Imagine you are the holder of a non-immigrant US visa. Then, you receive a notice from the US Consulate that your visa has been revoked and that you must visit the US Consulate so that your visa can be physically cancelled. You are also told that you can no longer use your visa and travel to the US. What can you do? That will depend upon the facts of your case. Therefore, it is best to consult an attorney knowledgeable in US immigration law. Your attorney will review the facts that create statutory grounds for revocation and help you understand the process of visa revocation, which includes an opportunity for you to demonstrate why the visa should not be revoked.
Grounds for Revocation
US consular officials have broad discretion to revoke non-immigrant visas. A non-immigrant visa can even be revoked shortly after it has been issued. This is the case when information comes to light indicating that the visa holder was (1) ineligible at the time the visa was issued, or (2) has become ineligible to have a US visa. There are several statutory grounds that allow revocation of previously issued visa, which include any of the following:
- US Consular officer determines that the visa holder is ineligible to receive a visa or enter the US for health, criminal, security, or other serious reasons;
- the visa holder no longer qualifies for the particular visa when the visa holder has limited ties to home country and makes numerous, long term visits to the US, extending status while in the US;
- the visa holder has been issued an immigrant visa; or
- the visa has been physically removed from the passport in which it was issued.
Note: It is not unusual for a consular officer to issue a visa and then to call the visa holder back to the consulate to revoke the visa shortly there after.
Before revoking the visa, the US consular officer usually is obliged to invite the visa holder to the consulate for an interview, and give him a chance to show why the visa should not be revoked. A qualified attorney can help you through this step. However, if it is determined that you or a family member are unqualified to hold the previously issued visa, it will be revoked.
When revoking the visa, the officer will write or stamp “REVOKED” across the face of the visa; notify the person on what legal grounds the visa was revoked; make an entry into the visa system; and complete a Certificate of Revocation of Visa.
If the visa holder cannot be found, the officer will notify airlines of the revocation. If the person is already en route to the US, he will be detained and have his visa revoked at the port of entry.
It is important to note that occasionally visa revocations may occur without notice to the visa holder. Whether or not the visa holder gets actual notice, the revoked visa is no longer valid for travel to the US once the revocation is entered into the visa system.