This study examines the exercise of discretion by consular officers in deciding whether to issue or refuse immigrant visas in an effort to determine if these decisions are arbitrary or unlawful. The study begins by examining the procedures and factors mandated by the Immigration and Nationality Act for use in determining eligibility to immigrate. The study then discusses and compares the typical procedures and eligibility factors utilized by consular offices in the field. Next the study does an evaluation of extra-statutory factors affecting the consular officer's determination including personal background, the effect of intermediaries, lack of time, the promotion system, and attitudes towards applicants and the immigration policy. The study concludes by making recommendations for limiting the discretion of consular officers in deciding whether to issue or refuse immigrant visas.
Kim R. Anderson & David A. Gifford,
Consular Discretion in the Immigrant Visa-Issuing Process,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol16/iss1/6