Can anyone influence the Consular Officer to reverse a decision?
Immigration law delegates the responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas to consular officers overseas. They have the final say on all visa cases. By regulation the U.S. Department of State has authority to review consular decisions, but this authority is limited to the interpretation of law, as opposed to the determination of facts. An applicant can influence the post to change a prior visa denial only through the presentation of new convincing evidence leading to a different determination of facts.
If a Visa is Approved
After you receive your Visa
You will receive your visa and a sealed packet by DHL/Loomis courier service. Your visa will be affixed inside your passport. You must carefully read the information contained both on the visa itself and in the cover letter stapled to the sealed envelope and ensure the information is correct. If it is not, contact the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal immediately.
DO NOT OPEN THE SEALED PACKET. YOU MUST CARRY IT UNOPENED TO AN IMMIGRATION OFFICER AT A PORT OF ENTRY.
Please note the expiration date on your immigrant visa. You must enter the United States within the timeframe specified on the visa to obtain a legal permanent resident (LPR) or “green” card (Form I-151 or I-551) that will allow you to live and work in the United States.
At the port of entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official will stamp your passport and make a notation that you are registered for an LPR card. You will have an opportunity at the port of entry to confirm the mailing address where you would like to receive your LPR card.
It may take several months for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process and send the LPR card to you. In the interim, the passport stamp, valid for one year, permits employment and travel as you await your LPR card. You may depart and return to the U.S. before you receive your LPR card, as long as the stamp in your passport has not expired. Should the stamp expire before you have received your LPR card, you should contact USCIS in the U.S. prior to departure to obtain permission to return to the United States.
If your visa is approved, it will be placed in your passport and mailed to you together with a sealed IV packet envelope (do not open this envelope yourself). There is no pick-up at the Consulate and no same day service. All passport delivery is conducted through the DHL/Loomis courier service. Please consult the U.S. Visa Service website and follow instructions for an “IV Applicant Needing to Register for Courier”.
Ensure that you have provided a valid email address when registering. DHL/Loomis will notify you via email when they have picked up your passport and visa packet from the Consulate, and you can track the delivery progress on-line. The Consulate is not responsible for losses or damages that may occur to the correspondence, and cannot track packages once they are submitted to DHL/Loomis.
All applicants must register separately to receive their own passports with the visa and the IV packet. Each applicant’s documents are sent separately; each family member, for example, will receive his/her own passport and IV packet in a separate envelope. Passports and additional documents will be returned to applicants in sealed envelopes via the courier service approximately 5-10 working days after the Consular Officer approves the immigrant visa application. Along with the passport, you will receive a manila envelope which contains all the documents that you submitted in your visa interview.
Please do not make firm travel plans, such as buying a ticket or scheduling events, until you have your visa and IV packet in hand.The Consulate General will make every effort to process your visa promptly. However, we cannot guarantee issuance or delivery by a specific date, and cannot be responsible for any costs you may incur.
In general, the immigrant visa is valid for the same validity as your medical exam. You must enter the United States before the expiration date indicated on the visa. Only in exceptional cases will we be able to issue another visa if you do not enter the United States before the expiration date.
Note: If for any reason you are unable to use your visa, you are requested to return it to this office. Should you desire to reapply for an immigrant visa, every possible consideration will be given to granting you the benefit of your original priority date on the waiting list.
Entering the U.S. with your Immigrant Visa
You may open the plastic DHL/Loomis envelope, but do not open the sealed IV packet in the manila envelope. You must hand-carry this unopened packet when you travel to the United States. The only person who has the authority to open the envelope is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at your first port of entry into the United States. Upon opening your documents, the CBP officer will conduct an independent review before admitting you into the United States. This normally requires you to be directed to a separate area. This process can take some time to complete, depending on the volume of traffic at the port of entry that day. Please plan accordingly when booking or choose less time-sensitive means of transportation to your final destination (e.g., ground transportation).
The dependents of a “Preference” Immigrant Visa or a K visa may accompany the principal beneficiary, or enter the U.S. after the principal beneficiary has already entered, but never before the principal beneficiary. You are a “dependent” if you did not have a separate IV case number file (the “MTL number”), and are together on the same petition.
At your first port of entry in the United States, the CBP officer will retain your visa package and will place an ADIT (admission) stamp into your passport. The CBP officer can answer questions about when and how you will receive your green card. Until you receive your green card, your ADIT stamp is your proof of legal residency in the United States, allowing you to immediately live, work and study in the country. USCIS office will mail your physical green card to the address that you provided in the Sworn Statement (form DS 230-I, box 11).
Please visit the USCIS website for complete information on responsibilities, requirements and resources for entry to and after you have been admitted to the United States with an immigrant visa.
Please click here for detailed information on orphan adoption visas.
K1/K2 - Fiancé visas
The fiancée visa is valid for 180 days and allows you only one (1) entry into the United States. In very exceptional cases only, we will be able to issue another visa if you do not enter the United States before the expiration date. Please contact us through our public inquiry form to know how to proceed. Upon entry, you have ninety (90) days to get married. After your marriage you and your spouse must contact the closest USCIS office to adjust your status from fiancée to spouse of an American citizen. Please visit the USCIS website for contacts and additional information.
For questions about the return of your visa packet, please contact the Visa Information Service.
For questions or issues arising after you have received your visa packet, but before you travel to the United States, e.g., there is a mistake on the visa, or you will not be able to travel as planned, please contact the U.S. Consulate General Montreal.
For questions after you enter the U.S. with your immigrant visa, please visit the USCIS website.