COVID-19 UPDATE: USCIS HAS RESUMED APPOINTMENTS. CONSULTATIONS AVAILABLE BY PHONE OR VIDEO.
Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution. A big thanks :)" Read More

What Do Tattoos Have To Do With Getting a Green Card or Visa? More Than You Think

Although it has always been a potential issue, the presence of tattoos and their impact on visas has become more prevalent these days. The problem frequently occurs during the consular processing process where an applicant is applying for an immigrant visa abroad to come to the US. However, it is certainly not limited to US posts in foreign countries. The issue also arises in the context of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or "DACA" applications. Although tattoos are culturally acceptable in this day and age, the fact is that the very presence of one on a visa applicant can potentially impact or possibly derail his /her visa application.

Interestingly, you can scour the Immigration and Nationality Act and you will not find tattoos as a basis of inadmissibility under Section 212. So, tattoos are not in and of themselves the problem. The problem is in how they are perceived. In the Department of State's ("DOS") eyes, the presence of tattoos may indicate that the applicant has participated or may be a member of a gang. And gang membership, according to DOS, gives rise to a denial under INA 212(a)(3)(A)(ii), which permits the government to deny admission to a foreign national seeking to enter the US to engage in any unlawful activity. Although it seems unfair, and most tattoos are likely innocent expressions rather than gang badges, many consular officers tend to overreact and hold up cases citing a "reason to believe" that the individual is affiliated with gang activity. Even if the tattoo is not directly visible or conspicuous where a consular officer might see it, a panel physician, who must usually perform a medical examination prior to the interview, might see one and note the presence of same. There are even reports out there that some doctors will also assume that individual may have or may be using drugs because he/she has a tattoo. So, besides people wrongly inferring gang membership, there is also the danger of being wrongly associated with drugs.

With reference to DACA applications, USCIS does not directly use tattoos to deny applications. However, if USCIS learns that the applicant has belonged or is currently affiliated with a gang, the application will likely be denied as a mater of discretion on the basis that the individual poses a national security threat or risk to public safety, notwithstanding the fact that gang membership is not per se a direct bar of ineligibility.

The takeaway here is that any potential visa applicant should not overlook his/her personal appearance during the visa process, even if there does not appear to be a legal issues. If you have or have had any tattoos on your body and you are not already a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you should have a frank discussion with your attorney to assess any potential ramifications.

The above is general information/opinion only and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to substitute for legal counsel nor does it create an attorney client relationship.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationally Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
Email Us For A Response

Start Your Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

Map & Directions

icon phone732-516-1717 icon phone888-404-5876