Visa Denial under 214(b), 221(g), and Administrative Processing


Provided by HG.org

If you or a loved one has been refused a visa under Sections 214(b) or 221(g) or through administrative processing, a difficult road lies ahead. This denial signifies that a consular officer has already made the determination that insufficient evidence is present to warrant the issuance of a visa. However, this finding can be overcome.

Visa Process

Before a visa is issued, a thorough process is undertaken. This includes a review by the consular office of the documents that have been submitted to him or her by the applicant. The individual’s background is checked and a personal interview is conducted to evaluate whether the applicant meets eligibility requirements.


Reasons for Denial

A visa to the United States may be denied for several reasons. In some cases, adequate evidence is not provided to support the issuance of a visa. For example, in Section 214(b) visa cases, applicants are generally applying for tourist visas or student visas. In order for a visa to be issued, the applicant must submit meaningful evidence of funding, evidence that there is a valid purpose for the trip and evidence that he or she has strong ties to a residence that is abroad that would compel him or her to return after the visit or completion of an educational program. In other cases, the consular officer may suspect fraud.


Notice of Denial

If a person has not been issued a visa, he or she will receive a 221(g) that indicates that adequate evidence was not provided. This is usually because the applicant failed to demonstrate that he or she had strong ties to a residence abroad. In other cases, such as those requiring administrative processing, there may be a discrepancy in the documents that warrants additional time to investigate.


Evidence to Refute

In order to overcome the original denial, the applicant for the visa has to provide strong evidence to refute the finding. This evidence includes a showing that he or she has strong ties to a residence abroad. To refute the finding that adequate evidence was not submitted, a visa applicant can submit evidence that shows that he or she would not abandon the residence to stay in the United States.

This may consist of showing that the applicant has a steady work history and a job that he or she would likely return to. Additionally, he or she may provide evidence of collateral or the ownership of property that would refute that he or she would likely abandon the residence. Alternatively, if the visa application is for a K-1 visa, the applicant must show the bona fide merit of his or her relationship to the United States citizen.

In instances when the consular officer has believed that an application was based on a sham marriage or fraud, the applicant must be able to overcome this suggestion. By providing evidence of the legitimacy of the relationship, an applicant can work his or her way closer to a visa approval. Administrative processing can be difficult for applicants to deal with because their case continues in a state of purgatory in which neither a denial nor an acceptance has been issued. Because these cases are determined on a discretionary basis, there is little that an applicant can do to speed up the process.


221(g) Denials

In some instances, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approves a petition for the visa applicant only for a United States consulate to deny it. The reason for this is commonly due to requirements in INA Section 221(g). This section discusses how a person may receive a petition-based visa.

If the consular officer determines that the applicant does not meet the requirements, he or she can refuse to issue it under this section. At the same time, the consular officer requests that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services revoke the earlier-approved petition for the applicant. One reason why this situation may arise is if new and negative information is discovered during the consular interview.

For example, the consular officer may determine that a K-1 applicant does not meet the definition of being a fiancé because he or she fails to show that there is a bona fide relationship or that a sham marriage was entered into in order to circumvent immigration laws. Like administrative processing, a case that is denied under Section 221(g) can remain dormant to the applicant’s utter frustration.

Individuals who have experienced a denial of this nature should discuss the case with an immigration attorney.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.



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