The Path to an Immigrant Visa July 2012

Thứ Tư, 11 Tháng Bảy 201200:00(Xem: 44384)
The Path to an Immigrant Visa July 2012
Visa “Classifications”: When CIS approves a visa petition, this is only a minor accomplishment for the petitioner and family member in Vietnam. CIS approval just shows that they have received documents that appear to indicate there is a legal, qualifying relationship. For example, the approved petition just indicates that according to the documents submitted, A appears to be the father of B, or C is legally the spouse of D. But that is just the first step, the easiest step, in the application for an immigrant visa. The approval of a visa petition does not necessarily result in the issuance of an actual immigrant visa.

US CIS is not the agency that gives final approval of an immigrant visa case. If the US Consulate in Saigon decides that a visa should not be issued, they can send the visa petition back to CIS. And, if the visa is issued, when the new immigrants arrive at the airport in the US, CPB (Customs and Border Patrol) can deny entry or confiscate their passports if they believe that the immigrants do not have the right to enter the US. 

Family-Based Classifications: There are two Family-Based categories: Immediate Relative and Preference Category. A US citizen’s spouse, parent or unmarried children under 21 have an immigrant visa “immediately available” and are categorized as Immediate relative (IR). 

In the “preference categories”, a US citizen may petition for an unmarried adult son or daughter (21 yrs and older), or a married son or daughter and their spouse and children under 21, or the citizen’s sibling, along with spouse and children.

Permanent residents may sponsor their spouse and unmarried children. Married sons and daughters of a permanent resident do not get visas. It is for that reason that some will choose to remain unmarried, or conceal marriages, or fraudulently divorce.
USCIS decides if the evidence presented by the petitioner establishes the claimed relationship. If CIS in the US denies a family based petition, the sponsor has the right to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals within the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR).

Application for a Visa and the Visa Interview: Department of State Consular Officers interview applicants for a visa at Embassies or Consulates abroad. They have greater discretion to refuse to issue a visa and it is very difficult to overcome such decisions. Challenges to visa refusals are made all the time, but successful challenges are probably in the minority.

If CIS approved the visa petition in the US, how can the interview officer at the US Consulate deny the case? In fact, the Consular officer has a duty to deny the case if he or she feels that CIS did not have access to important information when the petition was approved in the US. CIS in America only looks at documents that support the claimed relationship, such as birth certificates or marriage or divorce certificates. Consular officers require additional evidence of the relationship, such as the amount and type of communication between sponsor and applicant, number of trips the sponsor made to Vietnam and evidence that is obtained through investigation of the family in Vietnam.

If the sponsor and applicant cannot provide convincing evidence to get an approval within one year of the interview, the Consulate will return the file to CIS in America for review and possible revocation of the petition. Then the sponsor has the chance to submit additional evidence to CIS. If CIS is satisfied, the petition is re-approved and sent back to the Consulate for another interview.

Application for Admission: The final decision about allowing an immigrant to enter the US is made when he or she arrives at the port of entry. The CPB inspector has the right to deny admission for various reasons, such as family members arriving without the principal applicant. In some cases, the denied immigrant must return to the home country immediately, or may be allowed a short period of time while CIS investigates his case.

Conclusion: For those immigrants who pass all the obstacles in their path to the US, a Green Card will be in the mail within a couple of months after arrival.

It should be noted that there are no 100% certain immigrant visa cases and any agency that guarantees success is not being honest. There are too many unpredictable factors. Denials can come from CIS at the beginning or at the end of the process, and from the Consulate in the middle of the procedure. Denials can result from missing documents, mistakes in form filling, or consular officers’ feeling that the relationship is not genuine.

Professional, experienced help in the immigrant visa process is the best way to assure success for any case. The risk of denial increases when sponsors choose to go to a cheap form filler at a booth in a supermarket, or to a service that does not keep files, does not do follow up, and has no standing with the US Consulate in Vietnam.

Q.1. Should supporting evidence of the relationship be submitted when the visa petition is filed with CIS in the US, or when the applicant has the interview with the US Consulate in Saigon?
A.1. In most cases, CIS in the US just needs the basic relationship documents such as birth, death, divorce or marriage certificates. Fiancé sponsors must also submit proof of meeting the fiancée in Vietnam. At the visa interview in Saigon, the Consulate will want to see complete evidence of the relationship including evidence of contact, visits, and photos of engagement and/or wedding celebrations.

Q.2. I am a US citizen. Twenty years ago, my son was born in Vietnam, but I have not seen him since he was two years old. Can I sponsor him now?
A.2. If you were legally married to the child’s mother when the child was born, and your name is on your son’s birth certificate, you could sponsor him now. Your marriage certificate and the child’s birth certificate would be sufficient.
If the child was born out of wedlock, in addition to DNA testing, you would need evidence to show that you legitimated the child before his 18th birthday, or that you had a father-child relationship, meaning that you always maintained moral and financial responsibility for the upbringing of the child.
Immigration Support Services-Tham Van Di Tru

9070 Bolsa Avenue, Westminster CA 92683 (714) 890-9933 
779 Story Road, Ste. 70, San Jose, CA 95122 (408) 294-3888 
6930 65th St. Ste. #105, Sacramento CA 95823 (916) 393-3388 
42 Dang Thi Nhu, P. Nguyen Thai Binh, Q1, HCM (848) 3914-7638
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