Why was my visa refused?


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.

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. For additional information about refusal under section of 214(b) please visit http://travel.state.gov/.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Refusals

I was refused a visa, can I apply again? A visa denial under 214(b) is not a permanent ineligibility. The consular officer will reconsider a case if an applicant can show further convincing evidence of ties outside the United States. Your friend, relative or student should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about reapplication procedures. Unfortunately, some applicants will not qualify for a nonimmigrant visa, regardless of how many times they reapply, until their personal, professional, and financial circumstances change considerably.

My friend or relative was refused a visa, who should I talk to about what happened? You should talk to your friend or relative, the applicant. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), section 222(f), the records of the Department of State relating to visa decisions are confidential, and therefore information may not be provided to third parties about a particular visa applicant.  Certain information may be provided to the petitioner in visa cases, attorneys representing a visa applicant, or to members of Congress, or other persons acting on behalf of and with the permission of the applicant.

For visa denials, the law requires that almost all visa applicants be informed verbally and in writing the basis for the denial.  We would have told your friend/relative the reasons they were denied a visa during the time of their interview.

I provided an affidavit of support/prise en charge for my friend or family member to get a visa, why was it still refused? As is mentioned above, due to the confidentiality of visa applications, if you have questions about a friend or relative’s application, you should speak with them. It is important to note, however, that each applicant must be able qualify on their own merits. We understand that friends or family may be paying for plane tickets and/or food and lodging. However, a promise to support a friend or relative is not sufficient to prove that the applicant has strong ties to their home country and will return.  Even if someone else is bearing the cost of the trip, the applicant must prove that she or he will be compelled to come back to their residence abroad after a brief stay in the U.S.

How do I show proof of ties? Strong ties differ from country to country, city to city, individual to individual. Some examples of ties can be a job, a house, a family, or a bank account. “Ties” are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your country of residence: your possessions, employment, social, and family relationships. Another element of proving your ties to your home country can be evidence that you have traveled abroad before and returned home. If you have old passports showing your travel abroad, please bring those with you.

I brought all the required papers, why was my visa refused?Demonstrating that you are qualified for a non-immigrant visa is not an issue of having the right papers. While we do want to see the evidence of your ties, including work and salary attestations, bank documents, property titles, and marriage and family documents, simply having all of these papers does not guarantee that you will qualify for a visa. The officer will interview you and determine whether you have the sort of strong family, employment, and social ties that will compel you to return to Morocco after your trip to the United States and if you satisfy the requirements of the particular nonimmigrant visa category for which you have applied.

Why was my student visa refused? Student visa applicants must demonstrate three things at the time of the interview: (1) that they are bona fide student; (2) that they have the means to pay for their education in the United States; and (3) that they have strong ties to their country of origin and intend to depart the United States after their education in the United States is completed. If student applicants cannot convince the interviewing officer of these three facts, the officer is required by U.S. law to refuse the visa.

I was told that I cannot have a tourist visa if I have an immigrant visa pending, why?  In order to qualify for a tourist or any other non-immigrant visa, an applicant must overcome the statutory presumption that they are intending immigrants. Having a pending immigrant visa petition will make it much more difficult for you to overcome that presumption because your immigrant visa petition demonstrates that you do have the intent to immigrate. Similarly, if your spouse or fiancé resides in the U.S., it will be more difficult for you to overcome the presumption that you intend to immigrate.