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Derry Lea

How to appeal and success rate

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Hello, everyone. It's been a while, but I need some advice from the more experienced here again. My sister was denied a tourist visa today. Needless to say how disappointed we are. She is 24years old, not married (living with my parents and her boyfriend of 7years), doesn't own anything and hasn't had a job for 2 years now. Horrible, I know. However with the unemployment situation in Bulgaria we just wrote in the application she's a homemaker. Plus I thought our good chances were in the fact that both my dad and my brother got 10year visas when they applied in 2010 to come for our wedding. My brother came and stayed for less than a month and went back to Bulgaria after that and my dad never used his visa.(This was all mentioned and checked at the interview). As far as evidence go we provided the invitation letter and a bank statement to prove we can take care of all expenses. We just wanted her to come here for a month since we can't go to Bulgaria due to work and vacation etc, we wanted to bring a piece of my family here to visit and meet my new family.

My question is, if I put all this in an email and write to the consul, what are my chances of success? In fact what are the steps of appeal? The part of bringing new evidence is not very good in this case, because my sister can't really find a steady job in the little town she lives. They don't want to go ahead and get married to bring a piece of paper to get a visa (her boyfriend has a good job and they are saving for a wedding now). The part with having children is not great either because the truth is she has fertility issues and they have been trying for 2 years now, unsuccessfully. (I will put this in the appeal email too).

So what do we do? Who do we write to? A congressman? A mayor? The US counsel in Bulgaria? Please give us an advice as I really want her to come and visit this summer. I understand the illegal aliens issues and all,but it hurts when you really are doing this for the right reasons and honest intentions.It's just devastating, because she has never even been outside of our hometown and for her to come here and experience the culture or to even fly on a plane will be amazing. Somebody somewhere must have a heart and understand that!!! Who do I write to? What do we do? Would it even help? Thank you.

Edited by Derry Lea

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Hello, everyone. It's been a while, but I need some advice from the more experienced here again. My sister was denied a tourist visa today. Needless to say how disappointed we are. She is 24years old, not married (living with my parents and her boyfriend of 7years), doesn't own anything and hasn't had a job for 2 years now. Horrible, I know. However with the unemployment situation in Bulgaria we just wrote in the application she's a homemaker. Plus I thought our good chances were in the fact that both my dad and my brother got 10year visas when they applied in 2010 to come for our wedding. My brother came and stayed for less than a month and went back to Bulgaria after that and my dad never used his visa.(This was all mentioned and checked at the interview). As far as evidence go we provided the invitation letter and a bank statement to prove we can take care of all expenses. We just wanted her to come here for a month since we can't go to Bulgaria due to work and vacation etc, we wanted to bring a piece of my family here to visit and meet my new family.

My question is, if I put all this in an email and write to the consul, what are my chances of success? In fact what are the steps of appeal? The part of bringing new evidence is not very good in this case, because my sister can't really find a steady job in the little town she lives. They don't want to go ahead and get married to bring a piece of paper to get a visa (her boyfriend has a good job and they are saving for a wedding now). The part with having children is not great either because the truth is she has fertility issues and they have been trying for 2 years now, unsuccessfully. (I will put this in the appeal email too).

So what do we do? Who do we write to? A congressman? A mayor? The US counsel in Bulgaria? Please give us an advice as I really want her to come and visit this summer. I understand the illegal aliens issues and all,but it hurts when you really are doing this for the right reasons and honest intentions.It's just devastating, because she has never even been outside of our hometown and for her to come here and experience the culture or to even fly on a plane will be amazing. Somebody somewhere must have a heart and understand that!!! Who do I write to? What do we do? Would it even help? Thank you.

Unfortunately there is no appeals process for tourist visa, she can apply again and see if it works. You can write a letter or email that can go with her application, but honestly it does not hold any weight.

Unfortunately all odds are against her – not married, her age, no job, no property or any other ownership (basically reasons to return back).

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Hello, everyone. It's been a while, but I need some advice from the more experienced here again. My sister was denied a tourist visa today. Needless to say how disappointed we are. She is 24years old, not married (living with my parents and her boyfriend of 7years), doesn't own anything and hasn't had a job for 2 years now. Horrible, I know. However with the unemployment situation in Bulgaria we just wrote in the application she's a homemaker. Plus I thought our good chances were in the fact that both my dad and my brother got 10year visas when they applied in 2010 to come for our wedding. My brother came and stayed for less than a month and went back to Bulgaria after that and my dad never used his visa.(This was all mentioned and checked at the interview). As far as evidence go we provided the invitation letter and a bank statement to prove we can take care of all expenses. We just wanted her to come here for a month since we can't go to Bulgaria due to work and vacation etc, we wanted to bring a piece of my family here to visit and meet my new family.

