US Visa Denials

US visas are only denied when the interviewing officer has reviewed all of the information presented in the visa application form and at the visa interview.

Visas are denied for a diverse number of reasons, which include:

  • Incomplete application
  • Lack of supporting documents at the interview
  • Applying for the wrong visa category
  • Providing fraudulent information on the application or at the interview
  • Failure to convince the interviewing officer that the applicant has significant ties to their country of permanent residence
  • Insufficient funds to support their stay
  • Previous criminal activities
  • Previous immigration violations
  • Health grounds, where the applicants health could pose a threat to others in the United States
  • Security grounds where the applicant is considered a national security risk

All visa denials are backed up with the grounds and section of immigration law that’s the officer based the denial on. Where relevant some applicants are advised to apply for a visa waiver, which would over-ride the reason for their denial.

Applicants who are denied a visa cannot claim a refund of their fees

Applicants with criminal activities involving property (arson, theft, burglary) or against government authority (e.g. fraud, tax evasion, bribery) or against a person (assault, murder, manslaughter, prostitution) will be denied a visa. Likewise anyone found aiding and abetting such crimes will also be denied.

Applicants with drug convictions will be denied a visa as will those who have two or more criminal convictions for which the penalty was incarceration for 5 years or more.

Applicants who stayed longer in the US than a previous visa allowed will also receive a denial.

You can reapply for a visa if the grounds did not involve criminal offences, risks to security or immigration violations. You must pay all of the visa fees again and prove that your circumstances have changed since your last application.

If you were denied because you overstayed your visa terms on a previous visit, you can reapply after 3 years if you outstayed your visa term by less than 1 year. If you overstayed for longer than a year you cannot reapply until 10 years since your departure have lapsed.



Visiting the U.S.
Holding a valid visa does not guarantee entry into America; this is decided at the port of entry by the U.S. immigration officer reviewing your documents. On arrival, the immigration officer will inspect your passport and visa and present you with Form I-94. On this form, the officer will record the length of time you can stay in the US, this may be different to the term specified on your visa. You must leave the US on or before the date logged on the I-94 document. Failure to do so will prevent you from obtaining future entry into the US.

Visa Process
The non-immigrant visa process consists of two steps; Filing an application form with a US Embassy or Consulate in your country of permanent residence and attending a mandatory visa interview with a Consular official who will decide your eligibility for a visa. applicants aged under 14 or over 79 do not have to attend an interview. Some countries require two interviews.
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