Visa Application Mistakes Can Get You Deported

November 21, 2018

Philadelphia immigration lawyers help immigrants with visa applications.In September U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received greater authority to issue visa application denials based on application mistakes and missing documents, without providing applicants the opportunity to amend their application.

Following this change in U.S. immigration policy, making a mistake on your U.S. visa application may result in more than just a denial of your application. For the over 7 million immigrants applying for a U.S. visa each year, a mistake may now mean deportation, as the Trump Administration continues to broaden the discretion given to immigration officials to deny visa applications.

No Obligation for Courtesy Warnings

Under the latest change to the visa application process, USCIS will no longer be obligated to provide courtesy warnings to applicants who have made mistakes or have failed to attach required documents. Previously, applicants who received courtesy warnings, such as a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), were given the opportunity to fix their applications and provide further explanations if needed.

Under the old policy, USCIS allowed these applicants to correct any errors or provide missing documents prior to closing a case. USCIS no longer requires visa application reviewers to issue any warnings prior to denying applications and closing cases.

Greater Possibility for Deportation

Without the ability to correct visa application mistakes or provide additional documents, visa applicants who are in the processing of renewing their visa while in the United States potentially face deportation. Should their visa renewal application be denied, or their case closed due to a mistake or lack of documentation, the individual could be placed in deportation proceedings as soon as their visa expires.

As a result of the new policy, unsuccessful visa applicants may face immediate deportation under certain circumstances.

Application Reviewer Discretion

The new policy leaves it up to each visa application reviewer to determine whether an RFE or NOID is necessary in each case. Although each visa application official may continue to issue these courtesy warnings, they may choose to skip the issuance of either warning, should they deem the application as frivolous or as a mere placeholder application.

Incomplete “placeholder” applications have been filed by immigrants to buy them time as they correspond back and forth with immigration officials to avoid a potentially adverse visa application decision.

Immigrant advocacy groups fear the new policy is subjective and can be used to deny visa applications on mere technicalities.

Visa applicants must now be especially careful to provide all required information and evidence at the time they file their initial visa application. A failure to establish visa eligibility, based on lack of required initial evidence, now could become an irreversible error.

Mistakes and Impacted Applications

Some of the more technical visa application mistakes include failing to attach blank pages, failing to have the required table of contents or exhibit numbers, and failing to attach extra requests for evidence, particularly with H-1B visas.

The new policy will affect almost all immigration applications, including requests for U.S. citizenship, green card/permanent residency requests, visa extension applications, and H-1B visas.

Short term visa applications for travel and business will not be impacted by the new USCIS policy directive.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Help Immigrants with Visa Applications

The best way to avoid making costly mistakes on your visa application is to consult with an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC We assist immigrant families with visa applications every day. Call us at 215-496-0690 or submit an online inquiry form.