If you wish to travel to U.S.A., you can do so either under non-immigrant visa category or under immigrant category.
The United States visa is a permit to travel to and stay in the U.S. There are about 185 categories of visas under two broad classifications. They are –
•Nonimmigrant visas for those wishing to travel to the U.S for a temporary visit for business, work, study etc.
•Immigrant visas for those wishing to permanently reside in the U.S.
Getting a visa for USA is a long and cumbersome process and sometimes, even after completing all the requisite formalities, it can still be refused.
This article will walk you through why your immigrant visa application may be rejected and what you can do to remedy the situation.
Generally, for a nonimmigrant visa, the most common way is a visitor’s visa (B1/B2 category) through sponsorship by someone already living in the U.S. This may include a relative or a friend who is a green card holder or settled there with citizenship. The second category under which you may apply for a visa is the employment visa, and of course , the third category is self sponsorship, through investment, talent or distress.
There are also some other special category of visas, such as the K-1 visa which is granted to people who wish to enter the U.S. to marry a U.S. national, and asylum visas, which are granted to refugees.
Of course, the highly specific visa categories mentioned above have specific requirements and if you do not meet them, your application will be denied. However, there are several other reasons why your application may be rejected despite meeting all the requirements.
Except for B1/B2 category visas, most rejections are appealable depending on the reasons for refusal. However, it is important to remember that refusals because of misrepresentation, are irrevocable.
Consular officers (the officers of the U.S. missions employed abroad who sign off on your visa) have very little discretion when it comes to immigrant visas. Whether one gets an immigrant visa is up to whether they meet the requirements.
Here are some popular reasons for visa applications getting denied
1. Your Form I-184 (Affidavit of support) showed that you don’t meet income requirements
Under the Act, the person sponsoring you should have an income which is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline, according to household size. Thus, this amount will vary for everyone.This amount can be solely income or a combination of income and assets. This is not a rejection, but more of a temporary refusal.
If you were denied a visa for this reason, you may reapply with fresh evidence that your sponsor is able to meet the requirement.
2. You were determined to be likely to be a financial burden on the U.S.
This has to do with you not being able to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself and not become a burden to the U.S. government.
If you have been denied a visa for this reason, you can reappear in front of the Consular officer with new evidence that you have sufficient financial resources to meet the requirements.
3. Your documentation is incomplete or incorrect
Several important documents such as Forms I-130, I-140, I-184 etc need to be filed while applying for an immigrant visa. Incomplete and incorrectly filled documents will lead to rejection of the application.
Prior to the visa interview, the applicant must have the police verification documents and medical reports as well.
To prevent being denied a visa because of incorrect or incomplete documentation, you must review each document thoroughly before applying. Also, prepare a comprehensive checklist of all the documents you must submit.
4. You have a pending foreign residency under a J-1 Visa
The J-1 Visa offers cultural and educational exchange opportunities in the United States through a variety of programs overseen by the U.S. State Department.If you have been a former exchange visitor and have two years residency requirement, you are automatically ineligible for an immigrant visa.
5. Revocation of the USCIS approval of your case
It can happen that the case has been approved by USCIS but the consulate has detected that it was not correctly approved. The file is then sent back to the USCIS. The process can take several days to be completed.
6. Misrepresentation or fraud in your case
If you misrepresent a material fact or present false document in your own case or try to commit fraud like smuggling an unqualified person, you will be barred from entering into the U.S. and any kind of visa for life.
How long will it take for you to get an immigrant visa?
The process to getting an immigrant visa is a journey and sometimes, your application may be rejected even though you feel like you meet the requirements. The process can take anywhere from several months to several years, depending on your case.
Can you file for appeal and review of your refusal?
Each visa application is different. If your application is rejected, the accompanying letter will tell you the reason for the refusal and whether you may appeal the decision. The solution for this is on a case to case basis and so differs for each. The process can only be determined after reviewing the refusal letter carefully.