Section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act is the most common ground of ineligibility for nonimmigrant visa applicants. Please visit the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs website to learn more about visa denials.
Interviewing officers must apply Section 214(b) of the law in determining whether an applicant is eligible for a U.S. visa. Section 214(b) states:
"Every alien [visa applicant] shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the officer, at the time of the application for a visa that he is entitled to nonimmigrant status."
This means that the applicant must demonstrate that s/he doesn’t intend to immigrate.
Visa applicants must convince the Consular Officer that:
- S/he intends to depart the U.S. following a temporary stay.
- His or her financial situation is such that s/he can afford the trip without having to seek unauthorized employment in the U.S.
- The travel is for legitimate purposes permitted by the applicant's visa category.
Evidence may come in many forms, but when considered together it must be enough for the interviewing officer to conclude that the applicant's overall circumstances - including social, family, economic, and other ties in Vietnam - constitute a compelling reason to leave the U.S. at the end of a temporary stay.
“Ties” are the aspects of your life that bind you to your place of residence, including family relationships, employment and possessions. In the case of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to establish such ties, interviewing officers may look at educational status, grades, the situation of parents, and an applicant’s long-term plans and prospects in Vietnam. As each person’s situation is different, there is no set answer as to what constitute adequate ties.
Whether particular ties are strong enough to justify issuance of a visa differs from country to country, culture to culture, and from individual to individual. Our visa officers have knowledge of local conditions and of patterns of migration to the United States to help them make this determination.
One common misconception about Section 214(b) ineligibilities is that qualifying for a visa is just a matter of providing more documents.
However, a visa decision is not simply based on documents. Rather, the consular officer looks at the applicant's overall situation to determine whether he or she has overcome the legal presumption that he or she intends to immigrate. The documents listed on our website can help the officer to make a proper decision, but no single document or piece of information guarantees visa eligibility.
Please visit the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs website to understand more about visa eligibility.
Section 214(b) ineligibilities are not permanent. If you were found ineligible to receive a visa in the past but you now have new information, or if your overall circumstances have changed significantly, you may re-apply following the same procedures as any other applicant. Reapplying is the only way to have your application reconsidered.
Before you reapply and spend more money, please consider your situation carefully. Ask yourself if something has changed significantly in your life since the last time you applied. Remember that Consular Officers all apply the same law. Been eligible for a U.S. visa is not a question of luck or documents.