2022 AILA Conference Los Angeles: 7 Tips When Applying For A Visa

7 Tips You Need To Know When Applying For A Visa

Categories: Resources
Published: November 29, 2022

Tags: Video | Visa

7 Tips You Need To Know When Applying For A Visa Video Summary

Applying for a visa can take time and the process isn’t always straightforward. In this video attorney Joseph Tsang provides 7 tips when applying for a visa. These 7 tips can help you speed up your visa application and help you through the process by avoiding certain pitfalls. This video covers the following tips to help you with your visa application.

Top 7 Tips When Applying For A Visa In 2023 

  1. How To Get Around The Backlog
  2. Taking Advantage of Consulate Shopping
  3. Updating Your DS-160
  4. Dealing With Alcohol
  5. Continuing Past A Denial
  6. Addressing OPT Fraud
  7. Ways to Expedite Your Case

This is a recap of one of the best sessions at the Southern California AILA Conference 2022. 

Full Video Transcript

If you’re applying for a visa, here are seven things you have to know. My name is Joseph, and I’m here at the Southern California AILA conference. This is one of the best sessions that I’ve attended, and I want to share the key info with you.

#1 Getting Around The Backlog:

Consulates and embassies around the world are still suffering a major backlog. They are still prioritizing family cases over business cases. If you’re waiting for a business visa, you should really try to make the argument that you qualify for a national interest exception.

#2 Consulate Shopping:

Consulate shopping was discouraged in the past, but because of the major backlog, it is now actually encouraged. Meaning if the interview at your home country has to be six months or nine months out, and you can find another consulate that’s willing to accept your visa appointment within one month or two months, then they encourage you to go to that post. It’s like being at the supermarket, choose the lane that’s the fastest.

#3 Update your DS-160:

Third point, from the time you made the appointment to the time where you actually are interviewed, it could be six months, it could be 10 months. A lot of things could have happened; you could have had a baby. So, the DS-160 that you filled out could and needs to be updated. A suggestion is that right before the interview, you refill the entire application, print it out so you can present it to the officer. You should always bring your original documents as well because the scanners and printers on the consulate are not the best. If they need anything, you can directly give it to them. It will help them process your case faster.

#4 Cracking Down On Alcohol:

We are hearing horror stories about how strict consulates are with regards to drinking. If you have a problem with drinking, even if you don’t have a conviction, even if you’ve never been arrested, you can still get your visa denied by answering the wrong questions. Sometimes they’re asking questions such as have you ever drank more than you expected to? I feel like every dinner party, people drink more than they expected to. If your Instagram page or Facebook page or social media have pictures of drinking, these all can lead to denials. If drinking is part of your lifestyle, part of your culture, you really need to be careful when you go to these interviews.

#5 Denial Is Not The End:

Number five, if your Visa has been denied, don’t worry too much. There’s still an opportunity for you to get it approved. Just two weeks ago, one of our L-1 cases was approved in the US but denied at the consulate. We immediately reached out, asked for a supervisor review, and it was approved within two days. Consulates oftentimes review the case, and even though there was a prior denial, they can reverse that decision and approve it.

#6 OPT Fraud:

If you are a victim of OPT fraud by companies like the findream or other major academic institutions that defrauded students by giving them fake OPT status, it is extremely difficult to get an approval at the consulate. If they see there’s an FBI investigation on your record, chances are they’re going to deny your case. Their hands are tied; they’re going to force you to apply for a waiver. But all hope is not lost. We have successfully obtained non-immigrant waivers so that they can come to the US and then apply for immigrant waivers for these OPT fraud cases.

#7 Ways To Expedite Your Case:

And last, but not least, if your case is under administrative processing and it’s just taking a long time for them to review your case, here are all the steps that you can do to help expedite. Number one, ask for supervisor review and provide documentation on why it’s so urgent. Number two, prove your case is of national interest exception. Your company, your project, the things that you’re working on, what you’re going to do is so important that you need to come to the US now. The last thing is if your case is under administrative processing for over six months after your interview, you can sue them in court with a mandamus action. Oftentimes, we see after the mandamus action has been filed, your case gets approved within two-three days. That’s it. Those are seven key things that you should know if you’re applying for a visa. Good luck.