Confidentiality of Visa Records
Are you an employer, relative or sponsor of a visa applicant and wish to inquire about the status of the applicant’s case? Please be aware that visa records are confidential! Only visa applicants and their legal representatives authorized with a completed Form G-28 can inquire about a visa case.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Section 222(f), the records of the Department of State relating to visa decisions are confidential, and therefore information may not be provided to third parties about a particular visa applicant or applicants.
The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur will respond to case-specific inquiries from visa applicants, parents or legal guardians of minor applicants (unmarried, 17 years old and below), and applicants’ legal representatives with a signed Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.
The Form G-28 is available for download at the USCIS website. The Form G-28 can be submitted to the Embassy via email at email@example.com. It must be signed by the visa applicant and the legal representative.
How do I make an interview appointment?
We contract with a private company, CGI Group, Inc. to help us process visa applications. You can make an appointment, and obtain other information on the application process, at their website, www.ustraveldocs.com/my.
I have an old U.S. visa with indefinite validity. Is it still valid?
No. Until 1994 U.S. visas were ink stamps placed in the passport. These visas were often issued with indefinite validity. With the introduction of the machine readable visa, the current adhesive foil placed in the passport, the maximum validity for a U.S. visa issued anywhere in the world was limited to ten years, and it was determined that the same validity would apply to the old visas. So on April 1, 2004, all old indefinite validity visas became void. If you still have one of these visas you must apply for a new visa before traveling to the U.S.
I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to the United States?
U.S. citizens, even dual citizens/nationals, must enter and depart the United States using a U.S. passport.
Why would you refuse a visa?
The overwhelming majority of those applying receive their visas quickly and with minimal inconvenience. But, like every country, the U.S. denies visas to certain individuals whose entry might be harmful. (See “Ineligibilities” elsewhere on this website.)
The most common reason someone may be refused a visa is for failure to show he or she will not stay or work illegally in the U.S. Under the law, applicants in most visa categories must prove that they have a residence abroad they do not intend to abandon. A residence abroad does not mean simply an address. It means social, economic or family ties that would cause a reasonable person in the applicant’s situation to return after a temporary stay abroad. Under the law, an applicant has the burden of proving his or her qualifications, including the intent to depart.
How can an applicant prove ties?
“Ties” are the various aspects of an individual’s life that bind him or her to a particular place, such as a job, family or property. Because each applicant’s situation is unique, it is difficult to say specifically what evidence of ties is likely to be convincing. Following are some suggestions.
- Letters from employers, giving time in the job, salary, and stating that vacation is being given for the period of the trip.
- Bank statements or bank books. While an applicant needs to show he has enough money to make the trip, an individual does not need to be rich to get a visa. It is more useful to show the consular officer a steady banking history, with regular deposits and withdrawals, than a letter stating simply that the applicant has lots of money in the bank.
- Self-employed applicants should try to show that their business is successful and provides a reasonable living. Business registrations are not very useful. Better are contracts, invoices, bills of lading, accountant’s reports, tax returns and bank records showing regular, steady business activity.
- Individuals going to the U.S. for short-term training connected to their employment should be able to explain the training and how it will help them in their jobs. If they do not speak English, the organization providing the training should explain how it is prepared to deal with the language problem.
- Businessmen should be prepared to explain the purpose of the trip in detail, who they plan to visit and how their trip will benefit their business. Faxes or letters from US contacts can help.
A “guarantee” from a relative, employer or friend cannot substitute for evidence of ties. Regardless of who is sponsoring a trip, the consular officer must look at the applicant’s own situation and decide whether he or she meets the requirements of the law.
What if an applicant has already been refused?
It is important to realize that a refusal does not mean that we think the applicant is a bad person or a liar. It simply means that he did not meet the criteria set by law to receive a visa.
A refused applicant can re-apply as many times as he likes. But reapplying without significantly stronger evidence or proof of a significant change in the applicant’s circumstances is not likely to change the result. As a matter of policy, we try to have the case reviewed by an officer who hasn’t seen it before, in order to assure that it gets a fresh look and is adjudicated fairly.
Further information on visa refusals is available here.
What is “administrative processing?
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 during their interview. Most administrative processing is resolved within a few weeks, but timing will vary depending on individual circumstances, and we cannot predict in advance how long a particular case may take. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
My passport with my visa was stolen, what should I do?
If your passport with a U.S. visa is lost or stolen while you are in the U.S., see here for steps you’ll need to take. If you are outside the U.S., e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us what happened. Include your full name as written in your passport. Unfortunately, to obtain a replacement visa you will have to begin the application process anew.
More frequently asked questions can be found at: http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/faq_niv.html
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced the automation of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
Paper cards will be phased out at air and sea ports of entry in the U.S. and the automated I-94 will be introduced in April and May 2013. The automation means that visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form on arrival in the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs. However, CBP will continue to issue paper Forms I-94 at land border ports of entry.
Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization.
The change to a paperless I-94 system will streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States and increase the efficiency of the process. The move will save millions of dollars for government agencies and US industries as well as saving time for travelers.
