Nonimmigrant Visa Denials for Immigrant Intent
In recent months, Religious Immigration Services staff have seen an increase in the number of nonimmigrant visas denied to applicants. Nonimmigrant visas are issued to people who have the intent to come to the United States in categories classified for temporary purposes, including visitors, students and religious workers. It is recommended that clients prepare and carefully review all information throughout the visa application process.
In recent months, Religious Immigration Services staff has seen an increase in the number of nonimmigrant visas denied to applicants. Nonimmigrant visas are issued to people who have the intent to come to the United States in categories classified for temporary purposes — such as B-1/B-2 (Visitor), F-1 (Student) or R-1 (Religious Worker). According to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 214 (b), the applicant, “shall be presumed to be an immigrant,” meaning it will be assumed that the applicant has the intent to move to the United States permanently, unless the applicant “establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer […] that he is entitled to nonimmigrant status.”
With the administration’s “extreme vetting” policy, many people with actual temporary intent have been denied visas under §214 (b) — which means, the applicant did not sufficiently demonstrate that they qualify for the nonimmigrant visa category and/or the applicant did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent. When completing Form DS-160, the online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, it is important to review the form very carefully to make sure all information is accurate and consistent.
The more “home ties” that can be established outside the United States — including employment, family, education, property — the stronger an applicant’s nonimmigrant visa case will be. During the interview, all questions should be answered in a clear way, and the applicant should never give the impression to the officer that they will remain in the United States permanently. The government may consider many factors when making a decision on a visa application. The State Department recently added new questions requesting information on the applicant’s participation in social media. It is important to never post anything on social media that may give the impression that an applicant will be staying in the United States permanently.
If a visa application is denied, the applicant will usually be told and given a written explanation of the issue. In many cases, the applicant can apply again. Please note that previous application denial(s) will be in the system and each application will be reviewed with that information in mind.
Please contact your RIS attorney if you have questions about your nonimmigrant visa application.