they can be managed. Accepting that you might have a problem and need help to solve it is one of the most crucial things you can do to help yourself deal with them.

If you are a green card applicant, you might be denied because of errors in your application. This could be as simple as a typo, but it can also mean that you are a security risk or are inadmissible for health reasons.

For a work visa, the consular officer might be concerned that you have been living in the United States illegally. They can interpret this as a sign that you are trying to escape your country, and they may reject your application.

If you have been denied a visa, contacting your attorney and discussing the issue is a good idea. This will allow you to figure out what your options are and what steps you can take to improve your chances of being approved for the visa. Consider a second visa application to ensure you have all your information and materials in place. Although this is the case when entering the U.S., entering other countries like India is simple for U.S. citizens. Even though the processing time is typically 4 to 5 days, it’s also typical for applicants to receive their¬†Indian visa¬†within 24 hours of submitting their application. There is no need to visit an embassy or consulate physically.

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Administrative Processing

Visa issues can be very frustrating, particularly when they should be resolved more quickly. Some cases can even go on for years, delaying your ability to travel abroad or work as you had hoped.

One of the most common and least understandable visa delays is administrative processing (A.P.). A.P. refers to the additional review and evaluation of an application by the U.S. Government for various reasons, including security risks and potential law violations.

During an interview, consular officers will tell you that your case may be sent to a data center for further analysis and screening. This is often required for applicants with a history of criminal convictions, a history of security breaches, or other factors that could make them an immigration risk.

The U.S. Department of State doesn’t publish a statistic on the number of cases referred for this additional scrutiny, but it is expected to increase. According to the agency, most referred issues will be resolved within 120 days of the interview, though that can vary based on the circumstances of each case.

For example, suppose you’re applying for a visa to work as a research scientist at a biomedical startup in the Boston area. Your visa will likely be sent for administrative processing due to your position on the Technology Alert List (TAL). This is an official list of scientists and engineers from countries that are considered state sponsors of terrorism or that have been identified by the U.S. as nonproliferation export control countries.

While the government has clarified that referred cases are not necessarily refused on their merits, the lack of transparency around this process can discourage many visa applicants. It may lead to a lot of confusion. The Department of State is changing how cases are displayed on its consular electronic applicant case center (CEAC) website to avoid confusion and make it easier for visa applicants to find out their status.

Although the number of cases referred for this additional examination does not have a published statistic, it is anticipated to rise. According to the agency, most referred issues will be resolved within 120 days of the interview, though that can vary based on the circumstances of each individual case.

Inadmissibility

Inadmissibility is the legal term for being unable to enter the United States. This can be a problem for non-citizens who have traveled abroad or are already lawfully present in the United States but seek a different status, such as permanent residency or citizenship.

The Immigration and Nationality Act lays out various general grounds for inadmissibility, including health-related grounds; criminal and related grounds; security and related grounds; public charge proscription; labor certification requirements and qualifications for certain immigrants; illegal entrants and immigration violators proscription; documentation requirements; ineligibility for citizenship; previous unlawful presence; and miscellaneous grounds.

In addition, non-citizens who have received a removal order after expedited removal proceedings or other proceedings initiated upon their arrival in the United States are inadmissible for five years, even if they’ve been rehabilitated.

Several other inadmissibility grounds exist, but these are the most commonly encountered. Some apply only to non-citizens applying for admission to the United States; others apply to those in the country and those seeking to adjust their status to permanent residency. In all cases, knowing your specific inadmissibility grounds and what you can do if you’re found inadmissible is essential.

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