Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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U.S. Department of State

I'm Ready to Open a Casework File

1. A family member of mine was denied a non-immigrant visa. Can Congressman Nolan help?

Unfortunately, a non-immigrant visa (NIV) denial is final and cannot be appealed under the terms set out by Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 214(b) states that the U.S. Department of State considers each applicant to be an intending immigrant until evidence is provided that convinces the Consular Officer otherwise. Therefore, an NIV applicant must provide documentation that proves the applicant is only visiting and is not intending to immigrate to the United States. Such documentation demonstrates strong ties to the applicant’s home country and often includes proof of employment, income and assets, level of education, and social and family relationships within the home country. However in the event of a denial, relatives may reapply for a non-immigrant visa at any time. Please note that the U.S. Department of State recommends that individuals not reapply unless their circumstances have changed since their last visa application. You may find more information about visa requirements and the reasons for denials here: https://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html

2. Can Congressman Nolan help to expedite my case with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

Although my office and I are happy to help, the USCIS has specific expedite criteria that must be met before a case can be approved for expedited processing. If you believe that your case meets one or more of the expedite criteria, please contact my office with documentation supporting your request and I will be pleased to initiate an inquiry with the USCIS to the best of our ability. All expedite requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and are granted at USCIS’ discretion. In order to ensure the process is completed as fast as possible, the applicant or petitioner must to demonstrate that one or more of the expedite criteria have been met. The criteria are as follows:

  • Severe financial loss to company or individual
  • Extreme emergent situation
  • Humanitarian situation
  • Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
  • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our Government)
  • USCIS error
  • Compelling interest of USCIS

​3. My case is in administrative processing. Can Congressman Nolan help?

Regrettably, administrative processing cannot be waived or expedited. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date. For more information on administrative processing, please visit travel.state.gov/visa/a_zindex/a_zindex_4353.html.

4. What measures can I take to protect myself while traveling outside the United States?

The U.S. Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens traveling or residing outside the United States to inform the agency of your contact information through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that, in the event of an emergency, they can contact you. STEP is a free service provided to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about any upcoming trips abroad you are taking so the U.S. Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information about STEP, please visit https://step.state.gov/step/. For additional information regarding international travel and your safety abroad, please visit https://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html.

5. Are there any services available that may help facilitate my travel outside the United States?

The Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) allows registered users to enter their own applications for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Programs. CPB Trusted Traveler Programs provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low risk travelers through dedicated lines and kiosks. For more information on GOES, please visit https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes. To review all of the CBP Trusted Traveler Programs, you may visit https://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/.