How Soon Can You Apply Again After Tourist Visa Denial

You are all geared up for your upcoming US trip and your visa application gets denied. Isn’t it the most frustrating thing ever? But this is something that happens to thousands of Indian citizens every year. In fact, India’s US visa refusal rate was 26% in 2016, a 6.5% increase between 2006 and 2016, according to a report by The Economic Times.

There are a number of reasons for US tourist visas being denied. It is important to know the actual reason, so that you can fix the errors before you re-apply.

Grounds for US Tourist Visa Denial

Under the US Visa and Nationality Act (INA), there are a number of ineligibilities that can lead to refusal of tourist visas. Please note that visa decisions are confidential and you will never actually get to know the particular reason for denial, unless an attorney files an application. Nevertheless, you should know the probable causes. There are many grounds for denial, of which the most common are:

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Under Section 214(b) of INA

Non-immigrant visa applicants often fail to establish strong ties to their home country. This means that the consular officer has evaluated your economic, social and cultural standing, and come to the conclusion that you may not return to your country once you set foot on US soil. This situation is tricky, since it is not always about having the correct documents.

Under Section 221(g) of INA

You simply didn’t have a particular document that was necessary to obtain approval from the consular officer. Generally, the officer will let you know of the document that you were missing.

Under Section 212 (a)(6)(c)

This is mis-representation of facts in the application. People rejected under this category are permanently ineligible to go to the US.

Can You Re-Apply for a US Tourist Visa?

Yes, you can re-apply for a US tourist visa. You will need to submit a new visa application, with the requisite fee and documents. However, people who are rejected under section 221(g) do not need to pay the application fee again and can re-apply anytime. In such cases, the consular officer will tell you how you can submit the required documents to the embassy or consulate, along with a letter stating that your application has been denied under section 221(g). You will be given a period of one year to provide the additional information. After that, the administrative processing time will be the same as for any other case.

For those who have been denied a US tourist visa under section 214(b), the process starts from scratch. There is no appeal for that particular application.

How to Re-Apply for a US Visitor Visa

There is no time restriction on re-applying for a visa, following denial. You simply have to follow the necessary steps. For online non-immigrant visa application, you will need to fill in form DS-160.

  • Complete the online application form and take a print-out of the DS-160 bar-code page, to be attached to your application. Check out the documents you need to have when you submit the form.
  • You need to upload your photo (not more than 6 months old) in the prescribed format.
  • Schedule your visa interview on the US Embassy website, filtered according to your country of residence.
  • Pay the visa application fee, according to country-specific requirements.

With all documents in order and proper interview preparation, you stand a good chance of getting a US tourist visa.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.