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What can be done when the Consular Decision is Unfair

Is it possible for Consular officers to be unfair ? Absolutely and it can happen at any time. The consular officer is trained to be logical and impartial. However the process in reviewing a petitioner to determine if that applicant is telling the truth is a complicated holistic exercise. The Consular officer often must eschew reason and depend on intuition and gut feelings to base his judgments. As such sometimes it is often impossible to definitively state how his decision was reached, allowing arbitrary decisions to slip in, without any challenge.

Recently I helped a couple whose case was perfect. They were young and in love. They had known each other for years and had met more than once. They were evenly matched by age, values and religion. Their petition was spotless and had ample evidences of their bona fides. The American sponsor was even able to accompany his fiancé to the interview to show his support for the petition. After a brief interview where the sponsor was not allowed to join in nor asked any questions before, during or after, the consular officer, denied the case. She did not provide any verbal or written explanation.

The couple was devastated and confused. What could have gone wrong?

A consular officer who exhibits professionalism will state the reasons for denial in writing. And provide this to the rejected applicant immediately, often at the close of the interview itself. You may not agree with the decision, but at least know what it was and then have a starting point for renewed efforts.

All the couple had was the fiancee's memory of the interview, as she attempted to recall what was said and what the body language was in an attempt to reconstruct what MIGHT have been in the consular officer’s mind.

One thing about the interview stood out. The consular officer had made some, in retrospect, out of context comments about conservative values and a woman's role in society and home. Those comments seemed strange at the time and the foreign born fiancé had no idea where those comments came from.

What we think happened is that the American sponsor had made public some very outspoken conservative and chauvinistic views that he had posted online at his Facebook page. The comments made by the consular officer seemed to indicate she had read his online statements and apparently was offended by them.

A sponsor's political views and value system (as long as not immoral) should not have any bearing on the outcome of his visa petition. But, that is EXACTLY what we believe happened in this case. The consular officer, offended by the sponsors political views, arbitrarily punished the couple by denying.

What is the couple’s Recourse: none Unexplained, based on intuition, consular decisions can't be successfully fought and overturned.

In Conclusion:

1: No matter how strongly you believe immigration should OBVIOUSLY, recognize how much in love, you and your fiance are, and should then easily approve your case, prepare for skepticism, and make BEST EFFORTS to overcome it.

2: "Freedom of Speech", doesn't mean freedom to get your visa. Make sure there are no skeletons in your online closet. Clean or temporarily remove, or make private, potentially controversial aspects of your online and public presence before proceeding.

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

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