Success Story: Visitor’s Visa Approved After Repeated Denials02 Dec 2011
Many people have faced the disappointment of denial when requesting the B-1/B-2 visitors’ visas. These difficulties are often faced by relatives trying to gain permission to come to the United States for a visit. Most denials are due to presumed immigrant intent. It is sometimes possible to overcome such denials. The Murthy Law Firm recently assisted a client in obtaining a B-2 visa in a rather unusual and difficult set of circumstances, as described here. We appreciate the generosity of our client for allowing us share his story. Information about clients is kept strictly confidential, and is never shared without explicit permission.
Background: Immigrant Intent Presumption
All foreign nationals who apply for visitors’ visas are presumed to have the intent to immigrate permanently. B-2 visas are denied unless the applicant presents sufficient evidence to overcome the immigrant intent presumption. The consular officer has a high level of discretion in making this determination.
Under applicable law and guidelines, a foreign national may only succeed in obtaining a B-2 visa if it is demonstrated that s/he has a residence in a foreign country which s/he has no intention of abandoning. The consular officer must be persuaded that the applicant will only visit the United States temporarily for pleasure. To do so, the applicant must “demonstrate permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or social or cultural associations that will indicate a strong inducement to return to the country of origin.” The applicant must also have adequate funds to avoid engaging in unlawful employment.
Case Background: Numerous Denials and Pending Green Card Application
Over the years, the parents as well as seven siblings of the individual we would later come to represent in this case immigrated to the United States. The family had made efforts to have the individual join them in the United States. Long before contacting the Murthy Law Firm, both a U.S. citizen sister and the father of our future client filed petitions on his behalf. However, the individual did not attend the immigrant visa interviews and abandoned both of these cases because he wished to remain in his home country. He ultimately established a successful company and wanted to continue managing his company outside of the U.S.
After abandoning both immigrant petition filings, the individual applied twice for a visitor’s visa. The consulate denied both applications based on the presumption of immigrant intent, which applies in all such cases, as discussed above.
Overcoming Immigrant Intent to Attend Family Event
Notwithstanding the history of B-1/B-2 visa denials, this foreign national was determined to attend a large family celebration in the United States for his parents’ diamond (75th) wedding anniversary. He knew just how difficult it can be to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent needed to obtain a B-2 visa. He also recognized that the matter was further complicated by his father’s recent refiling of yet another immigrant petition on his behalf.
Knowing that he faced enormous hurdles in the effort to obtain a B-2 visa, he contacted the Murthy Law Firm. He asked for our assistance in securing a B-2 visa for himself and his family, so that they could all attend the anniversary celebration.
Murthy Takes Action
Our firm accepted this case, knowing that it clearly had many strikes against it. In our client’s favor, however, were his extensive financial and active business ties to his home country. We assisted this individual in preparing a package of documents that thoroughly evidenced these ties, in order to overcome the presumption that he intended to immigrate to the United States.
We demonstrated the foreign national’s ownership interest in a successful foreign company and provided evidence of fixed assets our client held in his home country. We also showed more than sufficient funds in his bank accounts to cover all expenses during the proposed trip to the United States. We provided proof of the reason for the visit. At our suggestion, the foreign national’s U.S. relatives contacted their elected officials to request that the consulate review and consider the application.
Finally, immediately prior to the date of the interview, our attorneys communicated with the consulate to explain the nature of the application. We wanted to assure that the application, with the unique history of abandoned efforts to immigrate to the United States, would be given full consideration.
In the end, our efforts were successful, and our client’s application was approved. He, as well as his wife and children, were each issued B-2 visas. However, the visa approval decision occurred just before the anniversary party. The contractor used by the consulate temporarily misplaced the family’s passports containing the B-2 visas. The passports were returned just after the party. Our client and his family made it to the U.S. a few days late, but were still able to spend time with his parents, siblings, and many extended family members.
This case was quite unusual. Most people with the majority of their close family members living in the United States, as well as a history of immigrant petition filings and prior B-2 visa denials, likely would not be to be granted B-2 visas. His case was successful in large part due to our ability to establish his very active and successful business ties in the home country, to which he would return. This case also was successful because efforts were made, in advance, to draw attention to the case details, including our client’s repeated choice to remain in his home country when he had the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. The complete consideration of details presented allowed this individual to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent.
Each case is different, and it can be very difficult to be persuasive on the issue of intent – since it is subjective when a consular officer presumes to know what a person is likely to do in the future. It is possible in a case such as this, when there are compelling reasons that can be shown as motivation for a foreign national to depart the United States after a visit.