Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Immigration Corner | Why can't I get a visa?

Published:Tuesday | August 23, 2016 | 8:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I am 39 years old and I received a US visa when I was 16 years old. Unfortunately, my passport with the visa was stolen or lost when I was in my 20s and I have not been able to receive a replacement visa.

I had reported the missing passport when it happened and took the report to the US Embassy when it was at Oxford Road, but I did not make a copy of the report.

My parents are green-card holders and my mother has just started filing for me to migrate to the States.

I have been refused a US visa again and again, although I have a relatively decent job. I'm not sure what else to do.

- TAW

Dear TAW,

Unfortunately, a non-immigrant US visa is a privilege and not a right, and having previously possessed a visa is no guarantee that it will be renewed or replaced if lost or stolen. Each attempt at replacing a stolen visa is evaluated by a consular officer and a decision made at the moment. The consular officers make a determination based on subjective criteria. Therefore, even persons who can demonstrate strong ties to their home countries are also denied visas.

In your case, having a pending immigrant visa petition filed by your mother indicates to the consular officer reviewing your non-immigrant visa application that you have an intention to migrate and would not necessarily render you eligible for that visitor's visa.

As it pertains to your mother's immigrant visa petition, having lost your Jamaican passport and US visa in and of itself does not make you ineligible for a green card. However, if there are any other issues surrounding why you have not been granted the replacement of your US visa (e.g. fraud), that would have negative implications for you in receiving the green card. Some issues that make you ineligible for a green card can be overcome with a waiver.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal, and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. info@walkerhuntington.com