Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chengdu Consulate Reponds

Sort of. At least I got a response from my complaint which is more than I expected.
Thank you for your e-mail. Your friend's application was denied based on a failure to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent as required by Section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act by showing compelling ties to her home country. She is free to reapply at any time, however unless something significant changes in their circumstances, it is unlikely that a new interview will yield a different result.

I understand that you and your friend feel that the interview process was unfair, but the Consular did take a look at her situation, from her application form and during the interview, and decided that your friend was not qualified. She is welcome to reapply, and she will be interviewed by a different consular officer.

We regret that we cannot be more encouraging.


The Consular Section

The reply doesn't address any of the issues I brought up in my email to them. It appeared to us that my friend's interview experience was typical that morning, regardless which window/consular officer. There is no real point to reapply for a visa and wasting another month's rent money. If the application fee was reasonable, maybe we would try again; spending ~$150 each time is too much money. In addition, even if they had reviewed any of her documents, we're not sure what else to show or do short of me showing up in person (Fridays from 3pm to 4pm) at the Consulate in Chengdu, assuming that they let me in the door. Coincidentally, I will actually be in Chengdu on a Friday afternoon during my trip in September. I wonder how many American citizens go personally to complain about a visa rejection.

I think Section 214b of the INA is totally lame. It gives them a blanket excuse to reject visa applicants without accountability; they don't need to explain why you were rejected, only that you didn't convince them you're not a liar. Ultimately, that's what bothers me the most about all this. In America, you're assumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Here, everyone is considered guilty of lying on their visa application unless you prove otherwise, without rules on what is acceptable as proof. Perhaps they've been in China too long and picked up on Chinese government style of law and justice. Maybe I can see if the Consulate does business the Chinese way as well and let a travel agency get a visa through the back door for ~$2500... :(

No comments: