Denied at the US Consulate?
What does it mean that the consulate denied my nonimmigrant visa under section 214(b) of the INA?
A US Consulate will not issue your nonimmigrant visa if they find you ineligible under section 214(b) of the US immigration and nationality act but that does not mean you are out of options. It is important that you understand why you were denied and fix the errors before you reapply.
There are multiple reasons why you may be found ineligible under section 214(b) of the INA:
Limited ties to your home country.
This means you did not demonstrate strong home country for the officer to believe that the time you are requesting in the United States will be temporary in nature and that you will return home at the end of your permitted stay.
Officers will look to see for example, do you have a job to return home to? Or once you are back from the US on your visa will you return to studies (university or otherwise)? When our office files a case, we work to make that sure it is 100% clear you will return to your home country after your temporary trip to the US.
For example: If you live in the UK and are applying for a B1/B2, the US Consulate officer in London or Belfast will want to know if you own or if you rent a property in the United Kingdom, as evidence that you will return to your home country after your temporary stay in the United States. Officers will always look to see that you have non-immigrant intent when you apply for a nonimmigrant visa (especially under the B classification visa categories, B-2 Tourist visas, B-1 Business visas, etc.) If you are applying for a different nonimmigrant visa, speak to one of our attorneys so they can advise you on what the law states about nonimmigrant content pertaining to your visa.
Interview issues on the day of your consulate interview:
The importance of the interview cannot be underestimated, that is why our attorneys book a prep session before each interview so that our clients have the full details of their case and understand their US Immigration rights. For consulate officers, it is the key element in deciding what determination they will make.
Most officers will only have several minutes to adjudicate your visa petition. Questions asked by an officer that you may think are innocuous, not that important, could be the difference between a denial or an approval of your visa request.
Preparation is key. You will always be prepared in advance by our office to go through the interview process so you understand and have knowledge in your upcoming interview, this is imperative. You will fully be versed on why the US Consulate officers are asking the questions that they are asking. We also make sure that all of our clients understand typical questions they could be asked. You must understand the process, have knowledge about your case, fully understand what the law permits you to do under your visa and what the law doesn’t permit you to do.
Approach your interview carefully as you would a job interview, be punctual, dress business casual, address the interviewer as “officer” for example. Officers have no obligation to review any of the documents that support your visa application, they must, however, review the DS-160 online application made; therefore discrepancies with answers you give to the officer and what is contained in the application form may raise red flags and could possibly cause a denial of your visa request. The interview is a “one-shot deal” in most cases, know the law, understand the law, speak to one of our attorneys if you are not sure.
Numerous long-term visits to the United States/or extension of status:
Consular officers may issue a denial if they feel that you, the applicant, is no longer “residing” in your home country, or may be engaging in unauthorized employment in the United States, and/or not holding the appropriate visa status. If you cannot sufficiently demonstrate that the time you are requesting in the United States is for a temporary period than your visa request will be denied.
For example, if you are an Irish national, but in the recent past year, you have spent more time in the US than you have in Ireland and you are now presenting yourself before an officer at the US Consulate in Dublin for a business or tourist nonimmigrant visa. This visa may be seen as a red flag to the US consulate officer adjudicating your case.
You have other relatives who previously emigrated to the US:
The adjudication officer may deny your visa request if they see that you have a number of close relatives living inside the United States because the officer could feel you do not have sufficiently strong family ties to your home country.
For example, if you are from Leeds, but most of your family are now living in the United States, a consulate officer at the London Consulate may decide you do not have a strong family tie to the UK and flag your visa application for a denial.
You have had a previously denied nonimmigrant visa application:
If you have had a previous nonimmigrant visa application denied, it does not mean that you are precluded or excluded from future visa requests; however, each denial will cause a red flag.
Here is another example for you. If you are from Cork and you applied for your ESTA (also known as the visa waiver) and that was denied, you then went online filled in a DS-160, applied for a B2 tourist visa and made the trip to the consulate in Dublin. Ultimately, for one reason or another, your petition was denied. The next time you apply for a tourist visa, the system will show the consulate officer that you were already denied.
