Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Immigration Corner | Why was my visa cancelled?

Published:Monday | June 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I went to apply for a visa for my daughter and I was asked if I had one. I gave the consular officer the passport and was asked about my job. The officer said she didn't understand and she stamped something in my book and said "oh my". I was then given a pink paper and told I would be contacted in seven days. I then got an email to collect the passports at DHL. When I received the passports my visa was cancelled without prejudice. I am clueless as to why my visa was cancelled because I have never overstayed at any time in the United States. I just need some info on this please.

- NC


Dear NC:

A non-immigrant United States visa belongs to the United States and it can be cancelled at any time, for any reason.

When you apply for a non-immigrant visa, the consular officer makes a subjective decision during the interview based on your application and any questions you may have answered or documents you provided to either grant or deny the visa on the spot. Sometimes when the visa is granted during the interview, and your passport is taken, the Embassy will conduct administrative checks. The checks can include verification of information provided on the application, during the interview or the supporting documents you provided.

At times during those checks information that was provided to the Embassy cannot be verified or is shown to be the opposite. At that point, the embassy can ask for clarification or deny the visa. In some extreme cases, if the information provided is fraudulent and a crime has been committed, the Jamaican police can be contacted to pursue criminal charges against the applicant.


Did you overstay?


You indicated that you never overstayed your visa and that says to me that you believe that is the only reason your visa could be cancelled. Many persons after travelling to the United States receive a duration of stay stamp in their passports that says their stay is authorised for six months. However, it does not mean that you should stay right up until that stay expires. Whenever you stay beyond a few weeks, you can generate questions about the purpose of your stay. Persons stay one, two, three, four or five months and proclaim that they have not overstayed their visas, therefore, they should be fine. The reality is that sometimes after one extended stay, the visa is cancelled on a subsequent trip, or in your case in applying for a visa for their child, the visa is revoked. Other persons will tell you that they "do it" all the time, i.e., come to the United States and spend extended periods and keep travelling. At any point during a subsequent trip or at the renewal of their visa, they can be denied entry.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq. is a Jamaican-American attorney who practices immigration law in the United States and family, criminal & personal Injury Law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida.