Visa Interviews at Consulate, Fraud, H-4 Application delays and VFS (Visa Facilitation Services)

welcome to our program on immigration and legal affairs I am your immigration attorney Michael fulani and once again we have with us attorney in David Nachman David Josh day and as we probably you might have seen the last program and we advised you that both David and me we just came back from India and in India we had meetings with the American consular officials in the American consulate in chi noi and the American Embassy in your daily and then in mumbai india and a lot of information that we gave you last time on how the interviews are conducted by the concert post especially on the 214 be related cases where the concert office has a more discretion to deny just based upon his own feeling as to whether the person will come back or not and in that connection lot of people have this question my father i am a citizen my father applied for a visitor visas are they denied him and the argument is that if he the cities and he can get a green card for the father anytime within a year so what’s a big deal i mean he ceases i do not want to immigrate give me a visitor visa but doesn’t happen and in many other cases the question is raised about the intent of the person whether person has emigrant intent or he’s a bona fide e non-immigrant now that really an interesting thing one of the officers we met David and me he said that we are very sympathetic sometime he says I feel so bad and denying I’ll see a real genuine case that a person really really has to go to see the children see the brother or the family function may be married maybe somebody sick maybe the granddaughter granddaughter grandson’s graduation party he believes that he but but the point here he says that I have to follow the law when I asking him questions is not able to answer properly so that that raises the issue whether this person has overcome the burden of satisfying to the council and he the concert that I mean some concepts like him or like following the textbook he said we have the me on the law here i have this textbook which sake this is what i am supposed to do to interview the applicant ask him questions to see whether he’s submitting sufficient evidence to overcome are not in my mind i believe but he is not giving me any evidence in not satisfying at all what am I going to mention in the application so this is this is a problem that again we talked the last time about articulating about how the people should answer the question depending on the situation if you are going on a business trip what kind of questions may be asked if you are just going to go on and attain the graduation party of your granddaughter grandson concept can severe which university when they do pass all the questions that come the mind of the concept from that particular category from that particular application so you have to be really fully fully prepared that’s right in Michael that officer with whom we spoke was actually very generous with his honest thoughts and concerns you and he established I think at least in my mind that the officers really are concerned about humanitarian claims and I believe that the specific issue that that officer had addressed was that a woman had appeared in front of him because she was going to a funeral and he he said no he said I can’t grab the visa and he said that it really made him feel so badly that he had to leave his window and go and get a drink of water and you know he felt so badly that he had to deny this this claim but he had to do it because again he had to go by the book and that was his set of rules but I it helps us to understand that we’re dealing with human beings who are trying to do their job but it also helps us to understand how we can best guide our clients to be able to get favorable determinations when they go to those windows okay let’s also talk about some people who are denied and they want to reapply a word advice is that if you have been denied once or twice and you keep on reapplying without proper explanation you are just going to be wasting your money and time basically the first question that the American Council and the second application or a third reapplication is why are you applying again and they were clearly told me told us that when somebody comes

to reapply we want to know what is that he has know that he did not have the last what was really to clearly articulate the change in the circumstances that allow for an approval after a denial no I remember I mean one case I remember the applicant went in and very honestly say sir I was absolutely not prepared last time I didn’t know that you may want to see any documents or papers or something at that time you are looking at the papers also so I’m very sorry it just came and I don’t as you were you made a right decision in my fault I couldn’t didn’t bring the papers but now this time i have brought all the papers that that one asked me so please here they are now the console looks that makes the concert look at the paper say okay so you have this time okay fine all right so is articulating he articulated very nicely as white was Jack never say the console made a wrong decision he made a right decision because you are not fully prepared you didn’t bring the documents and you are sorry for that and here is it not the D application based upon that and of course the changed circumstances a person applied five years ago he was single today he’s married he has two children he is under stylist he’s a businessman today seven years ago he was a clerk in an office so there’s a big change in the circumstances which show that no he has compelling reasons to come back to his country after the visit right and just going back to a point that you made Michael in the last program with regard to the documents the officers