Things that could make your case suspicious (Part 1)

Things that could make your case suspicious (Part 1)

Dear Atty. Gurfinkel:
I have waited for over 12 years for an interview on my approved family petition. I am very nervous about the upcoming interview and I am having trouble sleeping because of all the stories I hear from friends and relativesabout how hard it is.

I want this interview to go smoothly and with no problems.  Is there anything that I could do in advance, to avoid any suspicions about my case, and show the Embassy I am truly entitled to my visa?


Dear T.M.

Many people have gone to interviews (whether at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines or at USCIS if they are in the U.S.) and wonder why the USCIS or Embassy has put them (or
their case) under investigation.  They have to wait a long time while their case is being investigated, wondering if they will ever get their visa or green card.

There are several situations which could possibly trigger suspicions, questions, or investigations by the USCIS or Embassy concerning the person’s eligibility for the visa.  You can avoid these situations, if you give proper and truthful answers or explanations to the USCIS’ or Embassy’s questions or concerns, and avoid possible suspicions or investigation on your case.  Some of the more common areas of concern are:

Late-registered birth certificates
Births should be timely registered with the Local Civil Registrar and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).  If you present a late-registered birth certificate for your child (especially if registered many years after birth), the USCIS or Embassy will require an explanation why the birth certificate was registered “late.”  Some people submit late registered birth certificates for many reasons. Although you may have a valid reason, a late registered birth certificate is a cause for concern with the Embassy or the USCIS.

Midwife births
While some children are born at home with the assistance of a hilot, most children are born in hospitals.  If a child’s birth certificate shows that he or she was delivered by a midwife, this could create suspicion by the USCIS or Embassy that the birth certificate was “manufactured” to conceal the circumstances of the child’s birth, such as the parents’ marital status, the child’s age, and/or who the real parents are.

Age of mother when she gave birth
If a mother gave birth at a late age, this could create the suspicion that she is not the biological mother of the applicant but, instead, the grandmother or aunt.  For example, if a birth certificate indicates a mother was 55 years old at the time of the delivery of the child, the Embassy will undoubtedly question whether she is truly the mother, and may suggest blood tests (DNA) to establish the parent-child relationship.  The Embassy will want to make sure the child is not a grandchild, or niece, or nephew, and the grandmother or aunt is just trying to bring in her grandchild or grandnephew or niece into the United States.

Tremendous age difference among siblings
Sometimes, a couple will have several children one or two years apart, then wait for 15 to 20 years before they have another child.  (Or claim the child was an “accidental pregnancy.”)  This tremendous gap in their children’s age could create suspicions that the last child may not be a biological child.  (i.e. the child may be their grandchild or the child of another family member). In such a case, DNA blood tests may be requested.

A woman claims to be single with no children, but a medical exam discloses a history of pregnancies and deliveries.
When a person is ready to be interviewed at the U.S. Embassy because his/her priority date is current (or visa is available), that person is sent to St. Luke’s Hospital for a medical check-up and exam.  If the applicant is a female who is being petitioned as an unmarried daughter who claims she never gave birth, but a medical examination shows that she has given birth, this creates the suspicion that the woman maybe married, and she is trying to conceal the birth (and birth certificate of her child, which would disclose her marital status).  If the visa she is applying for requires her to be single, the Embassy will definitely want to investigate and track down this “birth” before issuing her a visa (to make sure she is single and not date of marriage is on the birth certificate).  (If you are truly single, but have children, please note that illegitimate children would not void or affect the “single” status of the parent).

In conclusion, if you believe you are legitimately entitled to immigration benefits, but the USCIS or the Embassy has concerns and suspicious of your case, I would suggest you retain a reputable immigration attorney to help prove your eligibility to the immigration benefit you are applying for, and/or overcome whatever suspicions the USCIS or Embassy may have on your case.
If you are not eligible to an immigration benefit, your application will ultimately be denied. You will only be wasting money, your time, the time of the USCIS and\or the U.S. Embassy in processing your “invalid” case or petition.

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