Lama Ding Dong wrote:I have been made aware of AIT's unofficial policy of discriminating against Taiwanese women who seek U.S. visas. It seems the women are more likely than the men to find an American fiance(e) after their arrival, and then apply to change their visa status. AIT is apparently supposed to screen out people who may do this, it makes them look bad. I wish there was some U.S. lobby group that could raise hell about this.
While I have a few gripes about AIT, this is not one of them. I read somewhere that AIT in Taipei issues more visas than any other US embassy or consulate anywhere in the world. There is not really an "unofficial" policy of discriminating against Taiwanese women at AIT. In fact, the policy is official, but it isn't aimed at women, necessarily.
Most complaints re AIT's refusal to issue visas to Taiwanese women probably are related to applications for B-1/B-2 visas, which are business/tourist visas. If the applicant is applying for a B visa for the purpose of touring the US, he or she must state an intention to NOT remain in the US past the expiration date of the visa.
Practical experience has taught the officials that not everyone is completely honest
hock: when applying for a visa to visit the US. Thus, the officials look at a set of factors in determining whether or not an applicant has the requisite "intent" to return to Taiwan after visiting the US. These factors include, generally, ties that the applicant has to Taiwan, such as a job or business, marital status, family, home, applicant's age etc...
If the applicant cannot demonstrate to the official's satisfaction that he or she has sufficient ties to Taiwan that would reasonably lead to the conclusion that the applicant will return to Taiwan, the visa application will often be denied, regardless of the applicant's gender.
It should also be noted that while immigration matters and policy are administered by the INS in the US, it is State Department officials (or State Department officials on sabbatical, in the case of AIT) who screen and process visa applications in embassies and consulates (and the AIT) outside of the US. In some instances, State Department officials manning the embassies and consulates have a "different" understanding of the US Immigration and Nationality Act than do the INS officials in the US.
Anyway, my main gripe re AIT is that they don't keep their US Citizen Services desk open during lunch hours :x
Anyone from AIT wanna comment or correct?