What to do if your visa is refused/denied Part 3
IMMIGRATION CORNER By Michael J. Gurfinkel Updated March 08, 2009 12:00 AM
In previous articles, I discussed some items or suggestions that could possibly increase your chances of obtaining a visa, avoiding a refusal, or overcoming a refusal. Here are some more pointers:
6. Retain copies of the refusal and any affidavits you’ve signed.
I have had many people come to me, crying that their visa was refused. When I asked them for a copy of the refusal or sworn statement, they say that, “I was so upset, that I tore up all the paperwork and threw it into the Pasig River.” Therefore they do not have a copy of any documentation relating to the refusal. Obviously, it is difficult to evaluate whether a person could possibly overcome the refusal, if they threw out or destroyed all the paper work.
Under the FAM, consuls do provide people with written notice of the grounds or reasons for the visa refusal. In addition, an applicants’ sworn statement is “deemed releasable to an applicant as they constitute the applicant’s original source documents.” In other words, if you sign a confession or sworn statement, you should be given a copy of that sworn statement, which you must keep.
7. It is up to you to establish your eligibility for the visa.
As a visa applicant, it is your burden to establish eligibility for the immigration benefit you are applying for. If you are not able to properly present, package, or document your eligibility, you run the risk of having the visa refused. However, in my experience, consuls are fair, reasonable, and open minded and would normally grant the visa, if you are able to properly prove, document, and establish that you have met all legal requirements. And even after a refusal, you still have the chance to prove eligibility. As the FAM states, “If a visa is refused, and the applicant within one year from the date of the refusal adduces [presents] further evidence tending to overcome the ground of ineligibility on which the refusal was based, the case shall be reconsidered.” Therefore, not only are the consuls willing to take a “second look” at a refusal, but the FAM also states that the case “shall be reconsidered,” so long as you present proper evidence and documentation establishing eligibility.
That is why it is so important that if your visa is refused, you seek the advice of a reputable attorney, who can evaluate your case, and advise if there is “hope” in overcoming the refusal, and assisting you in presenting your case to the consuls for reconsideration.
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View previous articles of this column.