Section 221g

My recent posting, re: “To “B,” or not to “B” has elicited queries (via e-mail) from some readers of my Blog. They claimed to have been denied visa by the U.S. Embassy, which cited as basis Section 221g of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

This brings to mind the topic discussed by Adrian Cristobal in his regular column, Breakfast Table, captioned “Unvisaed Justice.” In his column, Mr. Cristobal mentioned that “Court of Appeals Justice Jose Mendoza was furious over the U.S. Embassy’s rejection of his visa application…” In rejecting Justice Mendoza’s visa application, the U.S. Embassy cited Section 221g of the INA.

Mr. Cristobal- seemingly curious on what Section 221g was all about- said “I tried to get the exact wording of Section 221g through the Internet but couldn’t find it. All I saw was a note saying that Sections 221 to 227 was repealed on June 27, 1952.”

Nope, Section 221g is still in the statute book.

So, what’s Section 221g of the INA that has always been mentioned in a mantra-like fashion?

Well, it’s one of the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that give power and authority to a United States consular officer in adjudicating a visa application. As mentioned in my earlier posting, “To “B,” or not to B” the consular officer exercises a wide discretion in visa issuance. And, precisely, because Section 221g says so.

Here’s Section 221g of the Immigration and Nationality Act, in toto – with all its legal mumbo jumbo:

”(g) No visa or other documentation shall be issued to an alien if (1) it appears to the consular officer, from statements in the application, or in the papers submitted therewith, that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 212, or any other provision of law, (2) the application fails to comply with the provisions of this Act, or the regulations issued thereunder, or (3) the consular officer knows or has reason to believe that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 212, or any other provision of law: Provided, That a visa or other documentation may be issued to an alien who is within the purview of section 212(a)(4) , if such alien is otherwise entitled to receive a visa or other documentation, upon receipt of notice by the consular officer from the Attorney General of the giving of a bond or undertaking providing indemnity as in the case of aliens admitted under section 213: Provided further, That a visa may be issued to an alien defined in section 101(a)(15) (B) or (F) , if such alien is otherwise entitled to receive a visa, upon receipt of a notice by the consular officer from the Attorney General of the giving of a bond with sufficient surety in such sum and containing such conditions as the consular officer shall prescribe, to insure that at the expiration of the time for which such alien has been admitted by the Attorney General, as provided in section 214(a) , or upon failure to maintain the status under which he was admitted, or to maintain any status subsequently acquired under section 248 of the Act, such alien will depart from the United States.”

So, next time you are unceremoniously denied a visa – citing Section 221g- you know exactly what it is.

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