Visa Revocation and Revocation Notice.
Posted by Jeff Xie on November 10, 2002 at 22:16:54
Q: we are aware that visa holders have been sent letters informing them of visa cancellations. Also, we are aware that in at least one instance, such a letter was sent to a visa holder who was present in the United States, and furthermore, that VO or post informed the visa holder’s employer of the visa cancellation, resulting in the visa holder’s firing. Please describe the process by which visa holders are informed of visa cancellations, the basis for such cancellations, and the process to be undertaken to obtain a new visa. Please also confirm that it is not the policy of the Department of State to inform a visa holder’s employer of a visa cancellation.
A: INA 221(i) authorizes both consular officers and the Secretary of State to revoke visas. The authority of the Secretary of State has been formally delegated to the Deputy Assistant Deputy of State for Visa Services. 22 CFR 41.122(b) requires consular officers considering a visa revocation to first give notice to the alien, if such notice is practicable: “Notice of proposed revocation. When consideration is being given to the revocation of a nonimmigrant visa under paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section, the consular officer considering that action shall, if practicable, notify the alien to whom the visa was issued of intention to revoke the visa. The alien shall also be given an opportunity to show why the visa should not be revoked and requested to present the travel document in which the visa was originally issued.” 9 FAM 41.122 Note 3 states that “Under no circumstances should a consular officer revoke the visa of an alien believed to be physically in the United States, or to have commenced an uninterrupted journey to the United States.” Where the alien is known or believed to be in the U.S., or to have begun an uninterrupted journey to the U.S., the visa revocation is effected by the Department of State. In such a case, no notice is required, but notice if practicable would still be appropriate out of fairness to the affected alien. Once the alien receives notice of a visa revocation, the alien can apply for a new visa, but must overcome the finding of ineligibility that led to the visa revocation.
In regard to informing the alien’s employer, INA 222(f) provides for the confidentiality of visa records and this requirement would relate to visa revocations. This section, however, does permit use of visa records for purposes related to “administration, or enforcement of the immigration, nationality, and other laws of the United States.” Therefore, notification to the employer could be appropriate if there is a law enforcement reason for it (such as in order to locate and apprehend someone in the U.S. in unlawful status). It may also be the case that notification of a revocation is sent to an affected alien at a work address, which may the only address available, and intercepted by the employer.
DOS Answers to AILA Questions (10/02/2002)
AILA InfoNet at Doc. No. 02100340 (Oct. 3, 2002) .
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