[USC02] 8 USC CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER II, Part III: Issuance of Entry Documents
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8 USC CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER II, Part III: Issuance of Entry Documents
From Title 8—ALIENS AND NATIONALITYCHAPTER 12—IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITYSUBCHAPTER II—IMMIGRATION

Part III—Issuance of Entry Documents

§1201. Issuance of visas

(a) Immigrants; nonimmigrants

(1) Under the conditions hereinafter prescribed and subject to the limitations prescribed in this chapter or regulations issued thereunder, a consular officer may issue

(A) to an immigrant who has made proper application therefor, an immigrant visa which shall consist of the application provided for in section 1202 of this title, visaed by such consular officer, and shall specify the foreign state, if any, to which the immigrant is charged, the immigrant's particular status under such foreign state, the preference, immediate relative, or special immigrant classification to which the alien is charged, the date on which the validity of the visa shall expire, and such additional information as may be required; and

(B) to a nonimmigrant who has made proper application therefor, a nonimmigrant visa, which shall specify the classification under section 1101(a)(15) of this title of the nonimmigrant, the period during which the nonimmigrant visa shall be valid, and such additional information as may be required.


(2) The Secretary of State shall provide to the Service an electronic version of the visa file of each alien who has been issued a visa to ensure that the data in that visa file is available to immigration inspectors at the United States ports of entry before the arrival of the alien at such a port of entry.

(b) Registration; photographs; waiver of requirement

Each alien who applies for a visa shall be registered in connection with his application, and shall furnish copies of his photograph signed by him for such use as may be by regulations required. The requirements of this subsection may be waived in the discretion of the Secretary of State in the case of any alien who is within that class of nonimmigrants enumerated in sections 1101(a)(15)(A), and 1101(a)(15)(G) of this title, or in the case of any alien who is granted a diplomatic visa on a diplomatic passport or on the equivalent thereof.

(c) Period of validity; renewal or replacement

(1) Immigrant visas

An immigrant visa shall be valid for such period, not exceeding six months, as shall be by regulations prescribed, except that any visa issued to a child lawfully adopted by a United States citizen and spouse while such citizen is serving abroad in the United States Armed Forces, or is employed abroad by the United States Government, or is temporarily abroad on business, shall be valid until such time, for a period not to exceed three years, as the adoptive citizen parent returns to the United States in due course of his service, employment, or business.

(2) Nonimmigrant visas

A nonimmigrant visa shall be valid for such periods as shall be by regulations prescribed. In prescribing the period of validity of a nonimmigrant visa in the case of nationals of any foreign country who are eligible for such visas, the Secretary of State shall, insofar as practicable, accord to such nationals the same treatment upon a reciprocal basis as such foreign country accords to nationals of the United States who are within a similar class; except that in the case of aliens who are nationals of a foreign country and who either are granted refugee status and firmly resettled in another foreign country or are granted permanent residence and residing in another foreign country, the Secretary of State may prescribe the period of validity of such a visa based upon the treatment granted by that other foreign country to alien refugees and permanent residents, respectively, in the United States.

(3) Visa replacement

An immigrant visa may be replaced under the original number during the fiscal year in which the original visa was issued for an immigrant who establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer that the immigrant—

(A) was unable to use the original immigrant visa during the period of its validity because of reasons beyond his control and for which he was not responsible;

(B) is found by a consular officer to be eligible for an immigrant visa; and

(C) pays again the statutory fees for an application and an immigrant visa.

(4) Fee waiver

If an immigrant visa was issued, on or after March 27, 2013, for a child who has been lawfully adopted, or who is coming to the United States to be adopted, by a United States citizen, any statutory immigrant visa fees relating to a renewal or replacement of such visa may be waived or, if already paid, may be refunded upon request, subject to such criteria as the Secretary of State may prescribe, if—

(A) the immigrant child was unable to use the original immigrant visa during the period of its validity as a direct result of extraordinary circumstances, including the denial of an exit permit; and

(B) if such inability was attributable to factors beyond the control of the adopting parent or parents and of the immigrant.

(d) Physical examination

Prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa to any alien, the consular officer shall require such alien to submit to a physical and mental examination in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed. Prior to the issuance of a nonimmigrant visa to any alien, the consular officer may require such alien to submit to a physical or mental examination, or both, if in his opinion such examination is necessary to ascertain whether such alien is eligible to receive a visa.

(e) Surrender of visa

Each immigrant shall surrender his immigrant visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry, who shall endorse on the visa the date and the port of arrival, the identity of the vessel or other means of transportation by which the immigrant arrived, and such other endorsements as may be by regulations required.

