Harlan York, the #1 Immigration Attorney. Visa Refusals: Supreme Court Set to Review Them

Visa Refusals have long been a problem.

The rights of the applicant are often ignored when a United States consular officer says “No Visa for YOU.”

Frequently the visa refusals are arbitrary and no reason is announced at all.

The applicant is turned away, usually with a one page denial letter that fails to explain the negative decision.

Seeking a remedy for visa refusal in federal court is often difficult and tricky.

This season of United States Supreme Court cases brings with it a very important matter.

In the case of Kerry v. Din, the Supreme Court will address two issues surrounding visa refusals:

1. Whether a consular officer who rules negatively – resulting in a visa refusal to the spouse of a United States citizen – intrudes on the constitutional rights of the citizen


2. Whether the spouse has a right to argue before a federal court about the visa refusal

The second issue has to do with whether the federal government must cite a specific law to support the visa refusal.

Why is all of this so important?

Look at it this way.

When immigration lawyers take on cases in the United States, we typically represent our clients before Officers at green card and citizenship interviews at local Immigration Service offices in different American cities.

The main reason that we go with our immigrant clients is to protect their rights and ensure that the process is handled appropriately by our government.

But what about when our clients are in possession of previously approved visa petitions decided here in America?

Then they face the possibility of visa refusal at a foreign office.

We are talking about approximately 300 American embassies, consulates, or diplomatic missions, worldwide.

In these places, the applicants’ rights are limited.  They have no right to representation by immigration lawyers.

Visa refusals keep families apart.

When the Supreme Court makes its ruling in 2015, we hope for greater enforcement of the rights of both United States citizens and applicants for visas.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

Do you have a question about Visas & Waivers?

Call us anytime at 973.642.1111 or email us using the form below.