Integrity Legal

20th April 2009

No one wishes to go through the stress of a visa denial. Unfortunately, US Visa denials are a semi-routine procedure at the US Embassy in Bangkok Thailand. For the most part, US Family Visas (Fiance and Marriage) are denied less often in comparison to employment, business, and tourist visas. That being said, denials do occur and information regarding visa denials can be rather scarce. Also troublesome is the prevailing idea, promulgated through some unethical advertisers, that US visa outcomes can be  “guaranteed,” the fact of the matter is: no outcome with regard to immigration can ever be 100% guaranteed. US Immigration law, like any other legal field, can be uncertain. This being said, proper legal advice from an American attorney experienced in US Immigration law could make a difference when it comes to obtaining a positive outcome in a US visa case.

US Visa Denial: Why is the US visa being denied by the Consular Officer?

One of the first determinations that should be made regarding a visa denial is whether the decision from the consular officer is final or whether there is a discrepancy that can be dealt with by presenting more information to the US Embassy. Family Visas like the US Fiance visa and the US Marriage visas will usually have different reasons for denial than an American tourist/business visa.

Tourist Visa Denials

With regard to denials of the US tourist visa, under section 214 (b) of the American Immigration and Nationality Act there is a presumption of “immigrant intent,” that must be overcome in the consular officer’s judgment in order for a US visitor visa to be granted. If the consular officer does not believe that the applicant for a US visitor visa has provided enough evidence to overcome this presumption then the officer will not grant the visa.  If denied one is entitled to refile and have a new interview, but where there is no material change of situation, it is unlikely that a tourist visa will be granted.

221 G Refusals

In the case of US family immigration from Thailand, a very common visa denial is the 221 g refusal.  A 221 g is not a denial so much as a refusal to approve a visa application due to a lack of evidence. When a consular officer issues a 221 g they do so by giving the applicant a form with a checklist of things the applicant needs to produce in order for the visa to be approved. Sometimes the necessary items are difficult to obtain and therefore, at least in Thailand, it may be necessary to obtain a Bangkok Lawyer licensed in the US with experience in immigration law. Sometimes the 221 g requires documentation that is easy to obtain and therefore professional assistance is not necessary.

Visa Denial Based Upon Grounds of Inadmissibility

The Grounds of Inadmissibility are the statutorily created reasons for visa denial as stipulated in the US Immigration and Nationality Act. Most of the Grounds of inadmissibility can be waived by filing an I-601 application for Waiver of the Grounds of Inadmissibility at USCIS. After the visa interview a consular officer will asses the application and make a decision whether or not to grant the visa. Should the visa be denied, then the officer will cite the reason for denial and the ground of inadmissibility, if there is a grounds.  For an inadmissibility waiver for a Thai applicant, the waiver application should be filed at USCIS in Thailand.  There are different factual and legal requirements applicants must meet depending upon the ground of inadmissibility one is seeking to have waived. It is probably advisable to have a US Immigration attorney advise those clients that have an issue that needs to be waived.

Note: None of the above information should be used in lieu of actual individualized legal advice from a licensed US attorney in the reader’s jurisdiction


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