Integrity Legal

10th July 2010

K1 visas are a topic frequently discussed on this web log as they are a rather popular travel document for those American Citizens who have a foreign fiancee living outside of the United States of America. That said, in a recently filed complaint before the Federal District Court of Oregon an American Citizen, Dzu Cong Tran, asked for declaratory and injunctive relief as well as a writ of mandamus in connection with his previously filed I-129f petition on behalf of his Vietnamese fiancee. To quote the opening of the complaint:

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS


Nearly three years ago, the former United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) Ombudsman Mr. Prakash Khatri issued recommendations to Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and USCIS regarding necessary changes to the standards and
processes for re-adjudication of petitions returned by consular offices for revocation or revalidation, due to systemic nationwide failures of the system. Two years ago, Jonathan R. Scharfen, former Acting Director of USCIS under the Bush Administration responded to the USCIS Ombudsman’s recommendations, implementing only some of those recommendations and specifically rejecting others. This class action lawsuit involves some of the recommendations of the USCIS Ombudsman which were rejected by defendants, in addition to other issues.


Through the contradictory and unlawful practices of each defendant agency, plaintiff and class members have been aggrieved by agency action and inaction, have suffered agency action unlawfully withheld and unreasonably delayed, have been subjected to arbitrary, capricious and unlawful denials and file transfers, have been deprived of due process of law and had visa issuance and petition approval denied or unreasonably withheld contrary to constitutional right, contrary to procedure required by law, and contrary to the limitations of statutory jurisdiction and authority. Thousands of families across the country and around the
world have been separated due to a colossal sparring match between the defendant agencies, and because of internal dissent within each agency.


Specifically, Plaintiff Dzu Cong Tran, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, challenges (a) defendant U.S. State Department’s (State Department’s) policies and procedures for processing and returning approved petitions to defendant U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with a recommendation that the petition be revoked; and (b) defendant USCIS’ policies and procedures for revoking, denying or terminating petitions returned to it by defendant State Department. Plaintiff respectfully petitions this Court for injunctive, declaratory and mandamus relief to: (a) compel State Department to schedule a
visa interview within a reasonable period from the date that State Department’s National Visa Center receives an approved I-129F petition for fiancé(e) from USCIS; (b) compel State Department to issue a K-1 visa to the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen or notify the petitioner and beneficiary that the petition will be returned to DHS/USCIS within reasonable period following interview; (c) compel State Department to provide a reasonable period during which a petitioner and beneficiary may rebut consular findings before the petition is returned to DHS/USCIS; (d) compel State Department to return petitions to DHS/USCIS only where substantial evidence
exists that fraud, misrepresentation, or ineligibility would lead to denial, and not where it is merely suspected; and to provide a written notice supported by the legal and factual basis for the visa denial and petition return that are not conclusive, speculative, equivocal or irrelevant; (e)compel State Department to render a final decision to approve the K-1 visa or return a petition to
DHS/USCIS within a reasonable period not to exceed 30 days from the receipt of all necessary documents from the petitioner and beneficiary, and to accomplish delivery of the petition to State Department’s National Visa Center within such period; (f) declare that 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(k)(5), which purports to limit the validity of a K-1 fiancé(e) petition (Form I-129F) to four months, is ultra vires and in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right; (g) following such declaration, enjoin DHS/USCIS from limiting the validity period of any approved fiancé(e) petition; (h) declare that the Foreign Affairs Manual, at 9 FAM 40.63 N10.1, which purports to establish the materiality of an alleged misrepresentation pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i), INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), merely based upon DHS/USCIS summary revocation of the petition is ultra vires and in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right; (i) issue a permanent injunction barring the State Department from placing a marker, called a “P6C1” marker, or “quasi-refusal” in a visa beneficiary’s record, and deeming the DHS/USCIS revocation of the petition as automatically establishing the permanent misrepresentation bar to any future immigration possibility; (j) compel DHS/USCIS to issue a notice to petitioner within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days from receipt of the returned petition from the State Department, providing petitioner with the legal and factual basis for the consular recommendation that is not conclusive, speculative, equivocal or irrelevant; (k) compel DHS/USCIS to provide petitioner the opportunity to submit evidence to rebut the consular recommendation within a reasonable period of time; (l) compel DHS/USCIS, in the case of a reaffirmation of approval, to deliver the reaffirmed petition to the State Department within a reasonable period of time, and compel State Department to issue the K-1 visa within a reasonable period of time following reaffirmation; (m) compel DHS/USCIS, in the case of a denial, to issue a decision within a reasonable period of time, and to advise petitioner of the right to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office.

