A visa application processes through:
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of State (DOS)
The DOS runs all U.S. Embassies in every part of the world
Final processing of your visa application takes place at a U.S. Embassy.
A U.S. citizen employed as a consular officer by the DOS will make the final decision on your visa application. The decision to approve or deny the visa application rests in the hands of this one person.
Processing a visa application through the USCIS is straight forward and based on a limited amount of documentary evidences and forms submissions.
Processing a visa application through the Embassy is in part an art form. It is similar to a great legal orator delivering the powerful closing argument in a court room. It is evidences delivered convincingly by a legal representative who believes in his client and who is willing to give 110%.
Having a legal representative who is an Embassy specialist is critical!
In the last 15 years we have maintained a full service U.S. immigration law office in Bangkok Thailand. Prior to a recent Embassy policy change we spent 3-5 days a week at the consular section IV unit of the U.S. Embassy with our clients. Today, we have at least one applicant appearing daily at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok for a visa interview. We have worked directly with: consular officers, IV unit manager, Visa section manager, fraud manager, foreign services workers, manager of the American Citizens Services Section, and had contact with a consul general and Ambassador.
We are intimately familiar with the policies, protocols and inner workings of U.S. Embassies.
On a daily basis we exit poll our clients after they appear for their Embassy interview. We are aware of the exact questions being asked, who the consular officers are and any particular priorities or prejudices they may have.
If a visa application does not receive final approved at the Embassy interview and additional requirements are imposed by the consular officer these can be challenging to deal with.
For example: we recently represented a retired Los Angeles County District Attorney with 33 years of service. He processed the visa application for his wife but could not obtain final approval because he was asked to prove that he would reestablish his primary domicile in the U.S. after living temporarily abroad.
He attempt to comply several times but could not do so according to the letter of the law. The consular officer suggested he hire an attorney and he replied that he was an attorney. But he was not an immigration attorney familiar with consular processing. Upon hiring our firm we obtained the visa within 2 weeks.
There can be any number of reasons that consular officer’s impose additional requirements. We have seen many instances of requests that are unreasonable. Consular officer’s have the lawful right to deny visa applications based on nothing more than a feeling.
When attempting to manage situations such as this, experience is the only teacher, and if you’re legal representative doesn’t have it your visa could be denied.
Of course we prepare our visa applications and applicants to avoid problems at the Embassy, but unreasonable requests can be made, so when additional requirements are imposed by a consular officer we do not have difficulty because we have extensive experience working directly with Embassies.