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Immigrant applying for an immigrant visa at a United States consulate abroad are occasionally denied their visa, even though U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service approved the visa petition.  This creates confusion and disappointment, and sometimes even separation of families.  Understanding the probable causes of denial can help an immigrant and his/her family prepare and avoid this unexpected surprise.  This blog post will summarize the most likely causes of a visa denial following visa petition approval.


Citizenship and Immigration Services is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, and is the agency that adjudicates the visa petition.  When the approved visa petition is then sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, the Department of State then has authority to approve or deny the visa.  Generally, the consular officer should not second-guess the previously made decision by U.S.C.I.S. on the approved petition.  However, the consular officer has authority to "re-adjudicate" the decision already made by U.S.C.I.S.  for various reasons.


If the consular officer determines that the underlying visa petition was approved based on fraud or misrepresentation by the intending immigrant, the officer may deny the visa.  Obviously, whether an immigrant engaged in fraud or misrepresentation is a subjective determination based on an analysis of facts as understood by the consular officer.  It is critical that the immigrant properly present the case to the officer during the interview to avoid misunderstanding and suspicion by the officer.


Even though a visa petition may be approved by U.S.C.I.S., the consular officer does not have authority to issue a visa to an immigrant that is "inadmissible".  The immigrant has the burden of proving that he/she is not inadmissible.  A person may be inadmissible for various reasons, including unlawful presence, criminal activity, medical problems, etc.  Prior to attending the interview, the person should seek competent legal advice about whether any grounds of inadmissibility exist.  In many cases, a waiver request can be submitted, giving the consular officer authority to waive a particular ground of inadmissibility. 

For assistance with consular processing, an experienced attorney is critical.  Christiansen Law Firm assists immigrants with consular processing to avoid potential problems that could arise.  The immigration law attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have experience in consular processing.  Contact Christiansen Law Firm's office in Houston, Texas or San Antonio, Texas to schedule a free consultation.  

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