Additional Practice Areas
Our office can provide tailored assistance resulting in a strategic approach for visa denials.
What are the reasons for a visa denial?
The main reasons for a visa denial are:
- Past violations
- Past deportation
- Criminal grounds
- Drugs and alcohol
- Fraud and misrepresentation
- Public charge
- Security-related grounds
If you are denied, is there anything you can do?
Yes. The first step is to recognize and identify the reason for the denial. In many cases we need to initiate an investigation just to gather information from the government authorities in order to understand the factual basis for the denial.
If applicable, the second stage is to file a waiver, which is a special request to enter the U.S. despite a prior finding of inadmissibility. In this request, the applicant argues that in spite of the reasons which make him/her inadmissible there are significant facts to consider that should be weighed against the grounds of inadmissibility.
B-1 visa classification is intended for a visitor who will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:
- Consulting with business associates;
- Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates;
- Settling an estate;
- Negotiating a contract;
- Participating in short-term training
The B-2 visa is intended for temporary visitors for tourism. There are limited activities that a B2 temporary visitor may engage in lawfully.
Can you work and study in the U.S. while on B status?
Employment and full-time education are categorically prohibited while in the U.S. in B-1/B2 status.
How do you apply for B-1/B-2 visa?
Applicants requesting a visitor visa must apply at their local U.S. Embassy. After submission of Form DS-160 through the U.S. Department of State website, applicants must schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy. Applicants must provide proof that they have significant social and economic ties in their country, and therefore, are entering the U.S. with the intention of a temporary stay.
In cases you apply for an immigrant visa but you are “inadmissible” to the United States you must file a special request called a “Waiver of Inadmissibility”.
What does it mean to be inadmissible?
According to U.S. immigration law, in certain circumstances, the U.S. government is authorized to refuse entry to anyone who falls within the list of grounds of inadmissibility. The list includes security, health, criminal, and related risks. You may also be inadmissible based on excessive unlawful presence in the U.S.
What are the legal requirements for an I-601 waiver?
In order to file a waiver, you must prove an extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is your immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent). The foreign national must demonstrate that his/her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer “extreme hardship” if they cannot be united.
Our office can assist with individuals who would like to terminate their green card status.
What do I need to do if I no longer want to hold a green card?
In order to terminate lawful permanent resident (LPR) status you must submit Form I-407 via mail to:
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: I-407 unit
124 Leroy Road
PO Box 567
Williston, VT 05495
For additional information, see USCIS Will No Longer Accept I-407 at International Field Offices.
It is critical that you return the green card, even if expired, as it is the only way to terminate your obligations under this status.
A Reentry Permit allows a green card holder to retain status in spite of the amount of time spent outside of the U.S. A reentry permit establishes that you did not intend to abandon status, and it allows you to apply for admission to the United States after traveling abroad for up to 2 years without having to obtain a returning resident visa. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance. You do not need a reentry permit if you will be outside the United States for less than 1 year.
How do I apply for a re-entry permit?
To obtain a reentry permit, file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. USCIS will notify you when to appear at a designated Application Support Center (ASC) to obtain your biometrics, which must be taken while still in the U.S.
Can I apply for the re-entry permit after I have left the U.S.?
You cannot file a Form I-131 to obtain a reentry permit unless you are physically present in the United States when you file the form. You should file your Form I-131 no fewer than 60 days before you intend to travel abroad.
Do I need to remain in the U.S. until my application is approved?
You do not have to be in the United States for USCIS to approve your Form I-131 and issue a reentry permit to you if your biometrics (photo, fingerprints) have been obtained. You may request the Approval Notice be sent to the local Embassy.
Our office can assist you with obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is needed in order to work in the U.S. under certain visa types.
Can I work upon arrival in the U.S. as a dependent of an L-1 or E-1 or E-2 visa holder?
You must apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in order to work in the U.S. if you are the holder of a dependent L or E visa. The EAD takes the form of a card with your name, photo, and work eligibility expiration date.
Can I apply for the EAD card before relocating to the U.S.?
The application process requires that you file from the U.S. when you and the primary visa holder are physically in the U.S. The application requires the filing of a Form I-765, either by mail or online. The supporting documents required are determined by the visa under which you are applying, and include current I-94 documents, copy of your visa, passport, marriage certificate and photos.
How long will it take to receive my Employment Authorization Document?
It is currently taking take anywhere from 5-7 months for an EAD to be processed. This is due to the number of applications and backlogs caused by the pandemic. For this reason, it is important that you file accurately and include all required documents. If you will need to file for an extension, you should take the lengthy processing times into account and file as early as allowed.
Under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, individuals can request certain information from the government relating to them personally. Our office can assist you in making such a request.
Why do I need to make a FOIA Request?
In special cases, if you are required to overcome a visa denial, deportation or any other immigration law violation, you can file a request to obtain the relevant immigration records from the immigration authorities (USCIS, DOS, CBP, ICE). This request is made through the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act. This process is similar to the Israeli process under Freedom of Information Act.
A provision exists under U.S. visa law for the issuance of a returning resident special immigrant visa to a green card holder who remained outside the United States for longer than one year, (or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, which is 2 years), due to circumstances beyond his/her control.
How do I qualify for returning residence status?
You will need to prove to the Consular Officer that you:
- Had the status of a lawful permanent resident at the time of departure from the United States;
- Departed from the United States with the intention of returning and have not abandoned this intention; and
- Are returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible.
What do I need to do to apply for a returning resident visa?
You should contact your local Embassy at least 3 months prior to travel to inquire as to the specific procedures and requirements. At a minimum you will need to provide:
- A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117
- Proof of your ties to the United States and your intention to return (Examples: tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the United States)
- Proof that your stay outside of the United States was for reasons beyond your control. (Examples: medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company, required army service)
Once approved can I return to the U.S. on my original green card?
If approved you will need to repeat some elements of the green card process, including completion of the Form DS-260, a new medical exam and provision of certain civil documents and a consular interview. Only then may you re-enter the U.S. on the originally issued green card.