Many people who apply for visitor (B1/B2) visas to the US are rejected for reasons that may at first seem obscure.
A common scenario involves a visa applicant being rejected on “214(b)” grounds. Section 214(b) of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) deals with “immigrant intent.”
Immigrant intent is an issue that comes up often with non-immigrant visas, including visitor visas. This section of the INA states that interviewing embassies and consulates must presume that the visa applicant wants to immigrate to the US. Further, it is the applicant’s job to prove that she is not intending to immigrate.
In practice, this will often play out as follows. A person applies for a visitor visa. At the interview, she presents her travel itinerary, where she will stay in the US, and perhaps documents that show that she can finance the trip.
Many applicants are then rejected simply because they did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent. They will usually receive a notice from the interviewing embassies or consulates that references Section 214(b).
How does one overcome the presumption of immigrant intent? Sometimes it can be difficult, especially if the applicant has strong ties to the US, for example previous American work or residence, or family members who are currently residing in the US. Generally, the applicant should bring as much proof of ties to her home country as possible to the interview. In difficult cases, an attorney can help assemble a strong application.
All said and explained in this article does not constitute a legal opinion and does not replace legal advice. Responsibility for using the wordings and opinions conveyed in this article relies solely and entirely on the reader.
This article was written by Dotan Cohen Law Offices, working in the field of immigration law in the United States, Canada, Australia and England.