Integrity Legal

10th April 2010

Visa denial is generally something that most bi-national couples do not wish to discuss, but it is something that should be researched by the prospective visa petitioner as legal grounds of inadmissibility and the I-601 waiver process could be relevant to an individual couple’s Immigration petition and visa application.

In a recent report from the Congressional Research service (distributed by AILA) the issue of visa denial was discussed as the report looked at the reasons for denial and the overall trends in inadmissibility findings:

“Most LPR [Lawful Permanent Residence] petitioners who were excluded on §212(a) grounds from FY1994 through FY2004 were rejected because the Department of State (DOS) determined that the aliens were inadmissible as likely public charges. By FY2004, the proportion of public charge exclusions had fallen but remained the top basis for denial. The lack of proper labor certification was another leading ground for exclusion from FY1994 through FY2004. By FY2008, however, illegal presence and previous orders of removal from the United States was the leading ground.”

The finding of a “public charge” grounds of inadmissibility is related to the affidavit of support. A finding that an alien is likely to be a “public charge” stems from a finding that the sponsor does not have the requisite income and assets necessary to support the alien for whom benefits are being sought. The report goes further to note that Comprehensive Immigration Reform may tackle some of the issues associated with the trends in visa application denials:

“Legislation aimed at comprehensive immigration reform may take a fresh look at the grounds for excluding foreign nationals enacted over the past two decades. Expanding the grounds for inadmissibility, conversely, might be part of the legislative agenda among those who support more restrictive immigration reform policies.”

It is interesting to note that the Immigration system may become more stringent or more lax depending upon the mood of legislators with regard to the issue of immigration. That being said, a more detailed look at the current trends provides insight into the dynamics of the system as a whole:

“[M]ost LPR petitioners who were excluded on §212(a) grounds in FY1996 and FY2000 were rejected because the DOS determined that the aliens were inadmissible as likely public charges. In FY2004, the proportion of public charge exclusions had fallen, but remained the top basis for denial. The lack of proper labor certification was another leading ground for exclusion in FY1996, FY2000, FY2004, and FY2008. By FY2008, however, illegal presence and previous orders of removal from the United States had become the leading ground.”

It is interesting to note that unlawful presence and previous removal had become the leading grounds of inadmissibility cited by the year 2008. This would seem to support the anecdotal evidence and personal experience of this author as more and more prospective entrants to the US seem to be placed in expedited removal proceedings with greater frequency. Also, there seems to be an increasing trend of increasingly zealous enforcement of Immigration law in the USA as illegal aliens are placed in removal proceedings more frequently.

For further information about visa denial please see: K1 visa. For general information about US Immigration from Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.


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