U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world play a crucial role in the processing of visas and immigration matters. Each consular processing location has different protocols and ways of handling visa and immigration matters. In most instances, a consular officer’s decision is final and cannot be reviewed or overturned, leaving no room for error.
In many cases SMA assists clients who have already had a visa petition denied, for any variety of reasons. Sometimes it is a question of clarifying a misunderstanding by the consular officer, strengthening the proof of ties to the home country or real travel plans or the authentic purpose of the travel plans. Occasionally, an applicant is found to be inadmissible for criminal acts such as minor drug possession or for previous immigration infractions in the U.S. In such cases, SMA assists the clients in preparing for waivers, which serve as a way to lift the inadmissibility or bar the person has to enter the U.S. Although it is not possible in all cases, it is often a discretionary decision made by the consulate and a convincing case can mean the difference between someone being able to go to the U.S. or not.
Even when visa petitions are approved in the U.S. there is no assurance that the visa will be granted by the consular officer. Therefore, when your future depends on the decision of a consular officer, it is of paramount importance to be prepared by someone specialized in consular matters. SMA prepares application presentations for those have already received an approved visa petition in the U.S., to assure them actually getting the visa. The importance of prevention cannot be understated.
Steve Maggi, based in New York, represents clients in consular matters all over the world. In the eight years he served as managing partner of the Buenos Aires, Argentina, office, he worked daily on consular processing cases and mastered the process.