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214(b) Visa Rejection- What it means and how to overcome it

Under the various sections that a consular officer at an U.S. Consulate or Embassy a can deny your Visa, after reviewing relevant information and documents Section 214(b) is one of them, and this is what it signifies:

What does your visa not qualifying under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act Mean?
Section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act states that: "Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa that he is entitled to non-immigrant status" This means that most visa applicants must convince the Consular Officer of the following:

  • That he or she intends to return to his or her home country following a temporary stay in the United States,
  • That his or her financial situation is such that he or she can afford the trip without having to seek unauthorized employment in the U.S.,
  • That the travel is for legitimate purposes permitted by the applicant's visa category.

Candidates must be able to convince the Consulate Officer that their overall circumstances, including social, family, economic and other strong ties lay with their home country, will compel them to depart to their home country at the end of a temporary stay.

What are these 'strong ties' and why are they important?
Such ties are usually shown by explaining to the consular officer qualifying reasons that will compel you to return to your home country due to various ties, such as family, employment and other connections that you have with your country of residence. For applicants who are students/younger and might have had an opportunity to produce enough documents to establish proof of such ties, the U.S. law considers educational status, school records and such in their home country before issuing a 214b.

Ultimately, there is no single factor that establishes such grounds, and it is ultimately at the hands of the consular officer to decide whether you are eligible for the VISA or not.

Sometimes even after presenting a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (I-20) from their institution in U.S., they are ineligible for a student visa. This is because just like other for other visitors, Section 214(b) requires students to show that they intend to leave the U.S. after they finish their studies. Students may be ineligible if it appears that their primary purpose is not to obtain an education that will advance their life in his/her home country, but will facilitate an indefinite stay in the U.S. for themselves or their family.

Can you re-apply again, after being denied VISA once under 214(b)?
The answer is, yes. If an applicant can further produce convincing evidence to support his/her case, then the consulate office will reconsider their case, and revoke the visa denial. Contact the embassy or consulate to find out about reapplication procedures. Rationally judge your situation, and carefully and realistically revaluate your ties.

Although, sometimes the visa denial remains intact in spite of how many times it is re-applied.

After an officer has declared a candidate unsuitable for the Visa, it would be wise to not re-apply unless there has been some significant amount of changes that can help their application to be approved. Hence, seriously consider if, there is any additional information you can present to prove your residence and strong ties.

One very important thing to remember is that what is ultimately important is how you handle the VISA Interview.

No particular document or information guarantees visa eligibility. You should be able to clearly mention your intentions and purposes for visiting the US confidently without hesitations.

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Caro KinsellaCaro Kinsella
Joined: August 12th, 2020
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