U.S. consular officers are only allowed to issue nonimmigrant visas to those applicants who qualify under U.S. law. A visa can be refused for a variety of reasons under the Immigration and Nationality Act. For example, your visa application could be denied if you have a criminal record, if you lie during your visa interview, or if you have lived in the United States illegally.
Below is a brief explanation of the most common types of refusals. For more detailed information regarding visa refusals, please see the State Department’s Travel website. A consular officer will always inform the applicant in writing regarding the basis of the refusal.
Important Note: There is no appeal or reconsideration process for visa refusals. However, applicants may re-apply for a visa at any time by following the instructions on the How to Apply for a Visa page.
The majority of nonimmigrant visa refusals are made under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 214(b), which applies to all B-1/B-2 applicants (as well as to applicants for many other nonimmigrant visa classifications), presumes that an applicant is an intending immigrant and places the burden on the applicant to convince the consular officer of the contrary. If the applicant fails to convince the consular officer, the law requires the consular officer to deny the visa.
Applicants overcome the intending immigrant presumption of Section 214(b) by showing that their overall circumstances, including social, family, economic and other ties to Colombia, will compel them to leave the United States at the end of a temporary visit. "Ties" are the various aspects of life that bind the applicant to Colombia, such as his or her family relationships, employment and possessions. Because each applicant's situation is different, there is no single factor that demonstrates compelling ties to Colombia.
The most common reason an applicant fails to qualify is a failure to show the sufficient ties to his or her home country; there are, however, other reasons why an applicant could fail to qualify for NIV status and thus be found inadmissible under 214(b). The applicant must prove that he or she meets the standards required by the particular visa classification for which he or she is applying. In other words, the applicant must make a credible showing that all activities in which the applicant is expected to engage while in the United States are consistent with the claimed nonimmigrant status.
A visa denial under Section 214(b) is not permanent. Visa seekers may reapply for a visa at any time by following the instructions in the How to Apply for a Visa page. However, we recommend that they do so only if they believe that they will be able to show that they are eligible for the visa based on the guidance provided above. That is, we recommend against reapplying unless the applicant's family, professional or economic situation has changed sufficiently to warrant a change in the consular officer's decision.
If the letter informs the applicant that the Embassy will contact him or her when "administrative processing" is complete, this means there is no action required of the applicant. The Embassy will contact the applicant with further instructions once administrative processing is complete. Most administrative processing is resolved within 90 days of the date of the visa interview, but sometimes can take longer. You may check the status of your application online by following the instructions on the Visa Application Status page.
Section 221 (g) for Administrative Processing
If the letter informs the applicant that the Embassy will contact him or her when "administrative processing" is complete, this means there is no action required of the applicant. The Embassy will contact the applicant with further instructions once administrative processing is complete. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 to 90 days of the date of the visa interview, but sometimes can take longer.
Section 212 (a)(2)
A refusal under section 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act covers several different permanent ineligibilities, including a conviction for committing a crime involving moral turpitude (such as fraud, robbery, assault, and homicide) or a conviction for committing a drug violation.
This section of the law also covers involvement in drug trafficking – an applicant who is or at one time was involved in drug trafficking or was involved in activities supporting the illegal trafficking of controlled substances may be found ineligible under this section of the law.
Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) is a permanent ineligibility for attempting to receive a visa or enter the U.S. by willfully misrepresenting a material fact or committing fraud. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit takes fraud very seriously, it is important to be honest during your interview and also on your visa application. If you have a tip concerning fraud that you wish to share with the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit, you may email the Fraud Prevention Unit at FPMBogota@state.gov.
If you stay in the U.S. after the expiration date of the period of stay authorized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) without required authorization or permission to extend your stay, or you entered the U.S. without receiving authorization from CBP, then you may be found ineligible under Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This ineligibility is not permanent, but may last from 3 to 10 years, and may make it difficult for you to overcome Section 214(b) in the future.