US Visitor Visa Application Refused – What to Do?

The US Department of State website, in its Visa Denials section, states that a visa may be denied if the applicant cannot demonstrate their eligibility, if the application does not meet the requirements of the specific visa category or there are other grounds for ineligibility. The reasons for rejection are included in various sections of US immigration laws and you need to understand some of them before reapplying.

So, if you are wondering what to do next after facing visa denial, here’s what you should consider.

Reasons for Visa Refusal

After your visa interview, if your application is rejected, you will be informed about it by the consular office. Make a note of the section under which the rejection has occurred. Mostly, there are two main sections under which a visa can be denied.

Denial Under 214(b)

If your tourist visa gets refused under this section, there can be two main reasons for it:

  • You have not been able to prove that you are eligible for the tourist visa, or
  • You have been unable to overcome the obstacle of “intending immigrant,” meaning that the consular officer wasn’t convinced that you have social and/or economic ties that will make you return to your home country.

Denial Under 221(g)

In case you were refused due to section 221(g), it means your application lacked some documents or needs further administrative processing. So, you simply need to provide the missing documents to the US consulate within a period of one year from the date of notified of the refusal.

Denials on Other Grounds

You could also face visa denial if you overstayed your visa duration in any of your previous visits to the US. And if the unlawful presence was for more than 180 days, you have most likely been banned from entering the country for three years.

You may also be considered “inadmissible” if you have a communicable disease or a history of drug abuse. You can see the complete list of grounds of inadmissibility on the US Department of State website.

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Reapplication Process for Visitor Visa

In case the refusal was under 221(g), on the basis of the slip provided, you need to take the necessary actions. If your application requires additional documents, make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Take a printout of the Document Submission Letter and complete the checklist
  2. Go to your nearest document pickup centre and drop off all the required documents, along with the submission slip
  3. Collect the acknowledgement slip from the office.

But, if you were denied a visitor visa under section 214(b), you need to go through the entire visa application process from scratch. This includes filling the DS-160 form and paying the $160 fee to fix your visa interview appointment at the consulate.

During the visa interview, you will have to prove that there have been some significant changes in your circumstances since the last time you appeared for the interview. For instance, if you were denied due to affordability issues, make sure you have adequate documents that explain the change in your financial conditions.

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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.