The situations making an applicant ineligible for a visa, called visa ineligibilities or “grounds of inadmissibility,” are described in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
If a consular officer denies a visa application, there is no appeal. Still, there may be several ways to challenge a visa denial, such as requesting reconsideration, supervisorial review, or an advisory opinion, or resubmitting the application.
If a visa denial cannot be overcome, it may be possible to request a “waiver.” A waiver is somewhat analogous to a pardon in criminal law, in that a waiver forgives an ineligibility, allowing visa issuance.
Common Waivers of Inadmissibility
If a consular officer denies a visa application, there is no appeal. Still, there may be several ways to challenge a visa denial, such as requesting reconsideration, supervisorial review, or an advisory opinion, or resubmitting the application. If a visa denial cannot be overcome, it may be possible to request a "waiver." A waiver is…
Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship
Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes inadmissible (i.e., ineligible) for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key……
What is Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility?
An individual who an immigration officer or consular officer has determined is inadmissible to the United States as an immigrant or to adjust status in the United States, and certain nonimmigrant applicants who are deemed inadmissible, must file the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, to seek a waiver of certain grounds…
U.S. Visa Denied? Here are Your Options
If your visa is denied, you may be confused and frustrated. And consular officers may be unwilling or unable to properly explain the grounds for refusal and your options for overcoming the refusal. How can an attorney help?
The Meaning of “Extreme Hardship” for Waiver Purposes
A person found ineligible for a visa may nonetheless qualify one of the various “waivers” allowing visa issuance. Often, issuance of a waiver requires that the applicant prove a qualifying relative will experience “extreme hardship” if the waiver is not granted.
SHI Jianxiang, Wanted in China, Convicted of U.S. Visa Fraud
A fugitive Chinese businessman was sentenced Friday to one year in prison after he was convicted on two counts of visa fraud for hiding a Marshall Islands passport he held under another name. See Carolina Bolado, Wanted Chinese Businessman Gets One Year for Visa Fraud, Law360 (Oct. 14, 2022) (subscription only). U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles sentenced SHI Jianxiang Shi to 12 months……
ZTE Visa Fraud Allegations Found Credible by Texas Federal Judge
A Texas federal judge has found to be true allegations of visa fraud by ZTE, a partially state-owned Chinese telecommunications and information technology company. Judge Ed Kindeade’s findings were made in the context of a hearing on whether to revoke ZTE’s probation for violating Iran sanctions. ZTE was on probation after pleading guilty in 2017……
Catalog of U.S. Visa Sanctions Against China (Updated)
This article summarizes the U.S. government's visa sanctions targeting specific Chinese individuals, companies, and institutions.
Proposed Settlement in University of Northern New Jersey Class Action
A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and foreign nationals who enrolled in University of Northern New Jersey, a fake school created by the agency as part of an immigration sting. The proposed settlement would resolve claims that ICE violated the due process protections of the……
COVID Vaccination Requirements for Immigrant Visa Applicants
Effective Oct. 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) requires applicants to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series prior to being issued an immigrant visa.
Biden Revokes Trump’s Health Insurance Requirement for Immigrant Visa Applicants
On May 14, President Biden revoked former President Trump’s proclamation requiring that immigrant visa applicants buy health insurance. Proclamation 9945 had never gone into effect because it was tied up in litigation. Plaintiffs in Doe vs. Trump that the proclamation was an unlawful exercise of power reserved for Congress. It would have required immigrant visa……