The United States of America’s immigration apparatus is complex and multifaceted. This is due to the fact that two Departments have a role in the Immigration process and within each of those Departments there are multiple government agencies with different roles at differing phases of the process. For example, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP), respectively, have jurisdiction over adjudication of visa petitions and inspection of aliens upon admission to the United States. In the interim, the Department of State, through the National Visa Center and each US Embassy or US Consulate abroad, is tasked with adjudicating visa applications and making determinations regarding an individual applicant’s admissibility to the USA. In the vast majority of cases involving a US visa denial the applicant will be provided written notice of the denial along with factual and legal reasons for the denial. Amongst many other things, the aforementioned complaint alleged that the:

State Department issued the [visa] denial based on mere suspicion and failed to provide a written notice supported by the legal and factual basis for the visa denial and petition return that was not conclusive, speculative, equivocal or irrelevant.

When a US visa application is denied, the Consular Officer issuing the denial should provide a written notice of denial based upon findings of fact and conclusions of law. The complaint, in essence, would seem to be alleging that the Officer at the US Consulate in HCMC did not provide a legally sufficient basis for denial.  Of further interest within the complaint was the following allegation:

State Department, in its denial, stated that, “[i]f USCIS revokes the petition, beneficiary will become ineligible for a visa under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Act.” INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i), is a permanent bar to admissibility for misrepresentation. Pursuant to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 40.63 N10.1, State Department placed a marker, called a “P6C1” marker, or “quasi-refusal” in Ms. Pham’s records, and will deem USCIS revocation of the petition as automatically establishing the permanent misrepresentation bar to any future immigration possibility.

This is an interesting phenomenon. As the US Immigration system becomes more sophisticated Department of State refusals seem to be evermore problematic for those who may later seek admission to the United States. For example, in another post on this blog it was noted that those with a previously issued 221(g) denial from a US Embassy or US Consulate may be denied benefits under the visa waiver program pursuant regulations related to the Electronic System For Travel Authorization (ESTA). As ESTA is under the jurisdiction of the USCBP and since that agency considers 221g refusals to be denials, while the Department of State continues to refer to them as refusals, the issuance of 221g could lead to an otherwise admissible individual being deemed inadmissible to the United States. This author has never personally dealt with a situation in which a Consular Officer has denied a US visa without a factual or legal basis. Hopefully, this case will help ascertain the exact nature of visa refusals at Consulates and Embassies overseas. Bearing that in mind, the decision in a case such as this could have major ramifications upon Consular Processing procedures at virtually every US Consular Post abroad.

For further information related to the US fiance visa please see: K1 visa.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “American Citizen Sues Government Over K-1 Visa Denial Procedures”

  1. [...] (USA Toll Free), +44 203-002-3837 (UK) , or info@integrity-legal.com. On the web please see: US fiance visa . For further information about Consular Processing in Vietnam please see: US Consulate HCMC . [...]

  2. [...] (USA Toll Free), +44 203-002-3837 (UK) , or info@integrity-legal.com. On the web please see: US fiance visa . For further information about Consular Processing in Vietnam please see: US Consulate HCMC [...]

  3. [...] (USA Toll Free), +44 203-002-3837 (UK) , or info@integrity-legal.com. On the web please see: US fiance visa . For further information about Consular Processing in Vietnam please see: US Consulate HCMC [...]

  4. Benjamin says:

    khow can i join complain about K1 visa denial ?

Leave a Reply

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.