The consular interview: Most common grounds for denial

One of the final steps for immigration in the United States is the consular interview. At this interview, a person seeking immigration status will speak to a State Department official, answering questions that will determine whether they can reenter the United States with a green card. Most foreign-born individuals living temporarily in South Carolina who would like to become permanent residents of the United States will undergo these interviews, and many are concerned about being denied. To help people prepare, here is a helpful list of the most common reasons denials happen in one of these interviews:

  • Past undocumented entry to the country: Those who have stayed undocumented in the United States prior to applying for permanent immigration status may be denied on the basis of this history. The same fate can befall someone who helps another person travel to the United States without documentation, such as a parent bringing a child without authorization.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse: Before the interview, individuals who are applying for a green card must undergo a medical examination in their home country. If the examination finds evidence of a drug or alcohol problem, it could delay the immigration process.
  • Criminal record: Past criminal charges, in any country, will need to be addressed at the interview. So, too, will any run-ins with immigration authorities in the past, especially if it resulted in an arrest or deportation.

For people hoping to permanently immigrate to South Carolina or any other state, the above-listed point may or may not be barriers to immigration. The outcome depends on the severity and timeline of these issues, along with other factors. Those who have some of these issues to contend with will strongly benefit from speaking with a lawyer in advance of their interview. Legal advice can be helpful throughout the immigration process, especially when filling out paperwork or preparing to speak with officials.

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