We’ve had some encouraging outcomes lately in challenging consular visa denials. What once seemed like an impossible task due to the doctrine of consular nonreviewability now has a way forward, thanks to the case of Muñoz v. State Department (case no. 21-55365). In this case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government must provide a clear and timely reason for denying a visa to a US citizen’s spouse. In essence, when constitutional rights are involved, due process is required.
While this decision isn’t a magic solution or the end of consular nonreviewability, it offers a fighting chance where there was none before. We’ve recently handled a couple of cases where this opening was enough to overturn a denial. An unjust consular denial is a significant issue, but it may not be insurmountable if challenged in federal court.