(f) Surrender of documents

Each nonimmigrant shall present or surrender to the immigration officer at the port of entry such documents as may be by regulation required. In the case of an alien crewman not in possession of any individual documents other than a passport and until such time as it becomes practicable to issue individual documents, such alien crewman may be admitted, subject to the provisions of this part, if his name appears in the crew list of the vessel or aircraft on which he arrives and the crew list is visaed by a consular officer, but the consular officer shall have the right to deny admission to any alien crewman from the crew list visa.

(g) Nonissuance of visas or other documents

No visa or other documentation shall be issued to an alien if (1) it appears to the consular officer, from statements in the application, or in the papers submitted therewith, that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 1182 of this title, or any other provision of law, (2) the application fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter, or the regulations issued thereunder, or (3) the consular officer knows or has reason to believe that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 1182 of this title, or any other provision of law: Provided, That a visa or other documentation may be issued to an alien who is within the purview of section 1182(a)(4) of this title, if such alien is otherwise entitled to receive a visa or other documentation, upon receipt of notice by the consular officer from the Attorney General of the giving of a bond or undertaking providing indemnity as in the case of aliens admitted under section 1183 of this title: Provided further, That a visa may be issued to an alien defined in section 1101(a)(15)(B) or (F) of this title, if such alien is otherwise entitled to receive a visa, upon receipt of a notice by the consular officer from the Attorney General of the giving of a bond with sufficient surety in such sum and containing such conditions as the consular officer shall prescribe, to insure that at the expiration of the time for which such alien has been admitted by the Attorney General, as provided in section 1184(a) of this title, or upon failure to maintain the status under which he was admitted, or to maintain any status subsequently acquired under section 1258 of this title, such alien will depart from the United States.

(h) Nonadmission upon arrival

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to entitle any alien, to whom a visa or other documentation has been issued, to be admitted 1 the United States, if, upon arrival at a port of entry in the United States, he is found to be inadmissible under this chapter, or any other provision of law. The substance of this subsection shall appear upon every visa application.

(i) Revocation of visas or documents

After the issuance of a visa or other documentation to any alien, the consular officer or the Secretary of State may at any time, in his discretion, revoke such visa or other documentation. Notice of such revocation shall be communicated to the Attorney General, and such revocation shall invalidate the visa or other documentation from the date of issuance: Provided, That carriers or transportation companies, and masters, commanding officers, agents, owners, charterers, or consignees, shall not be penalized under section 1323(b) of this title for action taken in reliance on such visas or other documentation, unless they received due notice of such revocation prior to the alien's embarkation. There shall be no means of judicial review (including review pursuant to section 2241 of title 28 or any other habeas corpus provision, and sections 1361 and 1651 of such title) of a revocation under this subsection, except in the context of a removal proceeding if such revocation provides the sole ground for removal under section 1227(a)(1)(B) of this title.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 3, §221, 66 Stat. 191; Pub. L. 87–301, §4, Sept. 26, 1961, 75 Stat. 651; Pub. L. 89–236, §§11(a), (b), 17, Oct. 3, 1965, 79 Stat. 918, 919; Pub. L. 97–116, §18(f), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1620; Pub. L. 99–653, §5(a), formerly §5(a)(a)–(c), Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3656, renumbered §5(a), Pub. L. 100–525, §8(d)(1), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2617; Pub. L. 101–649, title VI, §603(a)(9), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5083; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §302(e)(8)(C), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1746; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title III, §308(d)(4)(G), (f)(2)(B), title VI, §631, Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–618, 3009-621, 3009-700; Pub. L. 107–173, title III, §301, May 14, 2002, 116 Stat. 552; Pub. L. 108–458, title V, §5304(a), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3736; Pub. L. 114–70, §2, Oct. 16, 2015, 129 Stat. 561.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1), (g), and (h), was in the original, "this Act", meaning act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–70 amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) related to period of validity and visa requirement.

2004—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 108–458 inserted at end "There shall be no means of judicial review (including review pursuant to section 2241 of title 28 or any other habeas corpus provision, and sections 1361 and 1651 of such title) of a revocation under this subsection, except in the context of a removal proceeding if such revocation provides the sole ground for removal under section 1227(a)(1)(B) of this title."

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–173 designated existing provisions as par. (1), redesignated former pars. (1) and (2) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, of par. (1), and added par. (2).

1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–208, §631, substituted "six months" for "four months" and inserted "; except that in the case of aliens who are nationals of a foreign country and who either are granted refugee status and firmly resettled in another foreign country or are granted permanent residence and residing in another foreign country, the Secretary of State may prescribe the period of validity of such a visa based upon the treatment granted by that other foreign country to alien refugees and permanent residents, respectively, in the United States" after "within a similar class".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104–208, §308(d)(4)(G), substituted "deny admission to" for "exclude".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104–208, §308(f)(2)(B), substituted "be admitted" for "enter".

1991—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–232 struck out "nonpreference," before "immediate relative".

1990—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–649 substituted "1182(a)(4) of this title" for "1182(a)(7), or section 1182(a)(15) of this title".

1988—Subsecs. (a) to (c). Pub. L. 100–525 made technical correction to Pub. L. 99–653, §5. See 1986 Amendment note below.

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–653, §5(a)(1), formerly §5(a)(a), as redesignated by Pub. L. 100–525, in cl. (1) substituted "specify the foreign state" for "specify the quota", "under such foreign state" for "under such quota", "special immigrant classification" for "special immigration classification", and struck out "one copy of" after "shall consist of".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–653, §5(a)(2), formerly §5(a)(b), as redesignated by Pub. L. 100–525, amended subsec. (b) generally, striking out "and fingerprinted" after "shall be registered" and substituting "sections 1101(a)(15)(A) and 1101(a)(15)(G) of this title" for "section 1101(a)(15)(A) and (G) of this title".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–653, §5(a)(3), formerly §5(a)(c), as redesignated by Pub. L. 100–525, amended subsec. (c) generally, substituting "during the fiscal year" for "during the year", "Provided, That the immigrant" for "Provided, the consular officer is in possession of the duplicate signed copy of the original visa, the immigrant", and "statutory fees" for "statutory fee".

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–116 substituted a comma for the period after "alien is charged".

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–236, §11(a), substituted a reference to preference, nonpreference, immediate relative, and special immigration classification, for a reference to nonquota categories to which immigrants are classified.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–236, §11(b), struck out references to "quota" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 89–236, §17, inserted proviso permitting issuance of student or visitors visas in cases where the alien gives a bond so as to allow resolution of doubts in borderline cases in which the consular officer is uncertain as to the bona fides of the nonimmigrant's intention to remain in the United States temporarily.

1961—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 87–301 provided that an immigrant visa issued to a child adopted by a United States citizen and spouse while such citizen is serving abroad in the United States Armed Forces or employed abroad by our Government, or temporarily abroad on business, shall remain valid to such time, but not exceeding three years, as the adoptive parent returns to the United States in due course of service, employment or business.

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–458 effective Dec. 17, 2004, and applicable to revocations under sections 1155 and 1201(i) of this title made before, on, or after such date, see section 5304(d) of Pub. L. 108–458, set out as a note under section 1155 of this title.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by section 308(d)(4)(G), (f)(2)(B) of Pub. L. 104–208 effective, with certain transitional provisions, on the first day of the first month beginning more than 180 days after Sept. 30, 1996, see section 309 of Pub. L. 104–208, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1991 Amendment

Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §302(e)(8), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1746, provided that the amendment made by section 302(e)(8) is effective as if included in section 162(e) of the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101–649.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–649 applicable to individuals entering United States on or after June 1, 1991, see section 601(e)(1) of Pub. L. 101–649, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–653, §23(b), as added by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(r), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2619, provided that: "The amendments made by sections 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 [amending this section and sections 1202, 1301, 1302, and 1304 of this title and repealing section 1201a of this title] apply to applications for immigrant visas made, and visas issued, on or after November 14, 1986."

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section 21(a) of Pub. L. 97–116, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89–236, see section 20 of Pub. L. 89–236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.

Abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transfer of Functions

For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of this title.

Processing of Visa Applications

Pub. L. 107–228, div. A, title II, §233, Sept. 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 1373, provided that:

"(a) In General.—It shall be the policy of the Department [of State] to process each visa application from an alien classified as an immediate relative or as a K–1 nonimmigrant within 30 days of the receipt of all necessary documents from the applicant and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In the case of an immigrant visa application where the petitioner is a relative other than an immediate relative, it should be the policy of the Department to process such an application within 60 days of the receipt of all necessary documents from the applicant and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"(b) Definitions.—In this section:

"(1) Immediate relative.—The term 'immediate relative' has the meaning given the term in section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2)(A)(i)).

"(2) K–1 nonimmigrant.—The term 'K–1 nonimmigrant' means a nonimmigrant alien described in section 101(a)(15)(K)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(K)(i))."

Prevention of Consulate Shopping

Pub. L. 107–56, title IV, §418, Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 355, provided that:

"(a) Review.—The Secretary of State shall review how consular officers issue visas to determine if consular shopping is a problem.

"(b) Actions to be Taken.—If the Secretary of State determines under subsection (a) that consular shopping is a problem, the Secretary shall take steps to address the problem and shall submit a report to Congress describing what action was taken."

