THE ROLE OF AMERICAN CONSULATES
■■■■■■The Role of American Consulates
November 19, 2009 By Glenn R. Morales Dalrymple, Knight – Thompson & Associates
The Consulates of the United States of America, located in most countries around the world, are in charge of receiving, processing and authorizing the granting of “Non-Immigrant” (B1-B2, L1, H1, others) or “Immigrant” visas (Permanent Residences) to citizens of other nationalities so that they can enter U.S. territory through its various points of migration inspection, at airports, seaports or land borders.
The State Department of the United States administers and puts into operation the migratory, technological and legal instruments for the granting of American visas through its various Consulates and the international factors that influence in the work of the State Department when it has to decide whether to granting a new visa or renew an already valid one are many and varied.
It should be emphasized that American Consulates collaborate in the security of American citizens living abroad, offering them: (a) the delivery of new American passports, (b) Notary Public Services, (c) the location of medical services, (d) visits to American citizens imprisoned abroad, (e) matters related to deaths, marriages, births, etc., (f) in obtaining economic funds, (g) aid in emergency evacuations and dehorns, and (h) attention to general emergencies through the Office of Aid to Citizens Abroad of the State Department.
The Consular Officers who work at the various U.S. Consulates around the world, play a vital role in the control and direct security of U.S. territories and of U.S. citizens. They handle thousands of requests for American visas from foreign citizens who wish to enter the United States, either for family reunions, business matters, pleasure, studies, or work, among other reasons. However, there are other groups or individuals who seek to destabilize American democratic policy, or who wish to commit terrorist acts, or to deal in prohibited substances, or to illegally extract technology for arms trafficking or unfair commercial competition, including the trade and distribution of fake products, thus violating international laws and agreements on Copyrights or Industrial Property Rights, (Trade Marks, Patents on Inventions, etc.), or Author’s Rights, known internationally as Intellectual Property Rights.
The Consular Officers, who are sent by the U.S. State Department to the many American Consulates around the world, carry a great responsibility on their shoulders, as they are the ones who receive the American visa requests and must interview the foreign candidate to evaluate, to verify and evaluate the family background of the individual as well as his social, commercial and economic connections in the country where he lives.A series of administrative and technological mechanisms come into play before an American visa can be granted to anyone. Information about the candidate must be crossed checked by other federal governmental organisms to verify whether he is a delinquent, either in his own country or abroad, whose present situation or passed conduct may be a threat to the U.S. community or to the system of federal and state laws of the United States of America.
Consular Officers must closely observe many faces, lists of requests and newspaper clippings to determine whether the foreign candidate is deserving or not of an American visa, and they execute their task in a way that sometimes pleases and in other cases annoys the applicant.
It has always has been quite clear that consular criteria for the rejecting or revoking a foreigner’s American visas are based on the candidate’s present, passed and future economic aspects, both within or outside the United States.
U.S. Consular Officers receive numerous visa requests from foreign citizens who, on their request forms, attach fraudulent documents about their family, their economic or work connections in their country of residence, in an attempt to confuse the Official, and thus, obtain the desired American visa, only to be able to commit misdeeds within the American territory, like defrauding and even abusing the educational or health systems, in detriment of the honest residents and North American citizens who pay their taxes and lead a successful and transparent life within American territory.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Glenn R. Morales Attorney at Law, Private International Law. / Consular Processing