are clearly mindful of the fact that there could be potential fraud involved in the documents and one of the gentlemen actually in one of our speaking engagements for the indo-american society over in India had approached me and the consular officer was there and he was saying well is it enough if I have a letter to say that my son is going to graduate well that issue having a letter saying the Sun is going to graduate we don’t know whether that’s a real letter or not so one of the things that everyone agreed to is try to find some additional information that corroborates what’s in that letter for example go on the website and print out an agenda or a schedule of when the graduation is going to take place go go you can certainly bring the letter maybe there’s an invitation maybe there is some other some other piece of evidence or document that you can bring that further corroborates what you’re going to be doing how long the visits going to be and what the individuals coming for there’s only the officer want to see any paper right if the officer asks them Taylor a very interesting story long time ago is about 20 years ago there was an applicant who applied for a visa visitor visa or student visa don’t recollect the console console said I want to see some document at that time they were looking at the documents but God keep on asking the question but give me some examples tell me why is constant I think made a mistake in saying okay for example you had a grandfather and the grandfather had laid the will that after my death all my property goes to my grandson if he’s living in India this is ok sir he goes out he goes to the grandfather grandfather grandfather make a will why because the council says if you make a will like this then I can get the visa so then the grandfather goes with him to the court have a lawyer he prepares a will and then the will is made the way the council said after three days he goes and lock the door so mr. consul i am here again so what what’s what you got oh i have a will of my grandfather that now it says that i get the pass oh god oh my god i just give an example the guy went out and this shows that if you tell them we want x y&z documents they make them up and bring it right but that is not what the council wants to see you must see what you have already at the time of interview so that is why the council will not say bring this orbiting that it is for you to make a decision what kind of documents are in your possession that will satisfy the console I think we got to take a short break and right after the break we’ll discuss further on this you please stay tuned we will be back welcome back just before the break we were talking about our trip to India our various meetings with the American consuls and the valuable information we got from them that we discussed in our last program as well as before the break now one thing that you mentioned is about the fraud and and this question comes I think from shenoy or near Delhi but for the information purposes I just want to tell you also and probably you missed on talking about that they there

is an officer in China who is it program director for anti-fraud the senior officer and he or she actually coordinates with all other posts in India about fraud issues why I am Telling this because fraud is a big issue in India and some other countries therefore they have a special officer posted in India and also the in the Department of State also there is anti fraud division which guides consular officer how they should conduct investigations oh they should find fraud and fraudulent documents and that is one of the reasons that today these days any kind of application consular officers closely looking whether this person is telling the truth or these documents banoffee d arnot is there any fraud or not so what would you advise the people what your suggestion on the documentation or information that they well that’s a leading question Michael but the answer is I know what Michaels looking for here and that is don’t commit fraud don’t do it if you do it you risk the potential to be barred from any and all immigration benefits in the future and we said this at our speaking engagement in Mumbai at the indo-american society the officer of the consular officer who attended that meeting came up to us and said I’ll actually no he said it to the group he said these lawyers are giving you good advice do not commit fraud or you will be barred from any and all benefits in the future do it right now see we know that a lot of cases that get is stuck and I’m not saying that they all have committed a fraud or whatever because there are cases where the person the American Consul keeps the case pending where is h1 with H for the spouse of h4 or whatever the other case may be near suspicion sometimes or the constant things like that then he has to merely stated administrative processing but in years then he cannot does not issue the visa because especially their doubt is there or smell of the fraud comes from the papers he says okay 221-g adam in processing that means the council may go further verify certain documents or do conduct a new field investigation or maybe go on the website of the employer may go call an employer or the end customer on h1 kind of case to get some more information to see whether this person that I interviewed has given all the information correctly those cases sooner or later then get resolved in course of time once the console is satisfied but if you fully prepare the first time then you’re not likely to get it stuck and probably get the visa easily now just to move on a little bit michael of so we discussed chennai in our last program so just briefly to enlighten our our viewers we then went to New Delhi and we met at the consular complex which is a beautiful complex in New Delhi and we met with two of the consular officers they are the head of the the consular section the visa section and chief and the chief of the VCS we so we met with two individuals there and then after that we went and met with the individuals who are responsible for the USCIS office which is right next door in the in the complex and there we discuss issues about waivers and the streamlining of the waiver process and we try to get some views from the officers about the new provisional waiver rules and they were very helpful in helping us to understand how day-to-day they do their operations in that office and deal with issues such as waivers and let’s talk about and deli or maybe that the happens in other posts also we are h4 applicant goes wife or children of the h1 and us and the council holds up the case 221-g now I recall one of the consular officer in a post said that I only look at the qualifying relationship between the beneficial principal beneficiary and the family member so if the the h1 persons working in the US the wife and children are coming he wants to make sure that wife and children are really the family members that’s right but there are other another concept officer said but in this situation if he sees that this in his opinion in opinion if he sees that the principal beneficiary h1 has committed fraud or there is a material misrepresentation there’s some issue of fraud with regard to the employer then that h1 may not be valid which then affects the h4 which gives him the right to question the

relationship exact right but even if honestly said those kind of cases are very very very few not too many cases although I mean basically the one of the questions we asked i think in normal console post why so many cases you keep ending 221-g and admin processing consular officer says what do you think is the number i see forty percent fifty percent he says you are wrong as a twenty percent wrong 35 of ten percent he says less than ten percent he says because your clients are coming to you those who are in trouble those who are cases are denied you don’t see the clients to whom we give actually so he said ninety percent of the people that get the visas without a problem it’s only less than ten percent that get in trouble and those know once we have doctor it’s like a medical doctor he’s only seeing all the ape sick patients but not the millions of healthy patients who don’t come to the doctor’s office so daughter is looking all the time only on the sick patient so you and me all the time most of the time you look at people who have situations with the immigration benefits or need assistance in the middle I think this is a good time also Michael let’s let’s help our viewers probably many of them are aware VFS and how VFS works let’s talk a little bit about VFS and how the consoles are using VFS and whether it is a good thing is it a bad thing how’s it working what first of all VF is is not a part of the US government that’s correct it is an outsourced organisms all sourcing contractor and that’s something that they started to ease the burden upon the constables senator topic I think we need to I think we need to take a break but when we come back from the break maybe we can just address VFS and how the process interfaces with the US consul so let’s take a short break and right after the break we’ll continue this discussion further welcome back just before the break we were talking about our visit to India the American consulates in New Delhi Chennai and Mumbai and we came to a point where the question about VFS came into existence lot of people were complaining or complaining histol that there is a confusion there and they don’t have a proper guidance and for what services they should go to VFS or what services they go to the American consulate what is the role that VFS plays pays a place in the visa processing and let me just go back a few years back many years back there was no such thing at the VFS the entire visa processing was done by the American consulates the all the documents whenever were needed you had to go and apply for a visa paperwork was there there are no online things and at that time they were scheduled for interview at the window and the process they will stand the passport they will give it back on the same day very easy very simple very straightforward as the time went by the work increased and the government wanted to be little easier on the console were officer workload so they came with a plan to hire an outsourcing company which is in India’s VFS visa facilitation service and there was some other agency different places were later on its VFS at all the places in india and then they had a process that okay there’s submission of the application documents papers let VFS which is the outsourcing company not a part of the government agency or the Immigration Service or the Consulate’s that they go to the VFS office submit the documentation and they will then send it to the consulate and slowly-slowly the responsibilities of VFS kept on increasing it’s still ok because end of the day the interview was done by the council officers and if we had any question we used to send an email to the consulate not to the VFS and they will respond to our inquiry very quickly so still some people were unhappy but I would say to some extent the concert officer reduced their workload so they were able to then spend more time on interviews and processing the case then just collecting the papers and the documents fine the recently things that have changed now is that when you send an inquiry about your case to American consulate in Bombay you are really not supposed to do that you are supposed to enter via face not only that they say most of the inquiries the congressman the Senators and even lawyers the in college that they make they have to go to New Delhi and I would say that even

