Many of my clients have the same types of questions. Here are some of them.
“But How Would They Know?”
My personal favorite, as this always comes after a client admits to having committed some infraction. The answer is, frankly, much of the time they would not. There are two problems with this, however. One is that if they do know, then fraud/misrepresentation becomes an issue, and usually that causes much more trouble than the underlying infraction. The other reason is that even if they wouldn’t know, I would – and I will not be a party to deception.
“But That Makes No Sense!”
This may be true—much of American immigration law does not appear to make any sense. One great example of this is the DS-157, the “Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Form” (which I call the Anti-Terrorist Form), which when initially introduced at many consular posts was only to be completed by MEN between the ages of 16 and 45. The U.S. Government seemed to initially believe that generally only men could be terrorists and that generally no terrorist would be 46 or older. Another example is the entire labor certification process (used to obtain some employment-based Green Cards). This is a self-defeating program for too many reasons to go into here, and greatly promotes fraud as well since, by definition, the prospective employer has no incentive to hire any applicant other than the one he is sponsoring, even if other applicants are significantly more qualified. Last is the desire of many politicians to have another amnesty for illegal aliens — “undocumented” aliens in politically-correct parlance —despite the fact that this rewards those who break the law and, in effect, penalizes those who obey it. U.S. immigration law may continue to be the subject of anger, confusion, and ridicule, but it is the law. Complaining about it won’t change anything.
“But My Sister’s Cousin’s Neighbor’s Husband Got A Green Card, Why Can’t I?”
Each case is different, and often the facts are not what were initially believed. Don’t try to compare cases, especially those based on heresay.
“The Visa Waiver Regulations Mean I Can Only Come To The U.S. As A Tourist for 90 Days.”
No, while visa waiver (for eligible nationalities like Germans) is 90 days, a B-2 Visa holder can still get permission for a six month stay if the Immigration officer at the port of entry believes it is necessary; it’s just not automatic anymore.
“My Human Resources Department Told Me To Come And Say I’m On A Vacation Trip, Even Though I’m Coming To Work.”
Again, this is fraud, and carries major risks to the employee as well as possibly to the employer. It’s interesting to note how it’s never the HR Manager who is standing in front of the Immigration officer and taking all the risks. (The same is generally true with the tax advice often given by these same HR Managers).
“I Can’t Be Without My Passport For Two Weeks (or I Can’t Wait For The Normal Processing Time); I Need To Be At My New Job By Tuesday.”
Business convenience is rightfully not considered an emergency by the consulate. Poor planning, such as by not filing the required CIS petition or visa application papers earlier, is also not the consulate’s fault. Everyone wants their visa immediately. Everyone’s time is important. Everyone must deal with unforeseen events. Well, everyone must also understand that American consulates are woefully understaffed and underfunded, not to mention that security concerns have been heightened, and thus the service just can’t be as quick as one would like. As they say, “reality bites!”
Have a question?
Want to see if you will qualify for a work visa or Green Card? Then contact me via phone, fax, or email.