By Kaitlyn Garcia, J.D. | Immigration Attorney | Houston, Texas
Unfortunately, visitor visa denials are happening more often. Not surprising given how immigration has been tough lately. I got a bit disappointed when someone came to me with their family member's 214(b) visa denial issued by the Consulate General of the U.S. in Mumbai. They were denied because they failed to show adequate "social ties or economic ties" that prove that they will return home after their visit.
For anyone not familiar with a 214(b) visa denial, this means that the individual's visa application was denied because they were found ineligible for a nonimmigrant visa under section 214(b) of the U.S. immigration and nationality act (INA). In this case, the 214(b) denial was for a nonimmigrant B visitor visa.
In order to show the consulate that you are eligible for a visitor visa you must demonstrate the following to the consular officer at your visa interview:
1. That the purpose of your trip to the United States is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment.
2. That you plan to remain in the United States for a specific, limited period of time.
3. Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in the United States.
4. That you have a residence outside the United States, as well as other binding social or economic ties, that will ensure your return abroad at the end of your visit.
That last one is the tricky one. Most B visitor visa denials are based on the lack of showing social or economic ties that will show the officer that the individual will return home and not overstay their visa in the U.S.
There is not a set list of documents that a visitor visa applicant must show or some sort or formula to follow to ensure you are convincing the officer of your true visitor intentions. There are several ways you can show eligibility depending on your circumstances. The biggest tip I can provide is to be detailed.
- Be detailed in the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application, and
- Be detailed in the B visa invitation (support) letter
Lastly, not many people remember this: present your best self to the officer. Be kind, respectful, and simply prepare for the interview. In many consulates like in Mumbai, visa applicants only have a minute or less with the officer to show their visa eligibility. Preparation is important.
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