Revocation of Visas

Recently many non-immigrant visa holders received notices from U.S. embassies and or Consulates informing the visa holder that his/her visa has been revoked and that s/he must visit the US Consulate so that the visa can be physically cancelled. The holder is also told that s/he can no longer use his/her visa and travel to the US. If the non-immigrant visa holder fails to appear at the consulate to cancel his/her visa, does not mean that the visa is not revoked. The visa is revoked once entered in the U.S. Department of State system regardless whether the visa is physically cancelled.

If an individual appears at a port of entry and attempts to enter the U.S., the immigration officer will physically revoke the visa and denies the visa holder entry to the U.S.   If this is the case, the applicant should expect to wait in a detention cell at the airport for the next available flight back home; this may take days.

Immigrant visas are also subject to revocation if the consular officer determines that the visa was issued based on false statements or documentations or immigration officer at a port of entry determines that the immigrant visa was issued by mistake and or the fraud is involved.

Visas are cancelled for many reasons but most recently, visas are revoked because of security reasons.

What is the law on revocation of visas?

(a) Grounds for revocation by consular officers. A consular officer, the Secretary, or a Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority is authorized to revoke a nonimmigrant visa at any time, in his or her discretion.

(b) Provisional revocation. A consular officer, the Secretary, or any Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority may provisionally revoke a nonimmigrant visa while considering information related to whether a visa holder is eligible for the visa. Provisional revocation shall have the same force and effect as any other visa revocation under INA 221(i).

(c) Notice of revocation. Unless otherwise instructed by the Department, a consular officer shall, if practicable, notify the alien to whom the visa was issued that the visa was revoked or provisionally revoked. Regardless of delivery of such notice, once the revocation has been entered into the Department’s Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), the visa is no longer to be considered valid for travel to the United States. The date of the revocation shall be indicated in CLASS and on any notice sent to the alien to whom the visa was issued.

(d) Procedure for physically canceling visas. A nonimmigrant visa that is revoked shall be canceled by writing or stamping the word “REVOKED” plainly across the face of the visa, if the visa is available to the consular officer. The failure or inability to physically cancel the visa does not affect the validity of the revocation.

(e) Revocation of visa by immigration officer. An immigration officer is authorized to revoke a valid visa by physically canceling it in accordance with the procedure described in paragraph (d) of this section if:

  • The alien obtains an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status to that of permanent resident;
  • The alien is ordered excluded from the United States under INA 236, as in effect prior to April 1, 1997, or removed from the United States pursuant to INA 235;
  • The alien is notified pursuant to INA 235 by an immigration officer at a port of entry that the alien appears to be inadmissible to the United States, and the alien requests and is granted permission to withdraw the application for admission;
  • A final order of deportation or removal or a final order granting voluntary departure with an alternate order of deportation or removal is entered against the alien;
  • The alien has been permitted by DHS to depart voluntarily from the United States;
  • DHS has revoked a waiver of inadmissibility granted pursuant to INA 212(d)(3)(A) in relation to the visa that was issued to the alien;
  • The visa is presented in connection with an application for admission to the United States by a person other than the alien to whom the visa was issued;
  • The visa has been physically removed from the passport in which it was issued; or
  • The visa has been issued in a combined Mexican or Canadian B-1/B-2 visa and border crossing identification card, and the immigration officer makes the determination specified in § 32(c) with respect to the alien’s Mexican citizenship and/or residence or the determination specified in § 41.33(b) with respect to the alien’s status as a permanent resident of Canada.