Additional Practice Areas
Our office provides tailored assistance in cases involving previous visa denials,
cancellations or revocations. Each such case is unique and our dedicated and
expert legal team accompanies the client through every phase of the process.
What are the most common causes for visa denial?
· Past immigration violations (eg. visa overstays or unauthorized employment like “agalot”)
· Past complications upon entry to the U.S. (denied entry, visa revocation, removal from the US)
· Criminal records (including DUIs)
· Drug and alcohol abuse (including medical and recreational marijuana use in places where it has been decriminalized)
· Fraud and misrepresentation (especially on previous visa applications)
· Public charge issues (eg. Bankruptcy)
· Security-related grounds
If you are denied a visa, is there anything you can do?
Yes. The first step is to recognize and identify the reason behind the denial. It is very important that you keep the Refusal Letter given to you by the Consular Officer at the conclusion of your interview. In most cases we recommend submitting requests for information (FOIA’s) to the relevant governmental agencies to to help understand the factual basis for the denial. A legal review may be necessary before another visa application is submitted. In cases where it is applicable, the next step is to prepare and file a Waiver, which is a special request for the US Authorities to disregard an inadmissibility issue and issue a visa in any case.
In a Waiver request the applicant explains that there are significant mitigating facts that should be weighed against the grounds of inadmissibility, for example the amount of time passed since the incident, interest to the U.S Economy or personal hardship on the part of an American Citizen.
The B-1 Visa classification is intended for persons who seek to enter the U.S to participate in a narrow scope of business activities of a commercial or professional nature including, but not limited to:
- Consulting with business associates
- Attending scientific, educational, professional or business conventions or conferences on specific dates
- Settling an estate or selling an asset
- Negotiating a contract
The B-2 Visa classification is intended for temporary visitors who enter the U.S for the purpose of tourism or leisure. There are limited activities that a B-2 temporary visitor may engage in lawfully.
Can I work or study in the U.S. while on B status?
The B-1/B-2 Visa is not intended for employment or education, including unpaid or remote work. These activities are categorically prohibited under this visa.
If you suspect that your intended activities in the U.S might possibly fall outside those permitted by your visa, we recommend consulting with a qualified U.S Immigration Attorney first before taking any further steps.
How can I apply for a B-1/B-2 visa?
Applicants requesting a B-1/B-2 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 pay the visa fee and schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy. At the interview, applicants must provide proof that they have significant social and economic ties to their country, and therefore, are only entering the U.S. with the intention of a temporary stay. They might also be asked to provide evidence of funds sufficient to support them during their stay.
If you applied for an immigrant (Green Card) or nonimmigrant (eg. B-1/B-2) visa but were refused and found to be “inadmissible” to the United States, you might be able to overcome this by filing 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 a Visa or entry to the US for anyone who falls under one or more of the many Grounds of Inadmissibility categories. These categories are determined by the U.S Authorities and include:
- Security risks
- Health-related risks
- Criminal record in any country (including DUIs)
- Excessive unlawful presence in the U.S (overstay)
- Misrepresentation or fraud
- Employment in the U.S without proper authorization
What are the legal requirements for a Wavier?
There are multiple different strategies that can be used when preparing and filing a Waiver, and there are many legal factors that need to be determined and taken into consideration. Each Waiver application is unique, and requires the legal and procedural expertise of an experienced U.S Immigration Attorney.
Our office is happy to assist individuals who would like to terminate (renounce) their Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card) status.
What do I need to do if I no longer want to hold a Green Card?
In order to renounce and terminate your Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status you must complete Form I-407 and submit it via mail to the current address as stated on the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Website.
What are the consequences of Renouncing my Green Card?
Renouncing your Green Card should not have any legal consequences on future applications for a U.S Visa or a new Green Card, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements of the requested visa. We recommend that you consult with an experienced and qualified tax attorney or accountant in order to determine the possible effects Green Card Renunciation might have on your U.S Tax requirements.
A Reentry Permit allows a Green Card holder to retain their Legal Permanent (LPR) Status in spite of a prolonged absence from the U.S.
A Reentry Permit establishes that you do not intend to abandon your LPR 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 need a Reentry Permit if you will be outside the United States for longer than six months.
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) in the U.S to obtain your biometric information, 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 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 and fingerprints) have already been obtained.
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?
Recently implemented U.S regulations allow for married spouses of L-1, E-1 or E-2 workers in valid L-2 or E-1/E-2 Dependent status to be considered employment authorized incident to status. This means that an EAD card is not required for authorized work. Child dependents under these categories are not allowed to work and may not apply for EADs.
Can I apply for the EAD card before relocating to the U.S.?
The application process requires that you file from within 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 and copies of your visa, passport, marriage certificate and photos.
How long will it take to receive my Employment Authorization Document?
Processing times vary depending on the backlogs at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Processing times must be checked in real-time, here: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
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 would I need to make a FOIA Request?
In certain cases, for example, if you need to overcome a visa denial, deportation or other consequence immigration law violation or inadmissibility, it is recommended that you file a request to obtain your immigration records from the U.S Immigration Authorities (USCIS, DOS, CBP and ICE).
This request is made through the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act, and can be made online or via mail, depending on the agency.
Your immigration attorney will use the information obtained from the FOIA Request to better understand your legal circumstances and to help build your visa future application in a way that will simultaneously maximize the odds of approval and minimize the chances of further complications or denial.
A provision exists under U.S. 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 proven to be beyond their 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 (LPR) at the time of your departure from the United States;
- Departed from the United States with the intention of returning and have not abandoned this intention;
- Are returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was prolonged, that this was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you cannot reasonably be deemed 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 include, 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 can include, proof of medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company abroad, mandatory military service outside the U.S
Once approved can I return to the U.S. using my original Green Card?
If approved you will need to repeat some elements of the Green Card application process, including:
- Completing a Form DS-260
- Conducting a new medical exam
- Providing certain civil documents
- Attending a consular interview
Only then may you re-enter the U.S. on the originally issued Green Card.