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News and Updates

The latest immigration and visa news for the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and select European countries - straight from the leading immigrant advocates in the Philippines.

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Appeal of Denial Based on Drug Use

If your immigrant visa application was denied because you admitted to having experimented with marijuana or controlled substance when you were young, chances are your visa application was denied. You also must have been informed - usually through a written notice by a US Consul - that you are forever banned from applying for a visa to the US.

February 8, 2011

Appeal of Denial Based on Drug Use

Walang patawad noon.

Ngayon, meron na.

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), in a decision for a Filipino applicant in the same situation as above, ruled that the Officer in Charge (OIC) at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Manila "improperly erred in rejecting the waiver application" of the Filipino immigrant visa applicant. Arguing for the applicant through Counsel, the published ruling explained that the OIC wrongly relied on a Ninth Circuit Decision pertaining to the adjustment of status application of an applicant for permanent residency in Hawaii. While the case involves the same violation, the issue is which law should be followed - Hawaii or the Philippines.

Since the Filipino applicant admitted to use of a controlled substance during the required medical examination at St. Luke's Medical Center, the controlling law must be that of the Philippines. Second, for an admission of a crime for immigration purposes, the applicant must be given "an adequate definition of the crime, including all essential elements and that it be explained in understandable terms."

Since neither of the above was present in the case discussed here, the AAO ordered that the decision of the OIC - to deny the waiver application of the Filipino visa applicant - be withdrawn and that the matter be returned to the OIC for further processing of the immigrant visa application.

If your visa application was denied solely for admission of having used a controlled substance, you may be eligible to have your case be reconsidered or reopened.

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