Visa Delays, Denials and Appeals
After USCIS has approved the visa petition, I-129F or other type of petition for an alien beneficiary, the consulate in the alien's home country reviews the case and generally conducts an interview with the alien. In some cases, denials or extensive delays may occur.
If the consular officer reviewing the case believes a ground of ineligibility exists for the beneficiary alien, s/he will not issue the visa. (Note: even though USCIS approves a visa petition, the consulate undertakes its own review of the case. The consulate is not required to issue the visa.) If the ground of ineligibility can be overcome by additional evidence, the applicant should be given an opportunity to present the necessary evidence. Generally, the consulate will issue a notice of intent to deny which will describe the basis for the intended denial. The applicant must submit the additional evidence and/or legal brief arguing that the case should be approved within the time deadline. Once an applicant receives a notice of intent to deny, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney, or further delays will likely result.
If the consulate denies the case, it will send the file back to USCIS. If this occurs, extensive delays of nine months or more will inevitably result. However, if the applicant and the attorney act quickly and contact the consulate with evidence refuting the basis for the denial or a legal brief arguing the ineligibility grounds, it is possible to convince the consulate to approve the visa and prevent the file's transfer back to USCIS.
If the consulate still chooses to deny the case, it will send the file back to USCIS with a request to revoke the approved visa petition. It can take several months for the file to travel from the consulate to the National Visa Center to the USCIS service center that approved the visa petition. Severe backlogs, officer reviews and bureaucratic delays are common. Once the file is returned to the USCIS service center, the petitioner is given another opportunity to argue the ineligibility basis. If USCIS agrees with the petitioner, the file will be transferred back to the consulate to schedule another interview. Several more months of delay will likely occur.
If you or a loved one has received a notice of intent to deny or your case has been denied, call Nelson & Nuñez, P.C. to schedule a consultation. It is important to act quickly before the case is sent from the consulate back to USCIS, because extensive delays can result once the file is transferred back to USCIS.
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