What is Refusal Under 214(B)

Unless you belong to a nation that is part of the US Visa Waiver program or from one of the seven countries that the US does not permit entry to, you will need to seek a valid B1/B2 visa to visit America. However, getting a visa is not mean feat, given the frequent visa denials we’ve seen in recent times.

The rejection can be due to various reasons, such as inaccurate information or insufficient documents, or failure to prove eligibility. Let’s understand what the latter means for your chances of getting a US tourist visa.

What Does Section 214(B) Say?

Section 214(B) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act states that every individual who applies for a visa is presumed to be an intending immigrant, until they can prove otherwise to the consular officer. So, you will need to present certain types of evidence that prove that you intend to return to your home country once your visa expires, if not before that, such as:

  • The nature of your trip is temporary and is focused on leisure, business or medical treatment. You can provide trip itineraries, letters from your doctors in your home country and in the US, etc., for this
  • You have adequate funds to support your stay in the US,
  • You have a residence and other social and economic ties that will compel you to return home.

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What Kind of Proof is Needed?

Visa applicants are required to overcome this obstacle of presumption by providing documents that show their “ties” to their home country. This may include proof of employment, assets, or dependant family members.

In case of younger applicants, who may not have any employment or asset-related proof, the US also accepts school grades, educational status and other long range plans.

When an individual is unable to prove their eligibility for the tourist visa, they receive a refusal under Section 214(B).

Is This Refusal Permanent?

No, you can still get your application approved. But the consular officer will only take up your case again if you can show some really convincing evidence. So, you shouldn’t reapply for a visa until there have been some significant changes in the information or circumstances, that was not shown during the previous visa interview.

Myths Surrounding Refusal Under 214(B)

A common misconception among applicants is that when a person receives a refusal under Section 214(B), there is a need for more documents to get the visa approved. This is totally untrue, since your chances of approval depend a lot on how well your visa interview goes too.

Student Visa Refusals

If you had applied for a student visa and were denied, despite submitting a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status (I-20), you need to know one thing. Just as for tourist visas, Section 214(B) requires you to prove your intent to leave America on the completion of your studies. So, while I- 20 is one of the required documents, it doesn’t guarantee your eligibility.

Sometimes, students may be seen as ineligible if the consular officer gets the impression that the student does not intend to return to their home country after the course of study ends, but intends to find ways to remain in the US indefinitely.

How to Reapply for the Visa?

Once your application is rejected under Section 214(B), you need to fill the DS-160 form once again and pay the visa fees, just as you did the first time. Also, remember that changing the US consulate you apply to won’t improve your chances, since they will already have complete information about you.

In the visa interview, you have to clearly show the changes in your social or economic ties since the last time you appeared for the interview.

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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.