This article is from the FAQ, by with numerous contributions by others.
That information is incorrect. Once inside the U.S., an immigrant is
entitled to all constitutional guarantees barring some such as federal
government employment, right to run for the Presidency of the U.S., etc.
Q: Can I find out BEFORE making application to INS if FBI check will reveal any
criminal history in my background?
You could check your FBI record by sending in a set
of finger prints. I think the finger print form is
available from police stations and various other places.
Approximate time to receive the "Certificate of no criminal conviction"
is 30 days. Following is the procedure to obtain above certificate:
1. Go to your local police station and ask for finger prints
card (Form FD-258). According to FBI, you can use any standard
finger prints card available from local law enforcement agency.
The local police station may charge you some fee for doing your
finger print work. Here in Ames, they charge $5.00. Fill out
the information required in the card.
2. Write a brief letter to FBI explaining why you need the
certificate. It does not hurt to add your personal details
like name, date of birth, social security number and address
in the letter. Above information will be included in the
finger prints card too.
3. Include a money order or certified check for US $17.00, payable
to US TREASURY. The fee for this certificate will be
US $ 18.00 from February 1, 1995.
4. Mail the letter, finger prints card and money order to:
FBI, CJIS Division
10th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. N. W.
WASHINGTON D.C. 20537-9700
Their direct phone # is: (202) 324-5465
It may take up to 30 days to receive your certificate.
Q: I am a GC holder. If I move do I need to notify INS about my change
There is no such requirement.
Q: Do you have any information about consular procedures
in Madras, India?
We have retrieved the following information from their
web site in August 1997:
* APPLICATION APPOINTMENT BY PHONE: Applicants may call 44-823-2434 daily
between 2 and 4 PM to register their names for an appointment at a
future date. They should give their full names and passport numbers.
Between 125 - 140 appointments are usually registered per day. The
applicant should arrive at the Consulate the morning of his/her
appointment no later than 10 AM in order to enter the Consulate and be
processed. The applicant will receive a pink, numbered token, be asked
to pay the machine readable visa fee by crossed demand draft, made out
to the American Consulate General, Madras and then asked to enter the
waiting room to await the interview. Applicants are interviewed before
1 PM and applicants who will be issued a visa should return at 4 PM to
pick up their passports.
* DAILY TOKENS: While the appointment system is for the convenience of
applicants who wish to ensure they will be seen on a specific day, an
appointment is not necessary in order to apply for a visa, primarily
because many people who have appointments do not turn up at the
Consulate on the day of their appointments and because the Consulate
is generally able to accept another 50 to 60 applications a day,
depending on staffing availability. At this time, we are seeing all
applicants who apply on a given day, whether they have appointments or
* USE OF THE DROP BOX BY RETURNING STUDENTS/EXCHANGE VISITORS/TEMPORARY
WORKERS: Applicants wishing to use the drop box must meet the criteria
described under mail applications on page 8, unless the applicant is a
returning student, returning exchange visitor or a returning temporary
worker or a spouse of one of the previous. If you are a returning
student/spouse (F-1/F-2), a returning exchange visitor/spouse (J-1/J-2
or a returning temporary worker/spouse (H-1B/H-4), you may leave your
passport, application and crossed demand drafts for both the machine
readable visa fee and the visa issuance fee in the Drop Box at the
Cathederal Road entrance AFTER JANURY 15. Please note that this
service is not available to applicants who have previously been
refused a visa.
Passports will picked up by Consulate Staff for processing at 10 AM,
so that any passport which is in the drop box at the time of retrieval
for processing will be ready for pick-up, inside the visa waiting room
between 4 and 4:30 PM.
* APPLICATIONS BY PREVIOUSLY REFUSED APPLICANTS: Applicants are entitled
to two personal interviews within a two-year period. Applicants
refused under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
who are refused twice within that two year period in personal
interviews may continue to reapply for the visa, but applications in
person will not be accepted for the next two years after the last
refusal. Therefore, all applicants who have been refused in two
personal interviews in two years under Section 214(b) may reapply by
mail only. If the Consular Officer decides that the situation has
changed, s/he will request the applicant to return for another
PAYMENT AND VISA FEES
* THE MACHINE READABLE VISA (MRV) FEE: With very few exceptions, all
applicants must pay the $20, non-refundble MRV application fee if applying
for a non-immigrant visa. The fee should be paid by crossed demand draft
made payable to the American Consulate General, Madras. Currently, the
fee is Rs. 720; however, the exchange rate fluctuates from time to time,
so the amount may differ. We notify the media via press releases immediately
upon learning of a new exchange rate. We generally have a "grace period" of
one week, during which we will ask the applicants to make up the difference
in exact change.
* NON-IMMIGRANT VISA ISSUANCE FEES: The fees for issuance of non-immigrant
visas to Indian citizens, with the current exchange rate in rupees, are as
follows: for a B-2 (tourist visa) under 6 months - $25.00 (Rs. 900); for
a B-1 (business visa) or any other category of visa, valid up to one year
- $50.00 (Rs. 1800); for any visa valid longer than one year - $100.00
(Rs. 3600). For a transit visa of any length - $5.00 (Rs. 180). Visa
issuance fees may be paid either in rupees or by a crossed demand draft
made payable to the American Consulate General, Madras.
