What are US Visa Denials or Refusals?

While many visa applications are approved, there are certain situations in which an application may be denied or refused. The two words are used interchangeably when discussing an unsuccessful visa application. Most visa applications require an interview with a US consular officer at a US Embassy or Consulate. After the interview and the application is reviewed, an application is approved or denied.

Why Would my US Visa Application be Refused?

There are several reasons why an application might be refused. The consular officer may not have had all of the necessary information needed to make a decision. They may also have determined that you are ineligible for the visa you have applied for or that you are inadmissible due to past criminal or drug actions. You will typically be informed about what specifically led to your visa denial when you receive written notification of the decision.

Common Visa Refusal Reasons:

Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation- Section 221(g)

This type of refusal means that the officer did not have all of the required information needed to make a decision. This might mean that your application was incomplete or needed further documentation. It might also mean that there is additional processing that must occur before a decision can be made on your case. In this instance, you can typically provide the missing documentation or information. This should be done within one year of receiving the refusal. If you exceed this time frame, you will need to reapply and pay another fee.

Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent - Section 214 (b)

This type of refusal means that you have not demonstrated that you qualify for the selected visa or that you did not convince the officer that you intended to leave the US when your visa expires. This is not a permanent refusal however, you will need to reapply and demonstrate that you meet the qualifications and/ or have sufficient ties to your home country.

Public Charge - Section 212 (a)(4)

This means that consular officer believed that you were likely to become a public charge to the US. This type of refusal usually happens because you have not demonstrated that you have adequate funds to remain in the US without financial assistance. This type of refusal can be overcome by proving that you are financially able to be in the US.

Fraud and Misrepresentation - Section 212 (a)(6)(C)(i)

This means that the information provided on the application misrepresented the facts or commited fraud. This will make you ineligible to receive a visa and should you wish to reapply, you will need to apply for a waiver.

Unlawful Presence in the United States- Section 212 (a)(9)(B)(i)

This type of refusal means that you have been unlawfully present in the United States. This happens when you have overstayed a visa or you have been in the US without receiving proper documentation. This can lead to either a 3 year or 10 year ineligibility.


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