Past denials on visa applications will not go away or “fall off” your record. When you head back to the consulate expect questions pertaining to the previous visa application and be prepared to answer your questions truthfully and honestly. If your previous denial was due to fraud or misrepresentation, then it is critical that you speak to an attorney before presenting another visa request.
Consular officers have limited time and resources, it is important to keep this in mind particularly when an applicant re-applies within days of the original denial, presenting ‘new’ evidence. This new evidence may simply be changing the purpose of their trip, instead of going to a wedding, they decide to enroll in an English language school. Timing is crucial when resubmitting a nonimmigrant visa application that was previously denied.
Inadequate finances to support the trip:
Consular officers will always ask about your finances, this is done to ensure that you will not be entering the United States to work unlawfully, or become a public charge, that you, in fact, have enough finances to fund your trip. There is no hard and fast rule about how much money you should have, however you should have more than sufficient funds to cover your trip plus extra. The officer will want to see evidence of the funds in your bank account, under your name with your address making sure all documents provided have continuity. Custom border patrol (CBP) – will also question you about your finances when you enter the United States at an airport. Speak to our office to discuss the critical financial element.
The burden of proof is on the applicant you (not the consulate), to convince the officer by a preponderance of the evidence that you are requesting entry into the United States for legitimate reasons, and that you have the proper and credible documentation to support your request. Also, your story must make sense, if you do not seem credible or your documents look suspicious you are giving an officer grounds to deny your application.
You are not eligible for the visa category requested:
Each visa category has requirements that must be fulfilled in order for you to qualify. For example, if you are requesting a business visa then you must be entering the United States to conduct legitimate business activities, you are not permitted to work inside the United States. For example, if you are requesting a tourist visa then you must be entering the United States to do tourist activities, such as traveling visiting friends or family and not work.
Previously denied or pending immigrant application:
An immigrant application effectively means you wish to permanently reside inside the United States, unlike a nonimmigrant application, which means you temporarily, want to be inside the United States. Applicants with a previously denied or pending immigrant visa will raise the scrutiny from consular officers as they have shown clear intent to immigrate. If you have immigrant intent, meaning you wish to permanently be inside the United States, then requesting a non-immigrant visa creates a huge disparity and is grounds for an officer to deny your non-immigrant visa application.
Is a refusal under section 214(b) permanent?
No. A refusal, or ineligibility, under section 214(b) is for that specific application, so once a case is closed, the consular section cannot take any further action. There is no appeal process. If you feel there is additional information that should be considered related to the visa decision, or there are significant changes in your circumstances since your last application, you may reapply for a visa; however, you should not rush into this without speaking to our attorneys for legal guidance.
Was your Visa is denied at the U.S. Consulate?
Are you wondering… “What are my options?”
- We don’t settle for a bad decision if you have a good case and believe an error was made. We will either re-apply, request to speak with a Supervisor at the consulate to discuss positive equities in your case, file a motion to reconsider/appeal or seek review within the consulate.
- If the reviewing consular officer upholds the refusal and you remain convinced that an error has been committed, we will seek an advisory opinion directly from the Consular office that denied you.
Why you need an attorney when dealing with the Department of State (DOS) – U.S. Consulates:
- The Law Offices of Caro Kinsella work with all the U.S. Consulates throughout the world.
- Immigration officers at the U.S Consulates have ‘non-reviewable discretion for this reason you need an experienced Immigration Attorney representing you at the U.S. consulates.
- We will prepare your non-immigrant and immigrant petitions along with all necessary waivers, talk you through the entire process, you will have an in-depth consultation with the Attorney that will go through in detail what to expect at your interview at the U.S. Consulate.
- We will help the client prepare for the interview, and fully brief him/her on the visa interview process so that the interview can be as effective as possible for both the client and the interviewing officer.
- We Advise the client on the eligibility requirements of the visa for which he/she intends to apply and alert him or her to the possibility of delay
- We ensure that clients read and understand their visa application forms before coming to the interview. This is particularly critical if the applicant does not have a good command of the language used in the form.
- We make sure the client fills out the visa application form carefully and accurately, answers all questions completely