ImmigrationTalk: Questions & Answers
By Attorney Gail S. Seeram
Through this “Question & Answer” column, our goal is to answer your immigration questions. Many of you have questions on backlog time and eligibility – we seek to clarify these issues and more. We appreciate your comments and questions. If you have a question that you would like answered in this column, please email: Gail@GailLaw.com.
Question #1: I went with my wife, who is a U.S. citizen, to my interview at the Embassy. We were told my status was going to be reviewed in 6 – 8 weeks. When I e-mailed the embassy in Guyana they told me that the petition my wife filed for me was being sent back to the U.S. for review and possible revocation. What does this mean?
Answer #1: This means that based on your interview and evidence presented, the U.S. Embassy has some doubts about your marriage. The file will be sent back to the U.S. and either (1) the U.S. will uphold the Embassy decision and revoke your petition or (2) you will have an opportunity to rebut any allegations made by the U.S. Embassy and the petition may be reinstated and visa issued. This process can take 6-9 months.
Question #2: I would appreciate your assistance in advising me with my problem. I surrendered my green card recently at the U.S Embassy (Guyana) and chose to live in Guyana. In return I was given a 10-year visitor’s visa. My wife has since applied for a holiday visa but was turned down. The Officer told her that her husband already has a visa. Does this mean that as long I have a 10-year visa irrespective if my wife applies again in the next 6 months would she be turned down again?
Answer #2: In response to your question, the Embassy has wide discretion in approving and denying visitor visa applications. Your wife must have strong financial, property, family and job ties to Guyana. Don’t assume your wife is automatically eligible for a visitor’s visa because you got one.
Question #3: I was issued a 10-year visitor’s visa to the US. I traveled once nearly every year, and most times I spent between four and five months. However, on my last trip in July 2011 as I was standing waiting my turn to approach the immigration officer, another officer approached me and asked to see my passport, then asked me to follow him in the interrogation room. He and a female officer started to interrogate me, asking me my purpose for coming…they kept insisting I had to be seeking work and asked if at any time did I seek jobs on my previous visits. Although I knew I did on some trips I tried denying…They asked to search my luggage and pocketbook. They discovered a few employment agency cards and a letter from a lady thanking me for taking such good care of her mother. What does this mean for me?
Answer #3: The U.S. immigration officer probably revoked or cancelled your visitor visa because you violated the terms of the visa by working. You cannot work in the U.S. with a visitor’s visa. If a family member sponsors you in the future, you will need to file a waiver.
Question #4: My mom, 92, has petitioned for my siblings. All relevant documents have been submitted since August 2011, and so far my mom hasn’t got any feedback from the immigration (US). What should my mom do?
Answer #4: Assuming your mom is a U.S. citizen and your siblings are married (F3 preference category), visas are being issued for petitions filed on or before May 2002 – so an eight to nine-year wait. If your mom is a U.S. citizen and your siblings are unmarried (F1 preference category), visas are being issued for petitions filed on or before October 2005 – so a five to six-year wait.