Visa Denied, Visa Refused Under 214(b)
Nonimmigrant Visa Denials, Visa Refusals
- What Is Section 214(b)?
- What Constitutes "Strong Ties"?
- Is a Visa Denial (Refusal) under Section 214(b) Permanent?
- Can Friends or Family in the U.S. Help if I am Denied (Refused) a Visa?
- What Should I Do If I Am Refused (Denied) a Visa under 214(b)?
- Who Can Influence the Consular Officer to Reverse a Visa Refusal (Denial)?
If your petition or application was denied by USCIS, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).
Jane was excited. In three days her friend Kevin would visit her in the United States. Suddenly, the phone rang. Jane could not believe her ears! Sadly, Kevin told her, "I cannot come...the consul said I am 214(b)."
On any given day throughout the world some people find themselves in Kevin's situation. They hear the consular officer say, "Your visa application is denied. You are not qualified under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act." To be refused a visa when you are not expecting it causes great disappointment and sometimes embarrassment. Here is what a 214(b) visa denial or refusal means and what you can do to prepare for a visa reapplication.
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...
This means that before you are approved for a visa, you must prove that you will return to your country. You must prove that you have no intention of abandoning your residence there. The law places the burden of proof on you to prove that you have strong ties in your country that would compel you to leave the U.S. at the end of your temporary stay.
What Constitutes "Strong Ties"?
Strong ties differ from country to country, city to city, individual to individual. Some examples of ties can be a family, a job, a house, a bank account. "Ties" are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your country of residence: your family and social relationships, employment, and possessions. Each person's situation is different.
Consular officers are aware of this diversity. During the visa interview they consider professional, social, cultural and other factors. In cases of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to form many ties, consular officers may look at specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within the country of residence.
Is a Visa Denial (Refusal) under Section 214(b) Permanent?
No. The consular officer will reconsider a visa denial or refusal if you can show further convincing evidence of ties outside the United States. You should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about US visa reapplication procedures. Unfortunately, some people will not qualify for a nonimmigrant visa, regardless of how many times they reapply, until their personal, professional, and financial circumstances change.
Can Friends or Family in the U.S. Help if I am Denied (Refused) a Visa?
They may provide a letter of invitation or support. However, this cannot guarantee that you will receive a US visa. You must qualify for the visa according to your own circumstances, not on the basis of an American sponsor's assurance.
What Should I Do If I Am Refused (Denied) a Visa under 214(b)?
If you are refused (denied) a visa under 214(b), first, carefully review your situation and realistically evaluate your ties. You may want to write down on paper what qualifying ties you think you have that may not have been evaluated at the time of your interview with the consular officer. Also, you should review the documents that were submitted for the consul to consider. If you were denied (refused) a visa under section 214(b), you may reapply. When you do, you will have to show further evidence of your ties or how your circumstances have changed since the time of the original visa application. It may help to answer the following questions before reapplying:
- Did I explain my situation accurately?
- Did the consular officer overlook something?
- Is there any additional information I can present to establish my residence and strong ties abroad?
You should also be aware that you will be charged a nonrefundable application fee each time you apply for a US visa, regardless of whether a visa is issued.
Who Can Influence the Consular Officer to Reverse a Visa Refusal (Denial)?
Immigration law delegates the responsibility for issuing or refusing (denying) a visa to consular officers overseas. They have the final say on all visa cases. The U.S. Department of State has authority to review consular decisions, but this authority is limited to the interpretation of law, not the determination of facts. The determination of whether you possess the required residence abroad is a factual one. Therefore, it falls exclusively within the authority of consular officers to resolve. You can influence the consular office to change a prior visa denial only through the presentation of new convincing evidence of strong ties.
The phone rang. "Jane, it's Kevin. I went back to the US Embassy for another interview. I showed the consul more information about my job and family. This time I got my visa!" Jane was overjoyed. "Great!" she exclaimed, I'll see you next week!"