US Visa Refusal

American Visa Refusal

Consular officers have the sole responsibility to grant or deny a visa application. They examine the overall situation of an applicant before they make a decision. Although the US Department of State is authorized to review the consuls’ judgment, they are only limited to the interpretation of law. The determination of whether or not an applicant is able to establish his intention or purpose for travel, taking into consideration the type of visa applied, rests exclusively within the power of consular officers. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, there are several reasons why a visa is denied. A visa is denied either by virtue of Section 214(b) or Section 221(g).

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 non-immigrant status…”

A denial of the consular officer to issue a visa by reason of Section 214(b) means that the applicant was unable to satisfy the requirements of the visa applied for, particularly in the case of a non-immigrant visa. A refusal of the consul to issue a visa is reflected in a refusal paper which is given to the applicant at the conclusion of the visa interview. One of the most common cause of a denial under this section is the inability of the applicant to provide compelling evidence that after his/her short stay in the US, he/she will return to the home country. This is what is termed as “strong ties.” These ties may be established through employment, professional, educational, socio-cultural and family linkages.

Applicants refused visa under 214(b) cannot appeal the decision. However, he/she may reapply for the visa. The applicant should evaluate his/her overall situation and review all the documents presented to the consul officer during the interview. Further evidence of qualifying ties is necessary in order that the reapplication will be considered. The applicant should secure additional data to establish such ties.

Another ground for visa refusal is Section 221(g). This stipulation is used as a reference when the consular officer is unable to make an immediate decision on a visa application. It states that no visa or other documentation shall be issues to an alien if:

  1. it appears to the consular officer, from statements in the application, or in the papers submitted therewith, that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 212, or any other provision of law,

  2. the application fails to comply with the provisions of this Act, or the regulations issued thereunder, or

  3. the consular officer knows or has reason to believe that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation

As a result, the visa officer may require administrative review and/or administrative processing. If the visa application is incomplete and additional information or documents are required, the applicant should comply with this request within the period indicated in the letter. If the application requires additional administrative processing, which could take a few months to complete; the applicant will have to wait until the embassy notifies him/her of the final decision.

When a visa is denied, it is not tantamount to saying that one can no longer be granted a visa or allowed entry to the US. An applicant may reapply for a visa for as many times as possible.

See also Applying for US Visa in Thailand.

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Category: US Immigration

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Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.