Tue | May 26, 2020

Immigration Corner | What information do I need?

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My husband is a United States citizen. We have been married for five years. I am 35 years old and he is 54. He is planning that as soon as he reaches retirement age, he will return home to Jamaica to live, therefore, he does not plan on filing for me to go to America. He visits Jamaica two or three times per year to see me.

I own and operate a registered business and own my own home. I would love to travel to the United States to spend time with my husband and my family. I am planning, in the next four weeks, to apply for a visitor's visa. Is there any information that I am required to know or bring to the embassy to enhance my chance of getting the visa?

- F.F.W.


Dear F.F.W,

Every applicant for a non-immigrant (visitor's) visa has to demonstrate to the US consular officer at the US Embassy that he has significant ties to his home country and that he does not intend to migrate to the USA.

In reviewing the ties, the consular officer looks to see that the person has family, personal and business/work connections in his home country that would compel him to return after travelling to America. For example, is the person married? Does he have minor children? Is he employed - how long? Does he own their own business? Does he own a house, car? Does he have other financial obligations?

Some officers require documentary evidence of the ties and others make a decision just based on the application. An applicant for a non-immigrant visa should always take the proof of the ties to his home country to his interview.

Some persons manufacture evidence to prove ties and find themselves in serious trouble for committing immigration fraud. When a person commits immigration fraud, it never goes away - time does not cure the fraud. Some of the manufactured evidence also amounts to a crime in Jamaica for which the applicant can be arrested.

In your case, it is unconventional that you and your husband do not have any immediate plans to live together and that would have to be explained to the consular officer. If you go to the US Embassy to apply for a visa, you must tell the truth - that you are married to a US citizen. The fact that you have a US citizen husband will indicate an intention to migrate and lessen your chances of receiving a non-immigrant visa. However, if the consular office is convinced that you will only visit and return to Jamaica, he or she could issue a visa.

- 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