Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Visa Requirements Disregarded

The Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) and State Department visa regulations (in the Foreign Affairs Manual) state that every visa applicant is an intending immigrant unless and until he can prove otherwise (section 214[b] of the INA).

You rebut this presumption by demonstrating ties to your own country or country of application sufficiently strong that you must return after your business in the U.S. is concluded.

This can be family, property, job, investments, culture, etc.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, the natives were outnumbered by contract workers from all over the world hired to clerk in supermarkets, pump gas, fly airplanes, and run banks.

If you are a supposed businessman and going to the U.S. to attend a trade show but you can't name the show or the city in which it is being held, then you don't get a visa.

Or, if you are the king's secretary's barber and have been in Saudi Arabia 6 months and can't explain why you want to go to the U.S., you don't get a visa either.

In the two cases described above, Springmann was overruled.

The regulations state the the visa officer usually has the first and last word, unless and until someone provides enough information not available to the officer at the time the visa was refused which would cause him to change his mind.

The head of the Consular Section can overrule him, but he has to provide written justification for doing so. This was never done in Jeddah.

Our requirements for visa issuance were: valid passport, properly filled out application form, letter from employer confirming job and salary, and a personal interview.