I have applied for and obtained a visit visa to the US about 3 times. In those previous applications, I did not mention that my mom and half-sister were present in the US. The reason being that my mom was undocumented then. Now she has gained legal status. I'm wondering if changing this information,(i.e. acknowledging that both my sister and mom are resident in the US) on my DS-160 will cause a problem for me.

Do the visa interviewers check for discrepancies between old and new DS-160 forms?

  • Omission (‘did not mention’) is still lying. See for example, this question travel.stackexchange.com/questions/126331/… and fraud and wilful misrepresentation uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-8-part-j-chapter-2 I wouldn’t count on getting another visa for the US any time soon. – Traveller Aug 3 at 15:55
  • @Traveller omission is only lying if there is a question on the application that should normally elicit that information. Does the DS-160 have a question asking about relatives present in the US? – phoog Aug 3 at 16:04
  • @Phoog Good point. My assumption was yes, since the OP is asking about changing the information previously provided. Happy to delete my comment if I’ve misunderstood the question – Traveller Aug 3 at 16:06
  • @Traveller no, I don't think you've misunderstood. I also think there probably is a question asking about relatives in the US. But it's hard to give a good answer to this question without knowing for sure one way or the other. – phoog Aug 3 at 16:09
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    Visa Traveller has a step by step guide to completing the DS160. Section 9 relates to family and specifically asks about parents and other relatives, including whether they are in the US. Most of the form is mandatory, so answering 'No' would be a lie. – user90371 Aug 3 at 17:18

There are two issues here. The first is very serious for you, and the second may be even more serious for your mother.

First: In your prior visa applications, you answered "no" to the DS-160 question about your mother being in the US, while the truth was that the answer was actually "yes." The US State Department will have your prior visa applications, and will see that your answers are different. They will also easily see that your mother is now a legal resident in the US, and because of her recent status acquisition date will know that she may have been in the US when you said she was not. Your earlier answers will therefore be seen as a misrepresentation by you, and as Traveller observes, you're very likely not to receive a visa. I'd expect you'd earn a long ban as well.

Second: Because the State Department will see that your mother might have been in the US when you said she wasn't, the State Department may look more closely at her. They'd be interested in whether she made misrepresentations in her status paperwork and application documents. If she did, and they can show she did, her US resident status could be at risk.

Thus: your application for a US visa could have very high stakes for both you and your mother...particularly for her. For these reasons, do not file an application for a US visa until you have had a consultation with a US attorney who is experienced in US immigration matters.

After you've had that consultation, follow the lawyer's advice.

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    This is probably the right advice but the OP does not say that their mother is now a US citizen, just that she has gained legal status. – ajd Aug 3 at 18:29
  • Thanks for the correction. I'll amend the answer. But the reasoning remains valid. – David Aug 3 at 18:39
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    While consulting with a lawyer is a good idea, I would bet but obviously can't prove noone cares. Sure in the past OP didn't have family in the US, now they do, happens all the time, noone will dig it up. It's just a flag for having a weaker application because remember the presumption on their end is the visa applicant wanting to (illegally) immigrate and their job is to read tea leaves and decide whether they want to or not. If they have family, they are more likely to want to and that's it. – chx Aug 3 at 19:09
  • @David The OP seems to have got themselves between a rock and a hard place - continue with the lie (possibly forever) and hope not to be found out each and every time they apply - it’s worked three times up to now, after all - or disclose the existence of family in the US next time/at some point in the future and almost certainly get a lengthy entry ban. I am absolutely not advocating the first option but is there any realistic hope that an Immigration lawyer could help? Or is it a waste of time and money? – Traveller Aug 3 at 19:51
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    "I'd expect you'd earn a long ban as well": the relevant section of 8 USC 1182 provides for indefinite inadmissibility for someone who has employed deception. (I believe the deception must be material, but I don't suppose an argument that this deception is immaterial would get much traction.) The ban is therefore permanent, although there is a waiver available. I am a bit sketchy on the details and don't have time just now to refresh my memory. – phoog Aug 4 at 8:09

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