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F.M. v. State Department: Challenging the visa denial of a U.S. citizen’s Afghan spouse

This case challenges the State Department’s denial of a visa for the Afghan spouse of a U.S. citizen because the denial failed to meet basic constitutional standards that require the State Department to provide a timely and reasoned explanation of the basis for the denial.

Our client

For more than ten years, our client, Ms. F, a U.S. citizen whose family fled Afghanistan when she was a child, has sought to reunite in the United States with her husband, Mr. R, an Afghan citizen. Ms. F, Mr. R, and the couple’s four U.S. citizen children have suffered through war, displacement, and years of separation across three continents.

After the U.S. government evacuated the family from Afghanistan in 2021, it detained them at Camp Bondsteel, a U.S. military base in Kosovo. The family endured difficult conditions at the base for nearly a year, only to learn that the U.S. government was denying Mr. R’s immigrant visa application, which had been in Administrative Processing for years. The boilerplate visa denial notice, which simply references a broad statutory ground of inadmissibility without any further information, dashed the family’s last hope of being able to live together. Ms. F, Mr. R, and their four children now have no prospect of safely living together in any country in the world.

Impact

Ms. F seeks a court order finding that the U.S. government’s denial of Mr. R’s visa application was unlawful and violated her rights so that the family can live safely together in the United States.

Case status
  • January 31, 2024: Case is filed.
  • April 16, 2024: Government files motion to dismiss.
  • July 15, 2024: Plaintiff files brief in opposition to Government’s motion to dismiss.

The Cornell Law School Transnational Disputes Clinic is co-counsel in this case.

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