Sun | Jun 16, 2019

Immigration Corner | What are her chances of getting a visa?

Published:Tuesday | September 18, 2018 | 12:07 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

Let me first say thank you for taking the time to answer the queries of people as your answers have taught many persons who may have similar questions.

I have been married since 2014, and my wife and I have one child together. I have never applied for a US visa. I have been working for the same employer since 2005 on and off over the years, but I have been there from 2013 until now. I have a clean police record. and many say I am the perfect candidate to apply.

My wife, on the other hand, has applied for a visa twice since 2015 and has been denied each time. An invitation was sent in February from someone in Canada, and she was denied at the Canadian Embassy as well.

My wife wants both of us to apply together after being advised by a friend of hers that it will increase her chances. Should we do this?

Thanks in advance for your reply.


Dear Anonymous,

You have not indicated if your wife has anything in her past that is a specific barrier to her receiving a US visa.

However, a non-immigrant US visa is a discretionary privilege. Therefore, although you are married and have a child, a steady job, and no arrests, it is not automatic that you will receive a visitor's visa. The consular officer has to be convinced that you will return to Jamaica if they grant you a visa to visit the United States. While you appear to have the ties that would indicate that you would return - wife, child and job - the particular officer may or may not think that you will return. It has happened where a person who is married and has children and a steady job chooses not to return home to Jamaica after travelling to the United States as a non-immigrant. The decision to grant or deny the visa is not appealable, and if you are denied, you will have to reapply.

The decision whether or not to apply together or not is your choice. A situation where husband and wife apply together and one receives the visa and the other is denied is not unheard of. The only instance where applying together would definitely hurt a non-offending spouse is if the offending spouse is involved in or is suspected of being involved in an illegal action. For example, if one spouse is alleged to be a drug trafficker, the other spouse can have a visa denied or revoked under the 'Reason To Believe' theory that they are benefiting form the illegal activity.

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