CONSULATE OPERATING HOURS
* CONSULATE OPERATING HOURS: The Consular Section is open from 8:15 AM to
5 PM daily except for holidays. The Consulate telephone number is
91-44-827-3040; we would appreciate callers restricting their calls to
urgent (i.e., life and death) matters and to calling in the afternoon,
as it is difficult to process visas and answer the telephone simultaneously.
Our fax number is: 91-44-826-2538, but please understand that due to our
heavy volume of faxes, limited staff and insufficient storage space, we
have no place to store and retrieve routine faxes sent regarding visa
applications. It is best, if you want to send a fax on behalf of an
applicant, to send it to the applicant to hand-carry to the interview,
rather than send it to us, when we have no means to match your fax to
IMMIGRANT VISA QUESTIONS
* FINGERPRINTS FOR SPOUSES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS: If you are an U.S. citizen,
have married an Indian citizen and filed the immigrant visa petition in the
U.S., we will begin processing your spouse's fingerprint clearance when you
have received the petition approval and transmitted it to your spouse in
India. When your spouse in India has the petition approval, s/he may
telephone the Immigrant Visa Unit at 827-3040, ext. 321 or 320 to make an
appointment to be fingerprinted. At the time of fingerprinting, s/he must
show our staff a xerox copy of the spouse's U.S. passport data page and a
xerox copy of the notice of petition approval from INS. By the time the
fingerprints return from the FBI (generally within three months), we should
have received the approved petition from the National Visa Center and be
able to schedule the immigrant visa applicant for an immigrant visa
application appointment expeditiously.
* PRIORITY DATES FOR IMMIGRANT VISAS: Many people have requested us to post
priority dates for immigrant visas. Until our system becomes more
interactive, we are unable to do so. However, until then, interested
parties can check the TV information screen at the Consulate
guardhouse on Cathederal Road or telephone the Department of State
in Washington DC at 202-663-1541 for recorded monthly updates on
TRAVEL TO OTHER COUNTRIES FROM THE U.S.
* TRAVEL TO CANADA AND CRUISES: Many applicants have friends,
relatives or business contacts in Canada and travel between Canada
and the U.S. Some tourist applicants use package tours which include
cruises to the Bahamas or Mexico. The applicant is responsible for
any visas to countries outside the U.S. to which they intend to
travel after their arrival in the U.S. It may be easier to secure
visas in your home country, rather than secure visas to a third
country from the U.S. Although virtually all visa applicants receive
multiple entry visas, applicants should ensure that they request a
visa for multiple entries if they plan to travel to other countries
from the U.S.
Q: Can you clarify the sub-sections for denial of visas?
We have retieved the following information:
GROUNDS OF INELIGIBILITY
* THE 214(B) INTENDING IMMIGRANT PROVISION: Non-immigrant visa applicants
in almost all categories must demonstrate to the Consular Officer's
satisfaction that they have strong ties to a permanent residence outside
of the U.S. which would compel them to leave the U.S. upon the completion of
their authorized stay. The Consular Officer evaluates the applicant's
economic, social and cultural ties to his/her residence (in this case,
South India) in order to determine whether it is more probable that the
applicant will return to India within the period of authorized stay in
the U.S. or whether it is more likely that the applicant will remain in
the U.S. on a more permanent basis. There is no set "list" of documents
an applicant should bring; rather, an applicant who can convincingly
explain the reasons for travel, present believable business or personal
documents to substantiate his/her ties to India and who answers questions
in an open manner is more likely to be issued a visa than someone who
comes in with a huge folder of irrelevent or clearly questionable
documents. Remember, eligibility is not determined by the pound
(of documents you submit!)
* THE 212(A)(6)(C) INELIGIBILITY: Applicants should be very careful to be
truthful in all areas of their visa applications. Applicants who wilfully
misrepresent material facts in their immigrant or non-immigrant visa
applications can be found ineligible to enter the U.S.; under some
circumstances, permanently. If you present forged, counterfeit or
otherwise bogus documents you are likely to fall under this provision of
the law. Our Consular Officers are skilled at detecting fraudulent documents
and, the truth is, most are so poorly executed that expertise in determining
their fraudulent nature is not necessary. Claiming "no knowledge" of the
antecedents of your documents is not an acceptable excuse.
* THE 212(A)(4) INELIGIBILITY: We are unable to issue an immigrant or
non-immigrant visa to an applicant who appears to have insufficient
financial resources in the U.S. and who it appears may become a public
charge to the U.S. state or federal social welfare system. This provision
is particularly applicable to applicants for non-immigrant visas who wish
to visit the U.S. for medical treatment. We need to know the cost of the
treatment, including the charges of both the physicians and the hospital
and any therapy or recuperative treatment the applicant may need.
Applicants for immigrant visas who cannot clearly support themselves
immediately upon arrival to the U.S. need to demonstrate that the relative
who is sponsoring them has sufficient funds to support them until they are
able to become self-supporting.
* THE 221(G) INELIGIBILITY: If an applicant is refused under this section,
it is because s/he is missing a document or some other piece of evidence
which the Consular Officer needs in order to render a final decision on
the applicant's eligibility for the visa. Generally, you will be told
what types of documents might satisfy the Consular Officer