I was recently introduced to Roger Ver through a post written by Petros of the Isaac Brock Society. He reminds of me a “Live Free or Die” American, who may be a Libertarian. Seems like Mr. Ver wanted to “Live Free”. Seems like the U.S.A. – “that great citadel of freedom and justice“ – wanted him to die. Although Mr. Ver was allowed to live, he did spend some time incarcerated.
Fast forward. Mr. Ver is apparently a “BitCoin” entrepreneur. In addition, he is reported to have “renounced his U.S. citizenship“. As a non-citizen, he no longer has an automatic right of entry to the U.S.A. Like all others who do NOT have the good fortune of being U.S. citizens he can entry the U.S. only with the permission of the U.S. Government. That permission is expressed in the form of a visa. Now the story gets interesting. Mr. Ver has apparently been denied a visa to enter the U.S.
Now before, anybody gets excited, there is NO evidence that that is an attempt to invoke the “Reed Amendment“. After all, his visa was NOT declined on the basis that he had renounced his U.S. citizenship. His visa was declined on the basis that he could not prove that he was NOT attempting to enter the U.S. for the purpose of staying permanently. In other words, the concern of the U.S. government appears to be:
We don’t want people renouncing U.S. citizenship on the one hand and THEN entering the U.S. to stay there permanently. (Of course if he were to overstay his welcome that would make him subject to the “substantial presence” test and he would become a U.S. taxpayer all over again.
This law and principle is explained courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Iran as follows:
As explained by the U.S. Embassy in Iran:
The United States is an open society. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not impose internal controls on most visitors, such as registration with local authorities. In order to enjoy the privilege of unencumbered travel in the United States, aliens have a responsibility to prove they are going to return abroad before a visitor or student visa is issued. Our immigration law requires consular officers to view every visa applicant as an intending immigrant until the applicant proves otherwise.
What Is Section 214(b)?
Section 214(b) is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It states:
Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status…
To qualify for a visitor or student visa, an applicant must meet the requirements of sections 101(a)(15)(B) or (F) of the INA respectively. Failure to do so will result in a refusal of a visa under INA 214(b). The most frequent basis for such a refusal concerns the requirement that the prospective visitor or student possess a residence abroad he/she has no intention of abandoning. Applicants prove the existence of such residence by demonstrating that they have ties abroad that would compel them to leave the U.S. at the end of the temporary stay. The law places this burden of proof on the applicant.