U.S. immigration law classifies visa applicants into nonimmigrants and immigrants. The visa classification and the reasons for the refusal may determine the options that may be available to you. This article attempts to discuss some of the options you may consider if your visa application is refused. However, it must be emphasised that there is no right of appeal against the decision of a consular officer (CO) to refuse a visa.
Reapplication for a visa
Most nonimmigrant visas are refused under section 214 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A refusal under this section means that you failed to satisfy the CO that you have sufficient ties to your home country to justify entitlement to the visa classification. In assessing your ties, the CO will consider your permanent employment or business, meaningful financial and economic connections, close family ties, social or cultural associations and any other factor that will induce your return to your home country.
You can reapply at any time after your refusal. However, you must be prepared to satisfy the CO that your circumstances have changed since your previous application or that you have provided information not submitted in your original application. You must complete a new Form DS-160, pay the relevant visa fee, submit your biometrics, and appear for a personal interview. In considering whether to reapply, you may consider whether you explained your situation accurately at the interview. You may further consider whether in your opinion, the CO overlooked something in your application. Finally you may consider whether you have any additional information you can present to establish your ties.
Advisory Opinion from LegalNet
If you have been refused a visa, you or your authorised representative may pose a legal question by email to [email protected]. This medium is available only for case-specific questions on the interpretation or application of immigration law. LegalNet is not an avenue for reviewing factual determinations made by a CO, including a refusal under 214(b) in a B visa application.
You may pose a legal question about a specific case when you or your representative has attempted to contact the consulate at least twice without receiving a final response, and where 30 days have passed since the second inquiry. In this case, you may pose a question for determination whether the consulate’s refusal to respond to your inquiry is in accordance with law.
You may also submit legal questions about a specific case in which you or your representative has received a final response from the consulate, but believes it to be wrong as a matter of law. For example, if you were refused on grounds of misrepresentation section 212 (a) (6) (c) (i), you may pose a legal question arguing that the basis for the finding did not meet the legal threshold of misrepresentation.
You may also pose legal questions about specific cases involving T visas, U visas, Diversity visas, or adoption visas.
Among others you must provide a summary of the situation and legal contention. Within 7 business days of submitting an inquiry that meets all requirements, you or your representative will receive a notice that the inquiry has been received and is being processed. The time frame for substantive responses depends on the complexity of the matter and availability of essential information but usually within thirty days.
Reconsideration of Visa Refusal
This option applies only to immigrant visas. The Federal Regulations provides at paragraph 22 CFR 42.81 (e) that if a visa is refused, and the applicant within one year from the date of refusal adduces further evidence tending to overcome the ground of ineligibility, the case shall be reconsidered. In such circumstance, an additional application fee shall not be required. You must file your request with the consulate that refused your visa.
The Request must be professionally presented and must include relevant legal arguments and documentary evidence pointing out legal or factual mistakes made by the CO. You must state new facts and support them by affidavits or other documentary evidence. If you resubmit previously provided evidence or assert a fact without providing supporting documentary evidence, your request may not succeed.
To be continued…
Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on U.S. immigration law. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is an immigration law advisor and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on US, UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works for Acheampong & Associates, an immigration law firm in Accra. He may be contacted on [email protected] or www.acheampongassociates.com