UNCLASSIFIED (U)

9 FAM 601.7

(U) Visa Correspondence

(CT:VISA-923;†† 08-14-2019)
(Office of Origin:† CA/VO/L/R)

9 FAM 601.7-1 †(U) visa correspondence Ė overview

(CT:VISA-923;†† 08-14-2019)

a. (U) Guidelines:† The following guidelines have been devised to assist posts in determining the procedures to use in communicating with the Department, other posts, Congress, and the general public (see 9 FAM 601.7-4 below for specific instructions on various types of correspondence).† It is important to keep in mind the public relations implications when responding to all inquiries.

b. (U) Content:† Replies should be complete and accurate; see 9 FAM 601.7-4 below for more on content of correspondence.† See also 9 FAM 603.2 regarding requests for information or documents from visa files.

c.† (U) Response Times:† Replies should be timely.† Congressional inquiries should be answered within two or three working days, regardless of whether the inquiry is by fax, phone, letter or email.† Replies to the general public should be answered expeditiously.† A late response often generates another inquiry, which increases the postís workload and may diminish the inquirerís receptivity to the response.† See 9 FAM 601.7-2 below on managing correspondence volume.

d. (U) Helping the Department Respond to Correspondence:† The Department often has been placed in the embarrassing position of trying to explain a refusal with very little background information on hand.† Posts should remember that an inquiry from the Department is not a request for a change of decision.† To the extent possible, we will respond to inquiries using information found in your Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) notes.† It is important that notes be clear, concise, complete, and relevant to the case.† Refrain from using acronyms.

e. (U) Separating Specific Subjects From General Subjects:

(1)† (U) In the past, valuable discussions on visa problems that would be of general interest have not always received the prompt attention that they deserve because the problems were discussed in communications concerning the case of an individual visa applicant.

(2)† (U) Similarly, valuable procedural suggestions have not always received immediate consideration because the suggestions were added at the end of routine reports on other matters called for by Departmental instructions, rather than in an independent communication.

(3)† (U) If necessary, general interest communications should contain a cross-reference to the individual case in which the unresolved issue became apparent.

(4)† (U) See other recommendations related to the content of correspondence in 9 FAM 601.7-4 below.

f.† (U) Other Resources:† See also 7 FAH-1 H-440 on managing incoming and outgoing communications and 7 FAH-1 H-445 on written correspondence.† In particular, 7 FAH-1 H-443 relates to correspondence via telegrams and emails, 7 FAH-1 H-446 addresses faxes, and 7 FAH-1 H-447 provides guidance on diplomatic notes.

9 FAM 601.7-2 †(U) Managing correspondence Volume

(CT:VISA-923;†† 08-14-2019)

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9 FAM 601.7-3 †Unavailable† †

(CT:VISA-923;†† 08-14-2019)

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c.† (U) Correspondence with Representatives of Record, Attorneys:

(1)† (U) Corresponding with Representative of Record:† If authorized to do so, in accordance with 9 FAM 603.2-9 and 9 FAM 603.2-10 (on sharing visa record information with third parties), you may correspond directly with the applicantís representative of record, even in cases where the applicant is physically present in the United States, unless the applicant requests otherwise.† However, the fact that there is a representative of record does not preclude the post from corresponding with the applicant, provided the post sends a copy of the communication simultaneously to the applicant's representative.†

(2)† (U) Correspondence and Evidence of Attorney/Representative Relationship:† As noted above, when a letter is received from an attorney in the United States and you are reasonably satisfied that an attorney-client relationship exists, correspondence between the post and the attorney may be treated with the same courtesy as provided to the visa applicant.† Reasonable evidence establishing the attorney-client relationship may include:

(a)† (U) Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative, required for practicing before DHS;

(b)† (U) A printed letterhead stationery showing membership in the legal profession (member of a U.S. State or District of Columbia bar association practicing in the United States) and stating that such an attorney has been retained or employed to represent the applicant; or

(c)† (U) A letter from the applicant that identifies the attorney or representative with whom the applicant established such relationship.

(3)† (U) Local or U.S.-Licensed Attorneys Practicing Abroad:† You must extend to a U.S. attorney who has been practicing abroad and is a member of a State bar association or to a local attorney-at-law, the same courtesies in correspondence that are extended to an attorney practicing in the United States, provided you are satisfied that the required relationship exists.

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9 FAM 601.7-4 †Unavailable† †

(CT:VISA-646;†† 07-24-2018)

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9 FAM 601.7-5 †(U) Cables

(CT:VISA-843;†† 06-04-2019)

a. (U) Appropriate Use of Cables:

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9 FAM 601.7-6 †(U) Sample Letter to Attorney/Representative

(CT:VISA-326;†† 04-07-2017)

a. (U) Sample Letter:

THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

[post name, address]

[date]

[attorney name, address]

Ref:

Dear Attorney:

Consular Section files indicate that you are the attorney of record for the above named visa applicant. For your information:

( )†† 1. A visa was issued to your client (and to any accompanying family members) today.

( )†† 2. The consular officer did not approve issuance of a visa as indicated on the attached copy of the refusal letter.

( )†† 3. Upon obtaining the document(s) indicated on the attached refusal letter, your client may call at this office for a review of the case.

Sincerely Yours,

Consular Officer

Enclosure: As stated

b. (U) Editable Letter:† For an editable version of ATTORNEY/REPRESENTATIVE LETTER please see the attorney/representative letter.

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED (U)