What Are the Potential Consequences of International Travel During An Immigration Process?
International travel during an immigration process always has the potential to be a case complicating issue. Although frequently most of the complications are resolvable, that is not always the case, which is why it is of the highest importance to check with your attorney BEFORE departing the U.S. Complications can arise in applying for a new visa stamp, in requesting permission to enter the U.S. at a U.S. land, sea, or air port of entry, or even in checking in to board a return flight to the U.S.
What Important Points Should Someone Consider When Applying for a New Visa Stamp or Applying to Enter the U.S.?
It is always important to follow the “golden rule,” which is: answer any question asked honestly, completely, truthfully, and correctly. The immigration officers are busy, and they will know what questions they want to ask. Usually, there is nothing beyond those questions that needs to be brought up or discussed. Nonetheless, it is also important to keep in mind that any interaction with the government creates a record. It may be helpful for people to think of all interactions with government officers in the same way that they might complete a job interview. This means that it is always best to have a clear mind and to be prepared to deliver well- thought-out answers to the questions most likely to be asked during any immigration related interview. If a person is not well prepared to answer the officer’s questions, they may inadvertently lead the officer to deny them entry based on a misunderstanding.
What Is The Process Of Applying For A Visa Stamp Abroad?
For many visa categories, the applicant completes an online application, attends an in-person interview, and hopefully obtains the visa stamp. For some of the work authorized visa categories, there is a more formal process that may require other additional pre-application steps, such as obtaining a visa petition approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Anytime a person is going through the visa stamp application process at a U.S. consulate abroad, they should think of that interaction as they would a job interview. They don’t necessarily have to wear formal attire, but they should dress appropriately relative to the visa that they are requesting. For example, if someone is coming here to work in a professional position, they probably want to wear pressed khaki slacks and a shirt with a collar and maybe a formal jacket. By dressing in a manner consistent with a professional role, they reaffirm in the officer’s mind that they are indeed coming to the U.S. to work as a professional.
A person should also have a fresh copy of their resume and their papers in order, of which they should be familiar. For example, an engineer or a scientist will know their job better than anyone else, and could probably turn in a one-thousand page book about whatever project they are working on. But with some of the immigration processes, this information tends to get condensed and summarized into a support letter of just a few pages. If the applicant is not familiar with that summary, and therefore explains their project in a way that differs from that support letter, it could confuse the officer and lead them to deny the case based on that misunderstanding. This can happen even if an applicant simply uses different terminology to explain the same material that is in the support letter. This means that an applicant’s case can be denied despite having delivered a perfectly truthful and accurate answer. Just as the applicant would be well-prepared for a job interview, they should be familiar with their papers, and have extra copies of their resume and the Company support letter on hand.
An applicant should also be well-rested and have a good breakfast on the day of the in-person visa application interview. Sometimes these interviews only take 15 minutes, but if the consulate is having a busy day, the applicant may be there for several hours. A person who is well-rested and has had a good breakfast will be better prepared for this interaction and is less likely to encounter problems than a person who shows up tired, hungry, and ill-prepared.
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