The U.S. Consul at Work

By William D. Morgan; Charles Stuart Kennedy | Go to book overview

17
The Visa Function

The visa function is relatively new in U.S. consular history; not until the immediate years after World War I did the United States give serious consideration to controlling alien entry into America. What began as a relatively small clerical operation evolved into the present and major responsibility of the State Department both overseas and in Washington, increasingly calling for more personnel as well as advanced technological developments to deal with the ever growing and shifting demands.

Authority to enter the United States is explicitly authorized by the Constitution as a congressional responsibility and is a well-guarded right by that body. Laws enacted divide the pre- screening/admission responsibilities between the State Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) of the Department of Justice. The consular officer abroad examines the applicant's purpose in entering the United States (visit, business, education, or permanent residence, and so on.) and issues or denies a visa. The second "screening" occurs when the alien is interviewed by the INS official at the port of entry. The INS officer can accept or reject the decision of the consul, even though both decision makers operate under the exact same law: Interpretations or new facts make the difference. The reality that this jurisdictional independence works with little friction between the two organizations speaks well of both.

Laws affecting visa issuance are complex, with Congress explicitly excluding aliens who are seen as a danger to the United States politically, morally, or in terms of national security or health. The law was written and amended over many years to reflect the changing societal, security, political, and

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The U.S. Consul at Work
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction to the Consular Function 1
  • 2 - Consular Leadership 19
  • 3 - Leadership in the Field 29
  • 4 - The Role of Junior Officers 43
  • 5 - Professional Training 53
  • 6 - Foreign Service National Employees 61
  • 7 - The Embassy and the Consular Section 69
  • 8 - Consular Trade in International Politics 83
  • 9 - Communism and Consular Affairs 91
  • 10 Contemporary Management Technology 101
  • 11 - Relations with Congress 111
  • 12 - The American Community 121
  • 13 - Protection and Welfare 125
  • 14 - Other Citizenship Services 147
  • 15 - Anti-Narcotic Responsibilities 161
  • 16 - Anti-Fraud Responsibilities 167
  • 17 - The Visa Function 181
  • 18 - Refugee Programs 213
  • 19 - The Immigration and Naturalization Service 237
  • 20 - Seamen and Shipping 241
  • Glossary 247
  • About the Contributors 253
  • Index 257
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