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(7) [div. A, title II, §237], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A-430, provided that:

"(a) Policy.—It shall be the policy of the Department of State to process immigrant visa applications of immediate relatives of United States citizens and nonimmigrant K–1 visa applications of fiances of United States citizens within 30 days of the receipt of all necessary documents from the applicant and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In the case of an immigrant visa application where the sponsor of such applicant is a relative other than an immediate relative, it should be the policy of the Department of State to process such an application within 60 days of the receipt of all necessary documents from the applicant and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"(b) Reports.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1999], and not later than 1 year thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees [Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate] a report on the extent to which the Department of State is meeting the policy standards under subsection (a). Each report shall be based on a survey of the 22 consular posts which account for approximately 72 percent of immigrant visas issued and, in addition, the consular posts in Guatemala City, Nicosia, Caracas, Naples, and Jakarta. Each report should include data on the average time for processing each category of visa application under subsection (a), a list of the embassies and consular posts which do not meet the policy standards under subsection (a), the amount of funds collected worldwide for processing of visa applications during the most recent fiscal year, the estimated costs of processing such visa applications (based on the Department of State's most recent fee study), the steps being taken by the Department of State to achieve such policy standards, and results achieved by the interagency working group charged with the goal of reducing the overall processing time for visa applications."

Permitting Extension of Period of Validity of Immigrant Visas for Certain Residents of Hong Kong

Pub. L. 101–649, title I, §154, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5006, as amended by Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §302(d)(4), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1745, provided that:

"(a) Extending Period of Validity.—

"(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (2), the limitation on the period of validity of an immigrant visa under section 221(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1201(c)] shall not apply in the case of an immigrant visa issued, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1990] and before September 1, 2001, to an alien described in subsection (b), but only if—

"(A) the alien elects, within the period of validity of the immigrant visa under such section, to have this section apply, and

"(B) before the date the alien seeks to be admitted to the United States for lawful permanent residence, the alien notifies the appropriate consular officer of the alien's intention to seek such admission and provides such officer with such information as the officer determines to be necessary to verify that the alien remains eligible for admission to the United States as an immigrant.

"(2) Limitation on extension.—In no case shall the period of validity of a visa be extended under paragraph (1) beyond January 1, 2002.

"(3) Treatment under numerical limitations.—In applying the numerical limitations of sections 201 and 202 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1151, 1152] in the case of aliens for whose visas the period of validity is extended under this section, such limitations shall only apply at the time of original issuance of the visas and not at the time of admission of such aliens.

"(b) Aliens Covered.—An alien is described in this subsection if the alien—

"(1)(A) is chargeable under section 202 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1152] to Hong Kong or China, and

"(B)(i) is residing in Hong Kong as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 29, 1990] and is issued an immigrant visa under paragraph (1), (2), (4), or (5) of section 203(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1153(a)] (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act) or under section 203(a) or 203(b)(1) of such Act (as in effect on and after October 1, 1991), or (ii) is the spouse or child (as defined in subsection (d)) of an alien described in clause (i), if accompanying or following to join the alien in coming to the United States; or

"(2) is issued a visa under section 124 of this Act [enacting provisions set out as a note under section 1153 of this title].

"(c) Treatment of Certain Employees in Hong Kong.—

"(1) In general.—In applying the proviso of section 7 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 [50 U.S.C. 3508], in the case of an alien described in paragraph (2), the Director may charge the entry of the alien against the numerical limitation for any fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 1991 and ending with fiscal year 1996) notwithstanding that the alien's entry is not made to the United States in that fiscal year so long as such entry is made before the end of fiscal year 1997.

"(2) Aliens covered.—An alien is described in this paragraph if the alien—

"(A) is an employee of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service in Hong Kong, or

"(B) is the spouse or child (as defined in subsection (d)) of an alien described in subparagraph (A), if accompanying or following to join the alien in coming to the United States.

"[(3) Repealed. Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §302(d)(4)(C), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1745.]

"(d) Treatment of Children.—In this section, the term 'child' has the meaning given such term in section 101(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)] and also includes (for purposes of this section and the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.] as it applies to this section) an alien who was the child (as so defined) of the alien as of the date of the issuance of an immigrant visa to the alien described in subsection (b)(1) or, in the case described in subsection (c), as of the date of charging of the entry of the alien under the proviso under section 7 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 [50 U.S.C. 3508]."

[Section 154 of Pub. L. 101–649 effective Nov. 29, 1990, and (unless otherwise provided) applicable to fiscal year 1991, see section 161(b) of Pub. L. 101–649, set out as an Effective Date of 1990 Amendment note under section 1101 of this title.]

Cuban Political Prisoners and Immigrants

Pub. L. 100–204, title IX, §903, Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1401, as amended by Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title III, §308(g)(7)(C)(iii), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–624, provided that:

"(a) Processing of Certain Cuban Political Prisoners as Refugees.—In light of the announcement of the Government of Cuba on November 20, 1987, that it would reimplement immediately the agreement of December 14, 1984, establishing normal migration procedures between the United States and Cuba, on and after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 22, 1987], consular officers of the Department of State and appropriate officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service shall, in accordance with the procedures applicable to such cases in other countries, process any application for admission to the United States as a refugee from any Cuban national who was imprisoned for political reasons by the Government of Cuba on or after January 1, 1959, without regard to the duration of such imprisonment, except as may be necessary to reassure the orderly process of available applicants.

