The most important thing to do after a visa denial is to understand its reasons. Applicants are usually given a denial letter at the end of the visa interview, which contains information that can help determine what went wrong.
Don’t be surprised if the letter says that your visa was refused under Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) Section 214(b) (8 U.S.C. Section 1184 (b)). It’s a common reason for refusal, meaning that the consular officer was not convinced that you would return to your home country after you visit the United States. Fortunately, this is not a permanent refusal; you might qualify for a visa in the future if you can show stronger financial and social ties to your home country.
There might, however, be a more serious reason for your visa denial. Check whether the consular letter you received lists any other section of the law as the reason for denial. Common bases for visa ineligibility include prior deportations, undocumented presence in the U.S., and criminal convictions, among others.
Check How Long Your Visa Ineligibility Will Last
Some types of visa ineligibility last for the current visa application, some last for a certain number of years, while others are permanent. You’ll want to look carefully at the section of the law under which you were denied or hire an attorney to analyze this for you.
Waivers of ineligibility might be available in some situations, but only if the consular officer recommends the waiver and you have demonstrated strong enough ties to your home country to qualify for the visa. Waivers are not usually approved for recent and serious offenses.
Contact the Consular Section or a U.S. Immigration Attorney
Suppose you are still confused about why your visa was denied or for how long you’re ineligible, or are not clear on whether your visa was denied. In that case, you might be able to get clarification by contacting the U.S. embassy or consulate.
Many U.S. consular sections have a public inquiry email address. This can usually be found on the official U.S. embassy or consulate website. If not, call the public phone number for the consular section and request the public inquiry email address. If you were invited to the U.S. by a U.S. company, the company can also make an email inquiry at email@example.com.
Suppose you think your visa renewal was unjustly denied. In that case, contacting an immigration attorney like myself would be beneficial, especially if you need to travel to the U.S. frequently for business. Because of the complexity of U.S. immigration law, an attorney in the U.S. might be your best bet, as opposed to one in your home country who may not be as familiar with U.S. immigration law.
A U.S.-based attorney might get a faster and more thorough response from the embassy about why your visa was denied than you could on your own. Immigration Attorneys representing visa applicants have access to channels of inquiry with the State Department reserved solely for them. At minimum, an attorney might be able to give you more accurate information as to why your visa was denied and advise you whether it’s worth applying again and when you should do so.
Wait at Least a Year Before Reapplying for Visa
Depending on the reason for denial, some U.S. embassies and consulates advise applicants to wait at least a year before reapplying for a visa, though it is not mandatory. This is because it’s unlikely that your situation will change enough in less than a year to alter the outcome of a visa decision.
Organize Your Finances Before Reapplying for a U.S. Visa
U.S. consular officers mainly rely on the application and interview when deciding whether to approve a visa. Still, well-organized supporting documents will help demonstrate your financial stability at your next interview.
Think about how you might show your financial stability if you were to apply for a mortgage; it’s very similar. Establish and use your bank account, both checking and savings. Be aware that a large one-time deposit does not show long-term financial stability.
If you are paid for work in cash, start depositing that money regularly into your account as proof of income. This is especially important if you’re self-employed. If you are employed by someone else, ensure the employment letter you take to your next visa interview accurately reflects all your earnings, including overtime.
Don’t overdo it: most U.S. consular sections advise against bringing too many documents to your interview. Check the website for the U.S. consular section where you will be applying for details. Also, check your appointment letter for any added, country-specific requirements.
Most importantly, never present fraudulent or altered documents to support your visa application. This could result in permanent visa ineligibility. It is better to present nothing if you don’t have a particular document.
If you’re frustrated due to a lack of financial documents, you might also want to think honestly about your situation. Will a trip to the U.S. cause you financial hardship? Are other family members financing your trip? If so, consider waiting until your situation improves before you apply for another visa.
Be Ready to Tell The Consular Officer What’s Changed Since Your Last Application
When you reapply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa, the consular officer will probably look at the notes taken at your last visa interview. The officer might ask you only to discuss what has changed in your situation since then. Be prepared to explain, for example, that you’ve since graduated university, gotten a promotion, or developed a different purpose for your intended travel.
Suppose you happen to be interviewed by the same officer who refused your visa before, and you don’t think the officer was thorough or adequately explained your denial. In that case, you might ask for a different officer (at the beginning of your interview). This request may not be granted, but if you truly think the officer did not give you a fair review, it won’t hurt to ask politely.
I hope you found this video helpful. Subscribe if this content or information helps you in any way, comment below if you want me to talk about something in specific, and share this resource because you never know who needs answers to these questions. If you have questions about your specific circumstances, be sure to schedule a consultation. I’ll see you in the next video.