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What Happens After Family-Based Visa Gets Denied

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What happens if my visa for a family member gets denied? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in st Louis, Missouri. Okay. Today we’re talking about a really important topic and that is what happens when an immigrant visa… We’re not going to talk about non-immigrant visas because so many non immigrant visas get denied. We don’t really spend much time on this website and on this YouTube channel talking about denied non-immigrant visas because so many of them are denied and we don’t spend any time in our office working on non-immigrant visas other than fiance cases.

But today we’re talking about situations where someone wants to come to the United States, they’ve sponsored their spouse or their fiance, because we do talk about fiance, as it is a non-immigrant visa. But for all intents and purposes, it’s treated for the purposes of this discussion like a spouse visa, or if you’re sponsoring your parents or your children to come to the United States.

What happens if the visa is refused? And so that’s one word that needs to go in the back of your brain. And that’s refusal. So a lot of people call those denials. And of course there can be cases that are out now denied. And when a person goes to their visa interview, they’re generally given a piece of paper if their case is not approved or if it’s denied or refused. So they have to give you a statutory basis for the refusal. And there’s a form that they use and it’ll list all the bases of denials. And not all refusals are treated equally or considered equally. So some can be straight out denials like for terrorism grounds or other things. If they think there’s some bar and you come into the United States, they will refuse the visa.

Many visas they get refused do get overcome though. A lot of times you’ll get refused just because you haven’t given them all the paperwork or there’s more documentation that they want. And those refusals can be overcome. Typically, that involves going back to the embassy with more evidence, following the rules, following their requests and giving them everything that they can. So the one thing you need to keep in mind is that not all refusals are created equal and you need to probably talk to an immigration lawyer to see if this is a refusal that can be overcome.

Of course, some refusals, they’re going to stick on some refusals, they’re just not going to let someone in the United States. Other refusals, you might be able to get a waiver. So let’s say that the loved one overseas had made some kind of misrepresentation to come to the United States. You might be able to do a waiver for that or they might have a bar on coming back to the United States for having overstayed a prior visa in the United States.

There’s lots of different reasons why you can take a refusal and get it overcome with a waiver, so that waiver adds extra time and expense to the process. But every refusal, like I said, is not created equally and not every refusal is insurmountable. So there might be ways that you can do it through UCIS, through the waiver process. You might be able to submit more additional evidence to the state department. And then there’s of course the refusals that are just outright refusal and the state department basically says, sir or madam, you just aren’t coming in the United States.

Now here’s the thing, the Supreme court ruled several years ago in a case called Kerry v. Den, that an embassy has that right to not allow you into the United States. And they don’t even have to tell you why they’re not letting you into the United States. So in that case, a woman had sponsored her husband from Pakistan, the embassy in Islamabad decided not to give them a visa, and they refused to explain why. And the woman sued to try to find out why and how to overcome the denial. And the embassy didn’t give it to them. And it went all the way to the Supreme Court. And in a five to four decision, the Supreme Court said, we don’t have to tell you, the state department doesn’t have to tell you. And they were right to refuse the visa and to not give an explanation.

So there is a lot of discretion. And so that’s why you really need to be careful in dealing with the embassy and you need to make sure that you understand why your case was refused and what options are available to you. We have lots of videos on this website about refusals and about waivers and about how to overcome those things and about submitting more evidence to make your case as strong as possible.

But if you have more questions about a refusal, give us a call at 314-961-8200. Or you can email us at infohackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called immigrant home. And if you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and share it out on social whenever you can. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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