Can I apply for B1/B2 visa while I am in the U.S.?

QUESTION:  I work as a stewardess on a yacht and I require a B1/B2 visa.  I have a letter from the captain which confirms this.  Currently I am in the U.S and I arrived on an ESTA from the U.K. and will be leaving shortly for Costa Rica.  I am staying in Costa Rica for a few months, so I will not really need the visa until I return for work BUT my question is - Can I apply for a B1/B2 visa while I am in the U.S.? And can I get my interview in Costa Rica? 

REPLY: Thank you for your message. Since I have not reviewed your case in detail, the statements herein are for informational purposes only.  My research indicates that you should be able to apply for a visitor visa at the U.S. Consulate in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Since you are not a citizen or resident of Costa Rica, it appears that you must make your appointment through the Call Center that has been established for that specific Consulate.  More information is available at

There is no problem if the DS-160 form is completed while you are in the U.S. – this form is online and can therefore be completed anywhere.  Since the application will not be adjudicated until you are at the Consulate in Costa Rica, the date of arrival should not be listed as any date prior to the interview.  Thus, the intended date of arrival should be the next date on which you expect to return to the U.S. after the interview in Costa Rica.

If you would like to submit additional information about your case and receive a complete professional analysis, please consider contacting my office to set up a consultation. 


Is TN available after expedited removal?

QUESTION: I am a Canadian citizen and was issued an order of expedited removal.  There was no fraud charge.  I now have a 5 year ban.  Is a TN work visa still an option for me? 

REPLY:  Thank you for your question.  As you know, individuals who are issued orders of expedited removal are inadmissible to the U.S. for a period of five (5) years [assuming there is no fraud].  During that five-year period, the individual may apply for permission to reapply for admission into the U.S.  This application is made by filing Form I-212 and supporting documents with the Department of Homeland Security.  When/if the Form I-212 application is approved, a Canadian citizen may then apply for admission in TN status prior to the expiration of the five-year bar. 

If you would like to submit additional information about your case and receive a complete professional analysis, please consider contacting my office to set up a consultation


Returning to U.S. After Removal & Form I-212

QUESTION: I was deported along with my family about a year and two months ago to my native country Colombia.  Our asylum process was denied. Although in the meantime, we had another family petition from my grandparents which are citizens and that residence petition was approved after we were deported. I was about to graduate from college and we were working at a tourist company in Orlando, Fl, where we resided for almost 10 years.

I have been doing some research and I wanted to get professional opinion as well. I am aware how delicate our situation is and our case it is not an easy task.  Is there any possibility to get a work and/or study visa?  Would we be eligible in order to apply for any waiver such as FORM I-212?

REPLY: While I cannot offer you case-specific advice, I can provide you with some general information that should be helpful.

Any individual that is ordered removed by an Immigration Judge is inadmissible for a period of 10 years (if it was the first time being removed from the U.S.) unless he/she obtains permission to reapply for admission.  This permission is applied for by filing Form I-212.

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I-192 Waivers: What factors does the ARO consider?

Since the landmark BIA decision of Matter of Hranka in 1978, I-192 waivers and INA 212(d)(3) waivers have been adjudicated by consideration of three (3) factors:

(1) The risk of harm to society if the applicant is admitted;

(2) The seriousness of the applicant's immigration or criminal law violations; and

(3) The nature of the applicant's reasons for wishing to enter the U.S.

These are the only factors for consideration that have been set forth by law.  However, I have noticed in many recent I-192 [INA 212(d)(3)] waiver decisions that the Admissibility Review Office ("ARO") has indicated that Matter of Hranka requires the weighing of at least the aforementioned three (3) factors.  In addition to these factors, the ARO states that it also considers the following factors:

(1) The nature of the offense;

(2) The circumstances which led to the offense;

(3) How recently the offense occured;

(4) Whether it was an isolated incident, or part of a pattern of misconduct;

(5) Evidence of reformation or rehabilitation.

The ARO does not cite the legal authority providing for the consideration of these factors.  Rather, the ARO states that these factors are considered when determining whether or not to exercise its discretion.

I am interested to see how things will play out at the BIA should a waiver applicant appeal a negative decision based upon the consideration of factors that have not been articulated by the BIA. 



Canada is closing Consulate in Buffalo

Due to a major change in Canadian immigration rules, the Canadian government has announced that the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, New York will be closing. 

Foreign students and temporary worker in Canada who used to have to cross the border into the U.S. to renew their status at the Consulate will now be able to renew their status without leaving Canada.

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