we thought that in my opinion with that okay so it’s a concept of the New Delhi rather than Mumbai so at least maybe a senior counselor ourselves looking at the case and will respond we found out during our meetings of the consular officer we found out that was not so because the consular officers were not directly responding the inquiry goes to VFS and they are supposed to be responding and we have found in many cases they have no knowledge about the case they don’t know they say the ten plate kind of computerized response and script script if there’s here yeah they’re scripting doesn’t answer our question so we did discuss about that with the consular officers I would say almost all the posts and they said that is a decision made and then we have to follow their decision and unless there is a change place to take place from the Department of State or who right now we don’t even know at this time really David whether it is coming from the Department of State or with the local policy but we are going to definitely look into that issue right we’re seeking to address i guess the disconnect which we feel might be happening between VFS in the consular office and just by way of an example something that recently happened we sent a request we regarding one of our cases to the to the consulate directly to which the consulate responded and then when we sent the same request to VFS we got a response from them saying that they had no record of the case at all having been filed at the console and that’s a big problem and it’s very troubling to us because obviously VFS is supposed to be online and on the same page as the consulate so that’s a bit of a problem we are going to see what happens because as you know even the Senators Congressmen they used to send enquiry to the concerned post which has the file which didn’t review with know all the facts so at least there was some reasonable response although as you and I know that most of the time the consular officer they are also ever 10-play thank you very much for inquiry in this case is still under process and we will advise you when decision is done or the we denied the case because there was no qualifying relationship between the petitioner benefit and most of the time it was a ten plate kind of it but it’s still the responses coming in some cases some cases they did take action also but now it has changed the policy now is that all inquiries go to the American Embassy in your daily and the new daily officer i believe is not those cases don’t go to VFS that are responded directly but the consular officer who’s in charge for the communications and the correct well he said and he said that he is working very closely with VFS bffs answers most of the questions if they can and then anything that needs to be escalated gets escalated to yeah then yesterday I have a problem that’s a VFS they answer anything that they do only they see if they see they cannot answer a question then they go to the consulate discuss our to get a correct so those cases end up getting at least a good right response correct but then again the initial screening is done by VF is so they decide to answer on their own and the answer doesn’t make any sense they’re still pending still pending is still pending because they are looking at a computer right they are responding from the computer which says case is pending but that is not what we want to know we want to know from the console why is it pending what is this story work how can we hail right there any additional documents required and all that exactly or please make a decision so we can advance the case for our clients and move things along so hopefully I think in the at some point that I had some feeling that some other concert officer themselves were not very happy with the system but it’s hard to say and some of some of them were really a very happy that they did their daughter the burden of responding well directly I I got the feeling that the officers clearly were happy that their phones were not ringing off the hook and that VFS was acting as a buffer and my guess is at least from a business perspective that there probably is a tremendous amount of attrition that happens by virtue of the response by BFS and that people will not continue to persist because they’ve heard from VFS and they’re not going to keep coming back to the consulate and so some people will slow down in their ability to be persistent about getting responses and that’s not really so good because it what ends up happening is things fall between the cracks and we don’t get answered see David I see a problem with lot of public everybody that has a case spending will send every day I email every day today you know just unload hundreds or thousands of emails every day which is what probably the concept of the found is going to be very difficult to deal with here with exactly

now I think I think there maybe make some sense in that but so far the attorney inquiries are concerned for attorneys are more articulated the inquiries more specific to the point asking the addressing the question that’s right and that that’s what we are trying to do they are trying to go through our association and we’re trying to get some change then convince the consular officer they could probably hopefully at some point agree to have a separate email address for the attorneys that could be handled by the even the New Delhi embassy is fine I think we are coming to the end of the program we hope that our last program as well as this program on our trip to India and meeting through the American Consul officers was very helpful to you from the information that we pride about that David thank you very much for thank you microgram and thank all of you are watching the program please keep watching us every saturday at 1pm thank you you