"(b) Processing of Immigrant Visa Applications of Cuban Nationals in Third Countries.—Notwithstanding section 212(f) and section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1182(f), 1253(d)], on and after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 22, 1987], consular officers of the Department of State shall process immigrant visa applications by nationals of Cuba located in third countries on the same basis as immigrant visa applications by nationals of other countries.

"(c) Definitions.—For purposes of this section:

"(1) The term 'process' means the acceptance and review of applications and the preparation of necessary documents and the making of appropriate determinations with respect to such applications.

"(2) The term 'refugee' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)]."

Pub. L. 100–202, §101(a) [title VII], Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329, 1329-39, as amended by Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title III, §308(g)(7)(C)(ii), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–624, provided that:

"Sec. 701. This title may be cited as 'Cuban Political Prisoners and Immigrants'.

"Sec. 702. (a) Processing of Certain Cuban Political Prisoners as Refugees.—In light of the announcement of the Government of Cuba on November 20, 1987, that it would reimplement immediately the agreement of December 14, 1984, establishing normal migration procedures between the United States and Cuba, on and after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 22, 1987], consular officer[s] of the Department of State and appropriate officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service shall, in accordance with the procedures applicable to such cases in other countries, process any application for admission to the United States as a refugee from any Cuban national who was imprisoned for political reasons by the Government of Cuba on or after January 1, 1959, without regard to the duration of such imprisonment, except as may be necessary to reassure the orderly process of available applicants.

"(b) Processing of Immigrant Visa Applications of Cuban Nationals in Third Countries.—Notwithstanding section 212(f) and section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1182(f), 1253(d)], on and after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 22, 1987], consular officers of the Department of State shall process immigrant visa applications by nationals of Cuba located in third countries on the same basis as immigrant visa applications by nationals of other countries.

"(c) Definitions.—For purposes of this section:

"(1) The term 'process' means the acceptance and review of applications and the preparation of necessary documents and the making of appropriate determinations with respect to such applications.

"(2) The term 'refugee' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)]."

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by "to".

§1201a. Repealed. Pub. L. 99–653, §5(b), formerly §5(a)(d), Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3656, renumbered §5(b), Pub. L. 100–525, §8(d)(2), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2617

Section, Pub. L. 85–316, §8, Sept. 11, 1957, 71 Stat. 641, related to waiver of fingerprinting requirements for nonimmigrant aliens.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal applicable to applications for immigrant visas made, and visas issued, on or after Nov. 14, 1986, see section 23(b) of Pub. L. 99–653, set out as an Effective Date of 1986 Amendment note under section 1201 of this title.

§1202. Application for visas

(a) Immigrant visas

Every alien applying for an immigrant visa and for alien registration shall make application therefor in such form and manner and at such place as shall be by regulations prescribed. In the application the alien shall state his full and true name, and any other name which he has used or by which he has been known; age and sex; the date and place of his birth; and such additional information necessary to the identification of the applicant and the enforcement of the immigration and nationality laws as may be by regulations prescribed.

(b) Other documentary evidence for immigrant visa

Every alien applying for an immigrant visa shall present a valid unexpired passport or other suitable travel document, or document of identity and nationality, if such document is required under the regulations issued by the Secretary of State. The immigrant shall furnish to the consular officer with his application a copy of a certification by the appropriate police authorities stating what their records show concerning the immigrant; a certified copy of any existing prison record, military record, and record of his birth; and a certified copy of all other records or documents concerning him or his case which may be required by the consular officer. The copy of each document so furnished shall be permanently attached to the application and become a part thereof. In the event that the immigrant establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer that any document or record required by this subsection is unobtainable, the consular officer may permit the immigrant to submit in lieu of such document or record other satisfactory evidence of the fact to which such document or record would, if obtainable, pertain. All immigrant visa applications shall be reviewed and adjudicated by a consular officer.

(c) Nonimmigrant visas; nonimmigrant registration; form, manner and contents of application

Every alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa and for alien registration shall make application therefor in such form and manner as shall be by regulations prescribed. In the application the alien shall state his full and true name, the date and place of birth, his nationality, the purpose and length of his intended stay in the United States; his marital status; and such additional information necessary to the identification of the applicant, the determination of his eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa, and the enforcement of the immigration and nationality laws as may be by regulations prescribed. The alien shall provide complete and accurate information in response to any request for information contained in the application. At the discretion of the Secretary of State, application forms for the various classes of nonimmigrant admissions described in section 1101(a)(15) of this title may vary according to the class of visa being requested.

(d) Other documentary evidence for nonimmigrant visa

Every alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa and alien registration shall furnish to the consular officer, with his application, a certified copy of such documents pertaining to him as may be by regulations required. All nonimmigrant visa applications shall be reviewed and adjudicated by a consular officer.

