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New visa policies could lead to instant deportations

Immigrants in Texas and across the U.S. could have their visa applications suddenly rejected for clerical errors and other mistakes, according to new policy memos issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to immigration experts, applicants who have their visas denied could be immediately deported.

Prior to the new policy memos, USCIS officials were required to send "Requests for Evidence" to people who had missing or inaccurate information on their visa applications. This allowed applicants 30 days to provide the required information before their visa would be rejected. However, a new policy memo issued in July gives USCIS officials the right to immediately deny applications if they are missing any required evidence. The policy, which will take effect on Sept. 11, applies to both new visa applications and renewals.

On June 28, USCIS also issued a memo allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to refer immigrants for deportation immediately after their visa applications have been denied. A USCIS representative said the policy changes were necessary to meet the agenda of the Trump administration, which has pushed for tighter immigration controls. Immigration advocates say that immigrants should file their visa applications or renewals as early as possible in order to get them adjudicated before their current visas expire. They also say immigrants should make sure their applications are accurate and fully documented.

Individuals seeking to live and work in the United States may benefit from seeking the advice of an immigration attorney before they file their visa application. An attorney could help ensure the application is properly prepared and contains all required documentation. Legal counsel could also be of assistance if an application is denied and removal proceedings begin.

Source: CBS News, "Changes to federal policies pave way for sudden visa denials, deportation, Graham Kates, July 19, 2018

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