While, as a matter of law, visa applicants are at liberty to file an Immigrant Visa (Spouse) application in person, representation is recommended for best prospects of success, and to ensure the process is as smooth and efficient as possible.

Unfortunately, due to the doctrine of Consular non-reviewability, there is no automatic right of appeal against an Immigrant Visa denial. As such, if a visa applicant represents themselves in the Immigrant Visa application process and is denied, there is relatively little an attorney can do after the event to overturn the visa denial.  Moreover, Consular Officers are not lawyers, so if the officer at interview applies the law incorrectly and denies an application, due to there being no attorney on record to ensure the relevant law is before the Consular Officer, there is no formal legal mechanism in place to challenge the denial.

There are a number of points in the process where legal representation is particularly beneficial:

  • At the I-130 Petition For Alien Relative stage, it is imperative that the Government forms are completed correctly and all of the mandatory supporting documentation is filed, including a comprehensive range of evidence of bona fide relationship. Legal representation is particularly beneficial if the couple have never previously lived together, prior to filing the I-130 petition.
  • The UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to US Immigration law. If a visa applicant has ever been arrested (even if no charges were filed), legal representation is advisable to ensure the arrest is addressed in such a way no inadmissibility is found. Similarly, if a visa applicant has had any brushes with the law – however minor – it is imperative legal advice is sought to ensure the applicant is criminally admissible to the US. It is also important that any brushes with the law are properly addressed in the application with reference to the relevant law, to ensure the Consular Officer at interview does not deny the application in error. A finding of inadmissibility on criminal grounds will lead to denial of the application.
  • When completing the DS-260, it is important all of the questions are completed correctly, including the admissibility questions. In our experience, visa applicants naturally sometimes misunderstand the admissibility questions, due to the complexity of the issues. If the admissibility questions are answered incorrectly, it may lead to denial of the application.
  • At the NVC stage, it is important all supporting documents are uploaded to the NVC portal. Often the NVC portal will request documents which are not required as a matter of law, so legal representation can assist, by advising the NVC that such documents are not required, thereby avoiding delay. Similarly, a lawyer can ensure the visa applicant has all required documents prior to the NVC stage, so there are no surprises when the NVC requests a document which is difficult or time consuming to obtain.
  • At the medical examination, legal representation may assist in ensuring no medical inadmissibility is found, which could lead to denial of the application.
  • At the interview stage, a lawyer can ensure a client is fully prepared for interview, by ensuring they have all required documents and by advising on the types of questions that are likely to be asked at interview and how to approach the questions, to maximize prospects of success. At interview, the Embassy may issue a Request For Further Evidence (RFE), if they wish. As lawyers, we are aware of the documents the Embassy generally request at interview and therefore can pre-empt an RFE by ensuring the client has all of the key documents at interview – thereby avoiding unnecessary delay.
  • Throughout the process, a lawyer will generally complete the Government forms on your behalf and forward them for your review, so you can have absolute confidence and peace of mind that your Government forms are correctly completed and all formalities have been properly executed.

It is noteworthy that if an applicant is denied an Immigrant Visa at interview, they may experience difficulties visiting the US again in future, even as a tourist.

The benefits of representation are numerous. Legal representation ensures your application stands the best prospects of success and is adjudicated as quickly, smoothly and efficiently as possible. Moreover, it offers complete peace of mind, knowing that your case will be handled by someone who is familiar with the process & skilled at securing successful outcomes, even in the trickiest of situations. At Davies Legal Immigration, we offer a fixed fee service for Immigrant Visa (Spouse) applications, so you have absolute transparency and certainty over billing, while equally having unlimited access to an attorney by telephone or email to answer any questions or alleviate any concerns.

Davies Legal Immigration  

At Davies Legal Immigration, we represent clients in connection with all types of family-based US immigration. We provide a comprehensive service, including clear and concise advice from the outset, a pragmatic approach and efficient working practices. We understand the importance of our cases to clients and adopt a well-reasoned, diligent approach, in order to maximize your prospects of success. Call now to speak to a licensed US immigration attorney and obtain a free, no obligation quote.