(e) Signing and verification of application

Except as may be otherwise prescribed by regulations, each application for an immigrant visa shall be signed by the applicant in the presence of the consular officer, and verified by the oath of the applicant administered by the consular officer. The application for an immigrant visa, when visaed by the consular officer, shall become the immigrant visa. The application for a nonimmigrant visa or other documentation as a nonimmigrant shall be disposed of as may be by regulations prescribed. The issuance of a nonimmigrant visa shall, except as may be otherwise by regulations prescribed, be evidenced by a stamp, or other 1 placed in the alien's passport.

(f) Confidential nature of records

The records of the Department of State and of diplomatic and consular offices of the United States pertaining to the issuance or refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States shall be considered confidential and shall be used only for the formulation, amendment, administration, or enforcement of the immigration, nationality, and other laws of the United States, except that—

(1) in the discretion of the Secretary of State certified copies of such records may be made available to a court which certifies that the information contained in such records is needed by the court in the interest of the ends of justice in a case pending before the court.2

(2) the Secretary of State, in the Secretary's discretion and on the basis of reciprocity, may provide to a foreign government information in the Department of State's computerized visa lookout database and, when necessary and appropriate, other records covered by this section related to information in the database—

(A) with regard to individual aliens, at any time on a case-by-case basis for the purpose of preventing, investigating, or punishing acts that would constitute a crime in the United States, including, but not limited to, terrorism or trafficking in controlled substances, persons, or illicit weapons; or

(B) with regard to any or all aliens in the database, pursuant to such conditions as the Secretary of State shall establish in an agreement with the foreign government in which that government agrees to use such information and records for the purposes described in subparagraph (A) or to deny visas to persons who would be inadmissible to the United States.

(g) Nonimmigrant visa void at conclusion of authorized period of stay

(1) In the case of an alien who has been admitted on the basis of a nonimmigrant visa and remained in the United States beyond the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General, such visa shall be void beginning after the conclusion of such period of stay.

(2) An alien described in paragraph (1) shall be ineligible to be readmitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant, except—

(A) on the basis of a visa (other than the visa described in paragraph (1)) issued in a consular office located in the country of the alien's nationality (or, if there is no office in such country, in such other consular office as the Secretary of State shall specify); or

(B) where extraordinary circumstances are found by the Secretary of State to exist.

(h) In person interview with consular officer

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Secretary of State shall require every alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa—

(1) who is at least 14 years of age and not more than 79 years of age to submit to an in person interview with a consular officer unless the requirement for such interview is waived—

(A) by a consular official and such alien is—

(i) within that class of nonimmigrants enumerated in subparagraph (A) or (G) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title;

(ii) within the NATO visa category;

(iii) within that class of nonimmigrants enumerated in section 1101(a)(15)(C)(iii) 3 of this title (referred to as the "C–3 visa" category); or

(iv) granted a diplomatic or official visa on a diplomatic or official passport or on the equivalent thereof;


(B) by a consular official and such alien is applying for a visa—

(i) not more than 12 months after the date on which such alien's prior visa expired;

(ii) for the visa classification for which such prior visa was issued;

(iii) from the consular post located in the country of such alien's usual residence, unless otherwise prescribed in regulations that require an applicant to apply for a visa in the country of which such applicant is a national; and

(iv) the consular officer has no indication that such alien has not complied with the immigration laws and regulations of the United States; or


(C) by the Secretary of State if the Secretary determines that such waiver is—

(i) in the national interest of the United States; or

(ii) necessary as a result of unusual or emergent circumstances; and


(2) notwithstanding paragraph (1), to submit to an in person interview with a consular officer if such alien—

(A) is not a national or resident of the country in which such alien is applying for a visa;

(B) was previously refused a visa, unless such refusal was overcome or a waiver of ineligibility has been obtained;

(C) is listed in the Consular Lookout and Support System (or successor system at the Department of State);

(D) is a national of a country officially designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor of terrorism, except such nationals who possess nationalities of countries that are not designated as state sponsors of terrorism;

(E) requires a security advisory opinion or other Department of State clearance, unless such alien is—

(i) within that class of nonimmigrants enumerated in subparagraph (A) or (G) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title;

(ii) within the NATO visa category;

(iii) within that class of nonimmigrants enumerated in section 1101(a)(15)(C)(iii) 3 of this title (referred to as the "C–3 visa" category); or

(iv) an alien who qualifies for a diplomatic or official visa, or its equivalent; or


(F) is identified as a member of a group or sector that the Secretary of State determines—

(i) poses a substantial risk of submitting inaccurate information in order to obtain a visa;

(ii) has historically had visa applications denied at a rate that is higher than the average rate of such denials; or

