The Biden administration started with a favorable position towards Immigration with its earliest promises to find a pathway to citizenship. It has taken a more positive approach to visa adjudications than the previous administration, which had 59% approval rates for H-1Bs compared to 88% under Obama. President Biden has improved these rates to 97% for H-1Bs filed in 2020. These expect to be the same or higher for 2021.
However, H-1B filing is still not without issues. Since the ITServe case resulted in the changing of adjudications to eliminate several strategies, USCIS used to deny visas, such as requiring contracts, itineraries, and third-party letters from companies’ clients indicating exacting proof of specialty occupation services for the entirety of the term requested. Now that adjudicators can no longer ask for this information. They approve cases, and then fraud investigators investigate them. A spike in the number or referral of H-1B cases from USCIS to FDNS is occurring, and the results can be far more concerning.
If FDNS finds fraud, it will send the case to ICE or federal attorneys who can impose deportation or criminal sanctions. Companies or their employees could admit to facts that could result in devastating situations for owners, employees, and companies.
The second issue is the consular processing of visas. This process used to be simple. It has become complicated with delays, and denials are much more common.
Many denials under INA 212(G) and 212 (A). Here is some information on these situations. A Department of State website says, “Section 221(g) prohibits the issuance of a visa to anyone whose application does not comply with the provisions of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA) or related regulations. Please be advised that this decision constitutes a denial of a visa for US immigration law purposes, including ESTA (see https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov).
If your application for a visa has been refused under Section 221(g) INA, consular officer will have provided you with a letter explaining the steps you are required to take. Please review this information carefully and follow the instructions.
Suppose your application has been refused under section 212(a) of the INA pending processing a waiver of ineligibility by the Department of Homeland Security. In that case, you can monitor the progress of your application online by clicking on this link. That webpage is updated weekly. We will not respond to the status of case inquiries through this email address. The link takes you to a Status Report page that may inform you of processing times, that your case is pending, ask you to provide documentation, that it emailed the applicant or other similar information.
INA 212(A) denials are described on another page, stating, “The visa interview is not primarily document-based. Consular officers are trained to focus on the relevant issues during the interview, which often means the process is short. A few targeted questions and the answers on the visa application form completed by the applicant are usually all that is required to make a decision.
Applying for a visa is not primarily a document-based process. The main issue in determining if an applicant qualifies for a visa is intent. Documents alone cannot establish intentions. Officers refer to documents only if they can provide additional insight into the case. The application form, if completed thoroughly, contains the information needed to adjudicate the visa. If additional documents are required, the officer indicates that during the interview. The interview is the most critical part of the officer’s decision.
Applicants must satisfy the interviewing consular officer that they are qualified for the visa and will depart the United States at the end of their authorized stay. The main issue in determining if an applicant qualifies for a visa is intent, and documents alone cannot establish
intentions. The consular officer uses the interview to determine the intentions of the applicant and, in doing this, considers the applicant’s family relationships, employment, education, and prospects in the United Kingdom together with other factors, including travel patterns to the United States.
Strong ties differ from country to country, city to city, individual to individual. For applicants who do not have a permanent residence in the United Kingdom, it is often a question of time. The best way to qualify for a visa is to reside in the United Kingdom for a more extended time and build further social-economic ties here. In cases of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to form many connections, consular officers may look at the applicants’ specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence.
There is no specific time you are required to wait before you reapply. However, we recommend that you think about your situation before scheduling a further interview. Unless your circumstances have changed considerably, it is not likely that you will establish your eligibility for the visa. Often it is a question of time, and the best way to qualify for a visa is to reside in the United Kingdom for a more extended period and to build further social and economic ties here.”
In short, 212(G) means you did not provide enough information, and 212(A) says you did not comply. Contact an attorney to help understand if there is anything that you can do to assist your case.
Delays can be because of the type of visa but may be expedited if there are emergency reasons. The reasons and process may differ between countries and even consulates in a country.
How to set an expedited appointment
- Pay the visa application fee.
- Complete the DS-160 form for the Nonimmigrant Visa.
- Schedule an appointment online. Note You must schedule an appointment before you can request an expedited date. You will see an onscreen message showing the earliest available appointment date, including expedited appointments. You may find that it is unnecessary to request an expedited appointment because there are no earlier dates available. If you wish to request an expedited appointment, complete the Expedited Request Form. It would be best if you described the reason for urgency. Medical and specific work issues for certain visas can work. There may be a limit to how much you explain, and there may not be a way to provide additional information.
- If the Consulate approves your request, you will receive an email alerting you to schedule your expedited appointment online. Should the embassy or consulate deny your request for an expedited appointment, you will be notified of the denial by email, and you should keep your existing appointment. The email confirming or denying your request will come from email@example.com.
- Visit the US Embassy or Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your Form DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months, your current and all old passports, and the original visa fee payment receipt. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted. It is also good to bring a letter stating a position is still available for you with your employer if you have an employment-related visa and a copy of the petition filed. Also, bringing documents indicating ties to the home country is critical in some visa applications.