My question is, if I put all this in an email and write to the consul, what are my chances of success? In fact what are the steps of appeal? The part of bringing new evidence is not very good in this case, because my sister can't really find a steady job in the little town she lives. They don't want to go ahead and get married to bring a piece of paper to get a visa (her boyfriend has a good job and they are saving for a wedding now). The part with having children is not great either because the truth is she has fertility issues and they have been trying for 2 years now, unsuccessfully. (I will put this in the appeal email too).

So what do we do? Who do we write to? A congressman? A mayor? The US counsel in Bulgaria? Please give us an advice as I really want her to come and visit this summer. I understand the illegal aliens issues and all,but it hurts when you really are doing this for the right reasons and honest intentions.It's just devastating, because she has never even been outside of our hometown and for her to come here and experience the culture or to even fly on a plane will be amazing. Somebody somewhere must have a heart and understand that!!! Who do I write to? What do we do? Would it even help? Thank you.

There is nothing that you can do from here and I doubt writing your representative will do you any good either.

Unfortunately the situation is that her profile is that of a young, unmarried and unemployed female - the higher group of risk there is.

Is there a chance that your father could travel with her? The reason I ask is because there are instances in which the consulate will issue a conditional visa for a young person accompanying a parent; and restricted to a certain geographical area. If your father were able to accompany her she could ask for a new interview and add that she would like a visa to accompany her father to the US to visit her sister. That might work but you must be aware that if they were to issue a conditional visa she will not allowed to travel to the US without your father. I hope that might be a course of action.

Good luck!


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There are no limits to the number of times she can apply for a Tourist Visa.

Difficult to see someone with that profile ever getting one.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Hello, everyone. It's been a while, but I need some advice from the more experienced here again. My sister was denied a tourist visa today. Needless to say how disappointed we are. She is 24years old, not married (living with my parents and her boyfriend of 7years), doesn't own anything and hasn't had a job for 2 years now. Horrible, I know. However with the unemployment situation in Bulgaria we just wrote in the application she's a homemaker. Plus I thought our good chances were in the fact that both my dad and my brother got 10year visas when they applied in 2010 to come for our wedding. My brother came and stayed for less than a month and went back to Bulgaria after that and my dad never used his visa.(This was all mentioned and checked at the interview). As far as evidence go we provided the invitation letter and a bank statement to prove we can take care of all expenses. We just wanted her to come here for a month since we can't go to Bulgaria due to work and vacation etc, we wanted to bring a piece of my family here to visit and meet my new family.

My question is, if I put all this in an email and write to the consul, what are my chances of success? In fact what are the steps of appeal? The part of bringing new evidence is not very good in this case, because my sister can't really find a steady job in the little town she lives. They don't want to go ahead and get married to bring a piece of paper to get a visa (her boyfriend has a good job and they are saving for a wedding now). The part with having children is not great either because the truth is she has fertility issues and they have been trying for 2 years now, unsuccessfully. (I will put this in the appeal email too).

So what do we do? Who do we write to? A congressman? A mayor? The US counsel in Bulgaria? Please give us an advice as I really want her to come and visit this summer. I understand the illegal aliens issues and all,but it hurts when you really are doing this for the right reasons and honest intentions.It's just devastating, because she has never even been outside of our hometown and for her to come here and experience the culture or to even fly on a plane will be amazing. Somebody somewhere must have a heart and understand that!!! Who do I write to? What do we do? Would it even help? Thank you.

There are NO appeals, your congressman cannot sway their decision (legally or otherwise) and unemployed young women from eastern

europe have a strong tendency to stay put in the US, frantically seeking the love of their life and a green card. That is a fact of life. Think about this: how could a VO explain with a straight face why he issued a tourist visa to a young, single,unemployed woman based soley on her 'promise' to return? Answer: a VO could not. Sympathy does not matter. the reasons for going are immaterial; the reasons for returning are paramount. the law states that everyone seeking a tourist visa is already presumed to be going to the US to stay permanently...boyfriends are a dime a dozen, and do not represent anything approaching a strong tie to an eastern European country.

Look at the basic checklist: JOb: No. Property: No. Husband and kids? No. Pursuit of a difficult education? No. So...what is really going to compel her to hop on a plane and go back to a life of abject poverty with little prospects for a bright future? Your 'word?' You have no legal authority over her, no matter where she is.

Congress has no legal authority over the VOs (legislative vs executive branches of government) and no congressman is going to write a coherent, believeable letter claiming he or she will 'vouch' for her when none of them even know her....and even the congressman has zero legal authority over anyone...so that won't work. A mayor?? Of what town or city? And why would a VO care what some low level politician thinks?

Your letter or email will likely be 'round filed' upon receipt because it has absolutely no value in the qualification process ...every applicant has to qualify for a tourist visa based exclusively on their own merits/situation, not on unenforceable promises made by interested third parties. If you disbelieve this, well, think about the following scenario.....suppose she was given a visa, and after showing up, runs out to latch on to an undisclosed American BF...decides to marry and stay put....please explain how YOU would legally compel her to depart the US of A.....love to read the answer to this.

Bottom line: between our current laws and the previous abuse by others from her country, she has virtually no chance and anything you try to offer will likely cause the VO to wonder what all the fuss is about...and then begin to believe even more strongly that there are undisclosed reasons for her request that have little to do with mere tourism.

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Well, if you just answer why an US representative would care about a foreigner's tourist visa application?


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There is nothing that you can do from here and I doubt writing your representative will do you any good either.

Unfortunately the situation is that her profile is that of a young, unmarried and unemployed female - the higher group of risk there is.

Is there a chance that your father could travel with her? The reason I ask is because there are instances in which the consulate will issue a conditional visa for a young person accompanying a parent; and restricted to a certain geographical area. If your father were able to accompany her she could ask for a new interview and add that she would like a visa to accompany her father to the US to visit her sister. That might work but you must be aware that if they were to issue a conditional visa she will not allowed to travel to the US without your father. I hope that might be a course of action.

Good luck!

trouble is that there is no such thing as a 'conditional' visa except possibly for minor children (like under 12 or so), nor can USCIS tell anyone upon arrival where they can and cannot go within the borders of the US...once again, these sorts of 'strategems' have been tried over and over...whether she is allegedly traveling with her father or not does not make her more or less qualified for a tourist visa, nor will some sort of self imposed travel restriction overcome 214b.

Well, if you just answer why an US representative would care about a foreigner's tourist visa application?

Therein lies the issue...why would a US representative give a hoot, moreover, who does the congressman/senator represent? USC's/LPRs or someone thousands of miles away who cannot vote? simple answer. And even if one of them did 'care', what difference would it make to the VO? Answer: none.

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I don't understand this ... if the concern is that they will go the US and then adjust why don't we just create non-adjustable tourist visas? This would allow so many more people to come to our country (and spend their tourism dollars) and solve the issue of people adjusting after arriving in the US. It seems so logical, so simple.

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I don't understand this ... if the concern is that they will go the US and then adjust why don't we just create non-adjustable tourist visas? This would allow so many more people to come to our country (and spend their tourism dollars) and solve the issue of people adjusting after arriving in the US. It seems so logical, so simple.

But then businesses would not have easy access to cheap labor.

I agree...Congress should END ALL AOS from tourist visas...there is really no excuse for AOS, no real foundation for the astonishing mind changes people have....we should have simple rules....

a- arrive as a tourist, leave as one.

b- overstay by one day, barred for ten years without a waiver (unless the visa holder was in a coma on their last day of authorized stay or every airline in the US was shut down).

c- work illegally, barred for life.

d- EWI - barred for life.

No exceptions. No waivers. We need 'enforced personal responsibilty' legislated against those who think they are above our laws.

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But then businesses would not have easy access to cheap labor.

I agree...Congress should END ALL AOS from tourist visas...there is really no excuse for AOS, no real foundation for the astonishing mind changes people have....we should have simple rules....

a- arrive as a tourist, leave as one.

b- overstay by one day, barred for ten years without a waiver (unless the visa holder was in a coma on their last day of authorized stay or every airline in the US was shut down).

c- work illegally, barred for life.

d- EWI - barred for life.

No exceptions. No waivers. We need 'enforced personal responsibilty' legislated against those who think they are above our laws.

Thank you for the replies. I understand everything you are saying and even agree with most of it. However you are not offering any solution to the problem. After all this is our situation, our life the way it's gonna be. We are not faking notes from employer or transferring money to her bank account or signing over a property on her name or marrying her fiance just so she can get the damn visa! We go ahead and tell the truth! All we have is our word and our honest intentions, no one can appreciate that?!? Please give me an advice not the facts I already know.