(iii) poses a security threat to the United States.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 3, §222, 66 Stat. 193; Pub. L. 87–301, §6, Sept. 26, 1961, 75 Stat. 653; Pub. L. 89–236, §11(c), Oct. 3, 1965, 79 Stat. 918; Pub. L. 99–653, §6, Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3656; Pub. L. 100–525, §§8(e), 9(j), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2617, 2620; Pub. L. 103–416, title II, §205(a), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4311; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title VI, §§632(a), 634, Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–701; Pub. L. 107–56, title IV, §413, Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 353; Pub. L. 108–458, title V, §§5301(a), 5302, title VII, §7203(b), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3735, 3736, 3814.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (h), was in the original, "this Act", meaning act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2004—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108–458, §7203(b)(1), inserted at end "All immigrant visa applications shall be reviewed and adjudicated by a consular officer."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–458, §5302, inserted after second sentence "The alien shall provide complete and accurate information in response to any request for information contained in the application."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 108–458, §7203(b)(2), inserted at end "All nonimmigrant visa applications shall be reviewed and adjudicated by a consular officer."

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 108–458, §5301(a), added subsec. (h).

2001—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 107–56 inserted "—" after "except that" and "(1)" before "in the discretion", and added par. (2).

1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–208, §634(a), struck out "personal description (including height, complexion, color of hair and eyes, and marks of identification);" after "United States;", substituted "applicant, the determination of his eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa," for "applicant", and inserted at end "At the discretion of the Secretary of State, application forms for the various classes of nonimmigrant admissions described in section 1101(a)(15) of this title may vary according to the class of visa being requested."

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–208, §634(b), in first sentence, substituted "for an immigrant visa" for "required by this section", and in fourth sentence, substituted "stamp, or other" for "stamp" and struck out "by the consular officer" before "in the alien's passport".

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 104–208, §632(a), added subsec. (g).

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–416, §205(a), in second sentence substituted "the alien" for "the immigrant" after "In the application" and struck out "present address and places of previous residence; whether married or single, and the names and places of residence of spouse and children, if any; calling or occupation; personal description (including height, complexion, color of hair and eyes, and marks of identification); languages he can speak, read, or write; names and addresses of parents, and if neither parent living then the name and address of his next of kin in the country from which he comes; port of entry into the United States; final destination, if any, beyond the port of entry; whether he has a ticket through to such final destination; whether going to join a relative or friend, and, if so, the name and complete address of such relative or friend; the purpose for which he is going to the United States; the length of time he intends to remain in the United States; whether or not he intends to remain in the United States permanently; whether he was ever arrested, convicted or was ever in prison or almshouse; whether he has ever been the beneficiary of a pardon or an amnesty; whether he has ever been treated in an institution or hospital or other place for insanity or other mental disease; if he claims to be an immediate relative within the meaning of section 1151(b) of this title or a preference or special immigrant, the facts on which he bases such claim; whether or not he is a member of any class of individuals excluded from admission into the United States, or whether he claims to be exempt from exclusion under the immigration laws;" before "and such additional information".

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–525, §9(j), substituted "whether or not he intends" for "whether or not be intends".

Subsecs. (b), (e). Pub. L. 100–525, §8(e), made technical correction to Pub. L. 99–653, §6. See 1986 Amendment note below.

1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–653, §6(a), as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(e)(1), substituted "a copy of" for "two copies of", "immigrant; a certified copy of" for "immigrant; two certified copies of", "and a certified copy of" for "and two certified copies of", "The copy of each" for "One copy of each", and "attached to the" for "attached to each copy of the".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–653, §6(b), as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(e)(2), substituted "each application" for "each copy of an application", "The application for" for "One copy of the application for", and "the immigrant visa" for "the immigrant visa, and the other copy shall be disposed of as may be by regulations prescribed".

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–236 substituted "an immediate relative within the meaning of section 1151 (b) of this title or a preference or special immigrant", for "preference quota or a nonquota immigrant".

1961—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 87–301 struck out requirement to state applicant's race and ethnic classification.

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–458, title V, §5303, Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3736, provided that: "Notwithstanding section 1086 [Pub. L. 108–458 does not contain a section 1086] or any other provision of this Act [see Tables for classification], sections 5301 and 5302 [amending this section] shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 17, 2004]."

Pub. L. 108–458, title VII, §7219, Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3835, provided that: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act [see Tables for classification], this subtitle [subtitle B (§§7201–7220) of title VII of Pub. L. 108–458, see Tables for classification] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 17, 2004]."

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title VI, §632(b), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–701, provided that:

"(1) Visas.—Section 222(g)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1202(g)(1)], as added by subsection (a), shall apply to a visa issued before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 30, 1996].

"(2) Aliens seeking readmission.—Section 222(g)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by subsection (a), shall apply to any alien applying for readmission to the United States after the date of the enactment of this Act, except an alien applying for readmission on the basis on a visa that—

"(A) was issued before such date; and

"(B) is not void through the application of section 222(g)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by subsection (a)."

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–416, title II, §205(b), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4311, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to applications made on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 25, 1994]."

