Many foreign nationals trying to gain entry to the United States are under the impression that once their visa petitions have been approved in the U.S. that the process is essentially complete and they are “good to go”, with their visa stamp being automatic.

Unfortunately this is not the case.

In reality, many applicants are denied visas at U.S. embassies, even after initially being approved stateside. Visa petitioners can, and often are, denied at the embassy for any of the following reasons:

  • The presiding consular official disagrees with Immigration Service’s initial determination that the visa petition met all legal standards and determines that the petitioner does not qualify on the merits.
  • The petitioner has a previous history of criminal infractions or past U.S.  immigration violations, like overstaying a previously issued visa, or working in the U.S. without the proper authorization. In these cases, there is sometimes a one-time exception called the”petty offense” exception which may be used, or the person may need to apply for a waiver, which serves to lift their bar to entry and allows them to enter the U.S. legally with the approved visa.
  • The “catch-all” reason for denial – lack of sufficient ties to one’s country of origin. This determination is virtually impossible to actually quantify, so consular officials frequently use it to justify a denial, even if the applicant has already been approved in the United States.

Once denied on any of these 3 grounds, many people simply do not know what to do or where to go next.

This is where I come in. Having practiced U.S. immigration law abroad for 8 years, I have gained invaluable experience working with the different U.S. embassies around the globe and filing successful visa applications, as well as waivers of all kinds . I have helped those facing these types of problems at approximately 3 dozen different U.S. embassies worldwide, which is why I am honored to be referred cases like these from other immigration attorneys who don’t practice consular law. In the best-case scenario, I am able to handle the cases before there are any problems, to be able to identify red flags and devise specific legal strategies in order to protect the client and prepare their case so they can get the visa they desire.

Steve Maggi

SMA Law Firm

smaggi@smalawyers.com

(212) 402-6885