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Thank you for the replies. I understand everything you are saying and even agree with most of it. However you are not offering any solution to the problem. After all this is our situation, our life the way it's gonna be. We are not faking notes from employer or transferring money to her bank account or signing over a property on her name or marrying her fiance just so she can get the damn visa! We go ahead and tell the truth! All we have is our word and our honest intentions, no one can appreciate that?!? Please give me an advice not the facts I already know.

There is no appeal. Not really anything you (or any USC) can do to help her secure a visa. Just reapply and address any shortcomings. Typically that is showing strong ties to home. From what you've stated, she can't show much and thus it will be tough for her to get.

Lots of young people have similar problems obtaining tourist visas for the US.


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Get married.

Get a job.

Children being left behind would help.

House, community ties, things she must go back for.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Thank you for the replies. I understand everything you are saying and even agree with most of it. However you are not offering any solution to the problem. After all this is our situation, our life the way it's gonna be. We are not faking notes from employer or transferring money to her bank account or signing over a property on her name or marrying her fiance just so she can get the damn visa! We go ahead and tell the truth! All we have is our word and our honest intentions, no one can appreciate that?!? Please give me an advice not the facts I already know.

She may reapply, that is your solution.

However, your letter that you'd like to write contains many things that will A) not matter or B)hurt her chances coming to the US. I am sorry, but the US does not care about her fertility issues, putting that into a letter will not matter. It is also necessary for your sister to show why she must return to Bulgaria, your letter seems to do the opposite, explain why she must go to the US - which works against her.

A congressman or mayor has no control over your sister's visa application, mostly because they have no motivation to. Strengthen her evidence of ties to Bulgaria and have her try again

Good luck


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Truth is that no matter how much you want to see them here for a visit some , really most people will NEVER qualify for a visitors visa under the current rules. The only sure solution is for her to get citizenship is a VWP country and not have a troublesome background.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Thank you for the replies. I understand everything you are saying and even agree with most of it. However you are not offering any solution to the problem. After all this is our situation, our life the way it's gonna be. We are not faking notes from employer or transferring money to her bank account or signing over a property on her name or marrying her fiance just so she can get the damn visa! We go ahead and tell the truth! All we have is our word and our honest intentions, no one can appreciate that?!? Please give me an advice not the facts I already know.

If I had the 'magic answer' that was guaranteed to work 100% of the time (or even 90%) I could sell it to those seeking visas and retire in comfort, assuming I would choose to compromise my ethics for mere money (which I would not do).

Bottom line: there is no magic answer. All those things you tossed in the air as some vain hope that somehow one or more of them would cause a VO to overlook the obvious fact that your sister has virtually zero reasons to return are meaningless. Whether or not she can conceive is not a parameter that is weighed during an interview; trying to have some representative 'intervene' or offer their unwanted and worthless opinion, whether a congressman, a mayor, a librarian or the dog catcher, will not affect the process.

An applicant's 'word' or promise to return has about as much value as a week old newspaper. History is an excellent teacher, for those who care to review the previous events. Countless thousands have likely offered reasons for their return that turned out not to be true, and even the newest VO has been exposed to those fairy tales.

Sympathy plays no role in the visa adjudication process -- no one cares why she wants to go to the US; what matters is what will make the VO believe (and I mean really believe) she would return to a life you have described as far from being a lure back to the hometown. Newly arriving VOs are given tremendous amounts of information about the country they are about to serve in, from the local economy to politics, and you can bet that there are fat files full of those same sympathetic stories that resulted in a visa issued to somebody who 'suddenly' changed their mind at baggage claim.

Another thing to remember...YOU are not the visa applicant; your sister is. Whatever you decide to write in support of her application means virtually nothing...whatever promises you make are not enforceable. The VOs have no legal authority over YOU to enforce any such promise.

As an aside, I don't see any details about how you came to acquire residency or whatever status you have in the US...did you travel as a tourist and forget to return? That will instantly work against her...(once one member does it, they often try to get the rest of their siblings to the US by any means)...a student who also offered similar reasons for your return, yet??? Or maybe you did the 'right way' - via a K1 visa....if so, good for you. But...as you might have surmised, your actions, whatever they were, can usually only have a negative effect; they will rarely become a positive one.

At the end of the day, there is no 'one size fits all' solution to the difficulty your sister has had and will continue to have convincing a VO about her intentions....and that is what matters. Intentions. That is what the VOs are judging...are they or will they be 101% convinced she will return? Until the answer to that question becomes 'yes' in a VO's mind (and in the VO's mind alone, not yours, not some congressman's, not some low level politician's), then the answer will be 'no.'

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