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by section 8(e) of Pub. L. 100–525 effective as if included in the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1986, Pub. L. 99–653, see section 309(b)(15) of Pub. L. 102–232, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 1988 Amendments note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–653 applicable to applications for immigrant visas made, and visas issued, on or after Nov. 14, 1986, see section 23(b) of Pub. L. 99–653, set out as a note under section 1201 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89–236, see section 20 of Pub. L. 89–236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.

Abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transfer of Functions

For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of this title.

Sharing of Certain Information

Pub. L. 109–162, title VIII, §834, Jan. 5, 2006, 119 Stat. 3077, provided that: "Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1202(f)) shall not be construed to prevent the sharing of information regarding a United States petitioner for a visa under clause (i) or (ii) of section 101(a)(15)(K) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(K)) for the limited purposes of fulfilling disclosure obligations imposed by the amendments made by section 832(a) [amending section 1184 of this title] or by section 833 [enacting section 1375a of this title], including reporting obligations of the Comptroller General of the United States under section 833(f)."

1 So in original.

2 So in original. The period probably should be "; and".

3 So in original. Subpar. (C) of section 1101(a)(15) does not contain clauses.

§1203. Reentry permit

(a) Application; contents

(1) Any alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or (2) any alien lawfully admitted to the United States pursuant to clause 6 of section 3 of the Immigration Act of 1924, between July 1, 1924, and July 5, 1932, both dates inclusive, who intends to depart temporarily from the United States may make application to the Attorney General for a permit to reenter the United States, stating the length of his intended absence or absences, and the reasons therefor. Such applications shall be made under oath, and shall be in such form, contain such information, and be accompanied by such photographs of the applicant as may be by regulations prescribed.

(b) Issuance of permit; nonrenewability

If the Attorney General finds (1) that the applicant under subsection (a)(1) has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, or that the applicant under subsection (a)(2) has since admission maintained the status required of him at the time of his admission and such applicant desires to visit abroad and to return to the United States to resume the status existing at the time of his departure for such visit, (2) that the application is made in good faith, and (3) that the alien's proposed departure from the United States would not be contrary to the interests of the United States, the Attorney General may, in his discretion, issue the permit, which shall be valid for not more than two years from the date of issuance and shall not be renewable. The permit shall be in such form as shall be by regulations prescribed for the complete identification of the alien.

(c) Multiple reentries

During the period of validity, such permit may be used by the alien in making one or more applications for reentry into the United States.

(d) Presented and surrendered

Upon the return of the alien to the United States the permit shall be presented to the immigration officer at the port of entry, and upon the expiration of its validity, the permit shall be surrendered to the Service.

(e) Permit in lieu of visa

A permit issued under this section in the possession of the person to whom issued, shall be accepted in lieu of any visa which otherwise would be required from such person under this chapter. Otherwise a permit issued under this section shall have no effect under the immigration laws except to show that the alien to whom it was issued is returning from a temporary visit abroad; but nothing in this section shall be construed as making such permit the exclusive means of establishing that the alien is so returning.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 3, §223, 66 Stat. 194; Pub. L. 97–116, §6, Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1615.)

References in Text

Clause (6) of section 3 of the Immigration Act of 1924, referred to in subsec. (a), which was classified to section 203(6) of this title, was repealed by section 403(a)(2) of act June 27, 1952. See section 1101(a)(15)(E) of this title.

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (e), was in the original, "this Act", meaning act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1981—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–116 substituted "two years from the date of issuance and shall not be renewable" for "one year from the date of issuance: Provided, That the Attorney General may in his discretion extend the validity of the permit for a period or periods not exceeding one year in the aggregate".

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section 21(a) of Pub. L. 97–116, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transfer of Functions

For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of this title.

§1204. Immediate relative and special immigrant visas

A consular officer may, subject to the limitations provided in section 1201 of this title, issue an immigrant visa to a special immigrant or immediate relative as such upon satisfactory proof, under regulations prescribed under this chapter, that the applicant is entitled to special immigrant or immediate relative status.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 3, §224, 66 Stat. 195; Pub. L. 89–236, §11(d), Oct. 3, 1965, 79 Stat. 918.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original, "this Act", meaning act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1965Pub. L. 89–236 struck out reference to sections 1154 and 1155 of this title and substituted "special immigrant or immediate relative" for "nonquota immigrant".

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89–236, see section 20 of Pub. L. 89–236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.

§1205. Repealed. Pub. L. 87–301, §24(a)(2), Sept. 26, 1961, 75 Stat. 657

Section, Pub. L. 85–316, §4, Sept. 11, 1957, 71 Stat. 639; Pub. L. 86–253, §2, Sept. 9, 1959, 73 Stat. 490; Pub. L. 86–648, §7, July 14, 1960, 74 Stat. 505, related to nonquota immigrant visas for eligible orphans.