What to do if you are refused a US visa?

(CNN Spanish) – Although the United States approves the vast majority of nonimmigrant visa applications — for foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States on a temporary basis — there is a chance of rejection.

For example, out of the 3,148,323 applications submitted for a visa In 2021, 56,240 (11.32%) were refused, according to data from the United States Office of Consular Affairs (CA). But what are the reasons for rejection and what to do if your application is rejected?

The US government states that an application can be denied on a variety of grounds, such as that the consular officer does not possess all the information necessary to determine an applicant’s eligibility, that the applicant does not qualify for the requested visa category or because the applicant is ineligible under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Here you can refer to the main reasons for the rejection of your US visa application.

What do I do if my visa application is rejected?

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, for short in English), the main reason for a nonimmigrant visa refusal is that the applicant “failed to establish entitlement to nonimmigrant status,” a reason given in Section 214(b). This means that the applicant has not shown that they have strong ties to their home country, such as work, home, family or friends. However, the visa application can also be refused on other grounds.

If an application for a US visa is refused, “in most cases the applicant will be notified of the applicable law department” and the applicant will be told if they can apply for a waiver of ineligibility.

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For example, if an application under Section 221(g) is denied—meaning the consular officer did not have all the information required to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a visa—the applicant will receive a letter with the next steps. In this case, there are two possible ways:

  • The application is incomplete and/or additional documents required: The applicant will receive a letter stating that their application has been denied under Section 221(g) and will list the documents they will need to provide.
  • Additional administrative process required: The applicant will receive a letter indicating that additional administrative processing is required and instructions to be followed once the administrative process is complete. Processing time varies depending on the individual circumstances of each case.

The good news is that if your visa application is denied under Section 221(g), you will be able to provide the additional information requested within a year for your application to be processed. In the event that the additional information is not provided within the specified time period, you must re-apply for a visa and pay the corresponding fee.

If the application is denied under Sections 214(b) and 221(g), which are mentioned above, it is possible to re-apply for a US visa in the future. However, you must submit a new application and pay the fee again.

However, if an application is refused under Section 212(a)(9)(b)(i)—to remain in the United States after the expiration date of the authorized period of stay or to enter the country illegally—the applicant will not be eligible for a visa for the duration of 3 or 10 years, depending on the case, after leaving the country.

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What are waivers for ineligibility?

There are certain conditions and activities set by the US government that can make a person ineligible for a visa. For example, overstaying the visa, committing certain crimes, or submitting false documents during the visa application.

However, there are some Waivers of Disqualification This can help you get a visa, depending on the particular section of the law under which the applicant was not eligible in the first place.

But how do I know if I qualify for an exemption? The consular officer at the embassy or consulate where the visa application was submitted will tell you how to apply. And while there is no guarantee that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will agree to a waiver, if it does, you may be able to obtain a visa.

However, to apply for a waiver of ineligibility, you must apply Form I-601 which costs $930.

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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