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U.S. VISA REFUSALS DUE TO NATIONAL SECURITY OR FOREIGN POLICY

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Our firm challenges the U.S. Department of State's decision to refuse to issue a visa because of the applicant's ineligibility based on national security concerns [212(a)(3)] or foreign policy grounds [212(f)].

Immigration law serves as a gatekeeper for the nation's border, determining who may enter, how long one may stay, and when one must leave. By controlling the visa process, the United States can achieve the goals of its immigration policies.

If one is not a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), it may, under certain circumstances, be problematic for the visa applicant to secure permission from the US government to visit the United States.

Even though one may have a valid reason for travel to the US, a person's background may bar the applicant from securing a visa.

When a visa applicant applies for a visa, a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States determines whether the applicant is qualified, under all applicable U.S. laws, to receive the particular visa applied for.

An applicant found qualified is issued a visa. However, when the consular officer determines, for example, that the documentation in support of the application is insufficient, the application is denied. One may reapply and seek approval based on the newly filed application. If the consular officer determines that the applicant is ineligible to receive a visa, the applicant is refused a visa.

A denial of a visa is different from a visa refusal. A denial occurs where the consular officer considers the visa application and subsequently denies the request. A refusal is narrower than a denial, and occurs where the visa applicant is refused straight away and barred from entry without consideration of the merits of the application. The refusal is centered on the individual applicant, not the application.

Thus, it is possible that an applicant may be eligible for a visa, and the visa request is granted; or an applicant may be eligible for a visa, and the visa request is denied, or an applicant may be ineligible for a visa, and the applicant is refused a visa.

Our firm challenges the U.S. Department of State's decision to refuse to issue a visa because of the applicant's ineligibility. Our goal is to overturn the refusal, and secure approval of the applicant and the visa.

VISA INELIGIBILITIES

I. NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNS - 212(a)(3) Refusal
(1) Espionage or violent attempt to overthrow the US government
(2) Terrorist activities
(3) Foreign policy considerations
(4) Membership in totalitarian party
(5) Nazi party, genocide, torture or extrajudicial killing
(6) Association with terrorist organization
(7) Recruitment or use of child soldiers

II. FOREIGN POLICY GROUNDS - 212(f) REFUSAL
A U.S. President has the authority to define a "situation" or "condition on a situation", that then becomes a legal truth, through the issuance of presidential proclamations and executive orders.

A Presidential proclamation carries the same force of law as an executive order. The difference between the two is that an executive order is aimed at those inside the U.S. government, while the proclamation is aimed at those outside the government.

Presidential proclamations and executive orders can affect the issuance of U.S. visas. They arise from a foreign policy decision to keep certain individuals or elements in a given country from getting a visa. In effect, the President has determined that the visa applicant should be barred from entry because admission would be detrimental to U.S. interests.

The proclamations and executive orders are rescinded or added depending on current foreign policy circumstances. Those that currently affect the issuance of U.S. visas are as follows:
    Belarus Proclamation 8015 (May 12, 2006)
    Bosnia Proclamation 6749 (October 25, 1994)
    Burma Proclamation 6925 (October 3, 1996)
    Corruption Proclamation 7750 (January 12, 2004)
    Counterterrorism Executive Order 13354 (August 27, 2004)
    Cuba Proclamation 5377 (October 4, 1985)
    Cuba Proclamation 5517 (August 22, 1986)
    Foreign Sanctions Evaders - Iran and Syria Executive Order 13608 (May 1, 2012)
    Haiti Proclamation 6685 (May 7, 1994)
    High Seas Interdiction Proclamation 4865 (September 29, 1981)
    Human Rights Abuses Proclamation 8697 (August 4, 2011)
    Human Rights Abuses - Iran and Syria Executive Order 13606 (April 22, 2012)
    Human Trafficking Proclamation 8342 (January 16, 2009)
    Nicaragua Proclamation 5887 (September 29, 1981)
    Serbia and Montenegro Proclamation 7249 (November 12, 1989)
    Sierra Leone Proclamation 7062 (January 14, 1998)
    Sierra Leone Proclamation 7359 (October 10, 2000)
    Sudan Proclamation 6958 (November 22, 1996)
    Terrorism Executive Order 13356 (August 27, 2004)
    Travel Ban Proclamation 8693 (July 24, 2011)
    Western Balkans Proclamation 7452 (June 26, 2001)
    Zimbabwe Proclamation 7524 (February 22, 2002)