Why Was I Rejected for USA Visit Visa – How to Find Out

An article on India Today states that travelling to the US for Indians is getting tougher, since the authorities have become more stringent about vetting visa applicants. So, you application might be rejected if documents are missing or if you’ve made even minor mistakes on the form, without giving you any chance for an explanation. However, this isn’t the only reason why many people have to face the disappointment of visa denial.

In case you too have been denied a visit visa, you will be given a reason for it by the consular officer. The refusal letter will contain the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) under which your application was rejected. Make a note of this, since it will help you understand the reason for the visa refusal.

The most common causes (ineligibilities) for visit visa rejection are Section 214(b) and Section 221(g). Here’s a look at what these two sections mean. 

Section 214(b)

If the consular officer informs you that your visa has been denied under Section 214(b), here are the reasons for it:

  • You were unable to prove your eligibility for the visit visa, such as proof of sufficient funds, a valid sponsor, or the temporary nature of your trip, or
  • You couldn’t overcome the condition of “intending immigrant,” because the consular officer wasn’t convinced that there are sufficient social or economic ties that would compel you to return to your home country once the visa expires.

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Section 221(g)

In case this is the section is mentioned verbally or in writing, there are two possible reasons for visa refusal:

  • You didn’t complete the visa application properly, or
  • There were some missing documents.

You will receive a 221(g) slip, the colour of which will determine the action required for you to complete your visa application.

Other Reasons

Apart from the above-mentioned sections, there can be various other reasons for visit visa refusal:

  • If you committed fraud or misrepresented a fact to obtain a visa, the refusal letter will mention INA Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i). 
  • In case you overstayed in the United States during any previous visits, you will be denied a tourist visa under Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i). 
  • For individuals convicted of crimes related to moral turpitude, drug violation or for two or more criminal convictions, Section 212(a) will come into effect.

To gain access to an exhaustive list of all visa ineligibilities, visit the Ineligibilities and Waivers page of the US Department of State website.

What to Do After Visa Rejection?

After your visa interview, you will be informed whether you have the option to apply for a waiver of ineligibility or you need to reapply for the visa. The waiver is optional, since only some ineligibilities can be overcome by applicants while others are irrevocable. 

So, when you have been classified under permanent ineligibility, you will be denied a visit visa each time you apply for it.

In case you were rejected under Section 214(b), you can reapply for the visa, going through the entire process once again. In the interview, the consular officer must be shown proof of significant changes in your circumstances since the last time you applied for a visa.

On the other hand, Section 221(g) does not require you to reapply. You will have a 12-month window to provide the missing documents or your visa petition will be cancelled.

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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.