Our pasts often catch-up with us. The days of misrepresenting oneself to a consular officer on visa applications are coming to an end. I've encountered a few clients who have been questioned at an embassy for violations (alleged or otherwise) that occurred years ago. Often times, the consular officer will state that they have information about act that occurred in the United States. Many applicants are now being accused of violating the terms of their visas - resulting in denied and revoked visas. Normally, these denials are not subject to any type of judicial review under the doctrine of consular nonreviewability.
Luckily the story does not end there. According to the foreign affairs manual, visa applicants may have their rejection reviewed by a supervisor. This is especially helpful if the consular officer denied the visa on grounds the applicant feels were not true. However, even if that review is denied, there still may be options.
Few people know about the Hranka waiver. But it exists, and unlike many waivers for permanent residency, there is no hardship requirement.
INA Section 212(d)(3) deals with this waiver, and it works like this: if an applicant had a visa violation, he or she can apply for the waiver. According to the foreign affairs manual, a consular officer must weigh:
(1) The recency and seriousness of the activity or condition causing the alien's inadmissibility;
(2) The reasons for the proposed travel to the United States; and
(3) The positive or negative effect, if any, of the planned travel on U.S. public interests.
(4) Whether there is a single, isolated incident or a pattern of misconduct; and
(5) Evidence of reformation or rehabilitation.
These waivers are entirely discretionary, so most people are in the running (save for Nazi's, Terrorists and a few others who we don't want in the country under any circumstances). A good application will help push that officer's decision to "Yes."
If you or someone you know have been denied a non-immigrant visa at an embassy, or have had your non-immigrant visa revoked, give us a call to see your options.