What to do if your visa is refused/denied – Part I
Having your visa refused (denied) could be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Sometimes after waiting sometimes for more than 15 years, a person is turned away at their Embassy interview, with all hopes and dreams of ever going to America (and being reunited with the family) going up in flames.
While no one can “guarantee” that a person will be issued a visa, the following could assist you in increasing your chances for being issued the visa, or overcoming/avoiding a refusal:
1. Are you entitled to the benefit you are applying for?
Some people apply for a visa when they are clearly not eligible, or they are no longer eligible. For example, if a person was petitioned by his immigrant parent as “single,” but he got married before arriving in the US, the marriage voids the petition. Therefore, if you are married (even if you believe it is a “secret” marriage), you are simply not entitled to an immigrant visa as a “single” person. Therefore, it is important that you know what the requirements are for the particular visa or immigration benefit you are seeking, and you need to meet and prove your eligibility for that visa. If you are not eligible, you should not apply.
2. Tell the truth.
I have come across many cases where a person had applied for a visa and would have been eligible, but he decided it would be “better” for his case if he lied. And his lie really did not help his case. For example, a person applying for a visitor’s visa exaggerates his income or assets, thinking that it would be “better” for his case, or will increase his chances. But the consul discovers the misrepresentations. This, alone, is enough to refuse the visa, and possibly result in a lifetime ban. Had he told the truth about their assets, it could have been possible that he would have been eligible or qualified for the visa. So, a person who could have been eligible for a visa could get refused, simply by not telling the truth.
3. Make sure all your documents are true, genuine, and correct.
The Embassy is well aware of Recto Street, and that sometimes people, in their desperation, obtain fake, altered, or manufactured documents from Recto Street and submit those documents to the Embassy. The documents could include birth certificates, certificates of no marriage (singleness), land titles, tax returns, etc. But the Embassy has seen these documents many times over, and probably even knows the shop owner who sold you those documents. Again, I have seen many cases where a person probably would have qualified for the visa, but submitted fake, altered, or manufactured documents (which constitutes fraud/misrepresentation), which resulted in the visa refusal, and possible lifetime ban.
In future articles, I will discuss more items that can help you possibly avoid or overcome a refusal of your visa.
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By Michael J. Gurfinkel
Updated February 15, 2009 12:00 AM