Success Story: Consulate Officer Goes Rogue
Last week, we received the following email from a client:
“Unfortunately, my visa wasn’t approved. It’s been placed under special administrative processing.
“The lady who interviewed me was not very nice, nor did she seem to understand how my role was specialized and satisfied the H-1B standard. I explained and provided the supporting paperwork. But she would not read it and sent me away. I left her with everything you gave me plus my passport. Extremely disappointing!
“I’m very worried and stressed. It was almost like she was interviewing me to go [to] the states for the first time, and not like I’ve been living and working in the U.S. for almost 5 years and this was a consular visa renewal, not the first application.
“Please advise me on the best plan of action. I’ve a lease on my apartment, my car, all my belongings, everything in the U.S…. Is there a scenario where I won’t be allowed come back?”
Our client, the employer, was also very concerned and said:
“We hear from our customers regularly about his contributions and how he has made a huge difference in their lives. The confiscation of his passport and not allowing him to return to the United States is just simply unfair and un-American.”
This situation was very distressful for our clients – the employee and his employer – and for our immigration team.
This occurred on a Friday, and over the weekend, we promptly responded and developed a plan of action including: contacting the consulate; drafting and obtaining support letters; and arming our client with the arguments and law to establish that what the consular officer had done was not permissible.
The winning strategy included communication with the consulate outlining the following:
“Posts should bear in mind that: the consular officer’s role in the petition process is to determine if there is substantial evidence relevant to petition validity not previously considered by DHS, and not to merely readjudicate the petition.
“… [C]onsular officers do not have the authority to question the approval of petitions without specific evidence, generally unavailable to DHS at the time of petition approval, that the beneficiary may not be entitled to status.”
After some stressful waiting time, we were thrilled to receive the following from our client:
“VISA APPROVED!!! … seems like after receiving the email we drafted they must have checked my file and realized they messed up big time.
“I want to say a huge thank you to all of you. It means the world to me that you all jumped in to do whatever possible to get me back over there.
“I can’t wait to touch down in the U.S. again in September.”
Across immigration processes, we are seeing extreme vetting that runs contrary to existing law.
Imagine your employee, you, or your loved one, going abroad and unexpectedly not being able to return or being found inadmissible to the United States. How stressful would that be? How much would it cost to undo the situation?
Our client was well prepared and knew we were there for him. But many are not prepared or think that they can handle this process on their own. Developing a strategic plan and acting with zealous legal representation is critical today.Share