Travelers can check their I-94 information at www.cbp.gov/I94
For more information on USCIS forms and procedures, please visit www.uscis.gov
The past two months have been a busy time on the visa line, getting ready for the summer travel season. It is also the time of the year when we see parents applying for visas to see their son or daughter graduate from a university in the U.S. During the interview, the parents can hardly wait to be asked why they plan to travel to the U.S. – they are so excited and proud of their children that they want to tell everyone. We have recently seen parents headed to convocations at world-renowned universities such as Harvard, Stanford and M.I.T. There are also lots of parents headed to see their children graduate from the same schools which they attended 30 years ago. Many families are going to see their students graduate from public universities that offer both fantastic value and quality education, such as the University of Washington, Iowa State, Purdue University, and many more. We enjoy the enthusiasm that these proud parents bring to their visa interviews!
If it is graduation season now, that means it is time for students to start applying for visas to go to school in the summer and fall term. Students, be sure to apply early so that you get an appointment and allow plenty of time, in case there are any administrative delays in processing your visa. Besides all of the items you need to bring for any visa interview (passport, DS-160 confirmation, appointment confirmation, SCB receipt, and a 2 inch x 2 inch photo with a WHITE background), students also need to bring their SEVIS receipt and the I-20, which is issued by the school. Make sure that you schedule your appointment early and bring all the required forms to ensure you arrive in time for the start of classes. Students are allowed to be issued a visa up to 120 days before classes start and you may enter the U.S. up to 30 days in advance of when your classes begin. Making sure that students get to class on time is a top priority at the U.S. Embassy, but please do your part to start the application process in plenty of time.
Due to high demand, thirty more nonimmigrant visa appointments have been made available for Friday, April 26. To take advantage of these newly opened appointments, please schedule – using the website – by 12:00 noon on Thursday, April 25.
One of the most frequent questions asked of Consular Section Malaysia is “Can I still use a valid visa in an expired passport?” The answer is, in most cases, ‘Yes.’ The expiry date for your visa is printed on the visa page in your passport. You may continue to use your valid visa when travelling on your new passport provided that the visa was not damaged when your old passport was cancelled, that your new passport has the same nationality, name, and date of birth as the one in which the visa was issued and that your purpose of travel is the same. It is important to remember that you must carry both your old and new passports with you when travelling. If, however, the visa is damaged in any way, then that visa is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel to the U.S. If the front cover of your expired passport is clipped but the page with the visa is undamaged, you can still use the previously issued visa.
If you married and changed your surname then you can still use a valid visa in a different name than the one in your new passport to apply for entry to the United States. As your surname has changed, and is now different on your visa to the name in your passport, you should carry with you a copy of your marriage certificate. As with all cases, CBP makes the final decision whether to allow entry into the United States. While a valid visa in a different name can still be used, you may feel more comfortable reapplying for a new visa to match the name in the new passport.
Do not try to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.
When you arrive in the United States, you will apply for admission with a Customs & Border Patrol officer. At that time, you need to present a passport that is valid for six months longer after you plan to leave the United States. If your visa is in an expired passport, simply present both passports when entering the United States.
Approximately 94% of Malaysian nonimmigrant visa applications are approved, however, applicants ineligible under section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) do not qualify.
What is 214(b)?
This law applies only to nonimmigrant visa categories.
If you are refused a visa under section 214(b), it means that you:
- Did not sufficiently demonstrate to the consular officer that you qualify for the nonimmigrant visa category you applied for;
- Did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, required by law, by sufficiently demonstrating that you have strong ties to your home country which will compel you to leave the United States at the end of your temporary stay.
Applicants should be aware that a nonimmigrant visa interview is a short procedure and is not primarily document-based. The main issue in determining if an applicant qualifies for a visa is intent, and documents alone cannot establish intentions.
A 214(b) refusal does not represent a permanent ineligibility nor does it mean that the applicant is permanently ineligible for a visa. A 214(b) refusal means the applicant was not qualified at the time of interview and can reapply in the future as U.S. law does not limit reapplications.
As part of a day-long schedule of activities on Thursday, February 7th for Consular Leadership Day 2013, the Consular Section invited the Malaysian Paralympic Council to visit the embassy to talk about the Paralympic movement and their success at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Each year the Secretary of State asks the consular section at each Embassy to set aside their daily responsibilities and focus on leadership and management issues. The theme for Consular Leadership Day 2013 was “Innovate.” The Paralympic movement captures the essence of an innovative idea that has grown to add value to the lives of many. The massive and rapid growth in the number of athletes with disabilities has led to changes in both laws and perceptions.
The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes. The 2012 London Paralympics witnessed unprecedented crowds and 80,000 spectators watched the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic stadium.
Ambassador Jones was in attendance to welcome the guests and he presented them Consular Leadership awards for the work they have done in athletics and as administrators. Consular employees listened as veteran Paralympians told inspiring stories about the obstacles they have overcome and how sport has given them new focus and direction. Those in attendance were also fortunate to meet the two Malaysian Paralympic medal winners from London 2012 – Muhammad Zujad Bin Zolkefli and Hasihin Bin Sanawi – and to see and hold their medals.
The afternoon finished with a game of ‘goalball’. Goalball is a Paralympic event for the visually impaired and it as difficult as it looks.
The event was a fantastic success and everyone walked away with a greater appreciation of the challenges people overcome, the ability of sport to provide hope and how an innovative idea can change the world.