I had promised to write another post with details about my second visa application, after the fiasco that was my first try. In my second application, I decided to apply with the guidance of experts, such as Visa USA Now. Their coaching was fantastic about what not to do in your interview or Ds-160 form. These were some of the things I learned.
For starters, it´s important to mention that half of the eleven million undocumented people living in the United States entered the country with a visa and they did not leave when they should have or stayed longer than allowed. If the person applying for a visa fits the profile, then probably the application will not pass, and that´s just the way it is. Applicants must prove that their intention is not to stay in the country and if authorities deny their visa they can reapply if they consider their conditions have changed after the last try.
If you have visited the United States and stayed for several months or have requested visa extensions, authorities could deny your visa could. You can remain in the United States for an extended period if you comply with the exit date. If you need to stay for more time, you can request a visa extension or category switch. This is entirely legal unless the consular officer or immigration agent suspects:
• The applicant is working in the United States without a work permit
• The applicant is not in the USA with the correct visa (for example, if you have a tourist visa but are studying or living in the country)
• The applicant no longer has strong economic or family ties with his or her country of birth and is living in the USA.
It´s important to remind you of the obvious, that consular officers are also human and can make mistakes. They could, for example, not have enough knowledge of the local language; this problem is more common in countries with more “complicated” languages. Something else that could happen, and there have been some cases reported, is that the consular officer does not have enough experience in that type of visa, and thus denies it. This motive isn´t very common in the tourist visa category, but it could happen in other classes that are more complex.
You also shouldn´t request a tourist visa if you intend to stay longer or for another motive. This could result in skepticism from the consular official that could think you no longer have economic or family ties with your country of residence. Another thing that could result in trouble is if the consular officer suspects you´re not applying for the adequate visa category. For example, if you´re planning to study in the USA, then you should request a student visa, not a tourist visa. Something else that could get you into trouble is if you stated in your interview that you were staying for a couple of weeks, but once in the USA, you requested a visa extension. US authorities could consider that you lied to a consular official, denying your visa as a result.
If you have relatives living in the USA, this could be considered a negative factor. Thousands of people have relatives living in the USA, but if they suspect that you plan to stay with them permanently, authorities could deny your visa. Also, if your relative is undocumented, officials could deny your permit. How your relatives got their documents is also an essential factor. For example, if your relative entered the USA as a tourist but shortly married a US citizen and got a green card after a status modification, this could reflect negatively on you.
During the visa procedure, they´ll ask this question frequently, and it´s best if you don´t lie and deliver a coherent response. This was what made the US authorities reject my visa the first time I applied. I should have stated all along that I had no relatives living in the USA since I mentioned cousins from a cousin and said they were relatives. I only needed to mention first-order relatives, and I had no first-order relatives living in the US. It was this confusion that made me go through that first disaster.
Some other reasons for a consular officer to deny your visa are:
• If you have formally applied or are applying for an immigrant visa (green card)
• If you have participated in the diversity visa lottery
• If authorities suspect you have presented fraudulent documentation or declarations
In some consulates, not everyone, it´s a negative factor not to have traveled to Europe, the UK, or countries from the Schengen area. US authorities consider that a trip to Europe proves you have enough income to spend on tourism. It also demonstrates that you were in a first world country and decided to go back to your place of residence.
If authorities denied your visa in the past, you could reapply, but only if you consider your circumstances have changed. If your circumstances haven´t changed, then the only thing you did was waste your money once again, since that fee is non-refundable. They will specifically ask in the interview what has changed since your last application. If nothing substantial has changed, then the result will also not change; they will deny your visa once again. In my case, I said the second time that I had no first-order relatives living in the USA. My DS-160 form and interview were coherent, so the second time was the charm!
During the coaching Visa USA Now gave me, I remember I asked if it would be better to apply at a different embassy, maybe one with more flexible standards. They strongly advised me against this, since embassies do keep the records of applications worldwide. The important thing here is your personal or economic circumstances have changed. Switching embassies is just counterproductive and will result in the rejection of your visa, especially if your conditions are the same.
The most common reason for denying a visa is that the applicant cannot prove he or she has enough economic or family ties with their country. This happens a lot to young people without any professional experience or family of their own.
But, what should you do if embassy officials deny your visa for any of these reasons? In the next post I´ll mention some other motives your permission could have been dismissed, and I´ll also tell you what you should do if it authorities denied your visa for any of those reasons. I practically became an expert on those issues, since I seriously wanted to visit the US. Also, remember that this post won´t replace the professional guidance that Visa USA Now´s staff provides. Purchase our services at www.visausanow.com and improve your chances of getting your visa.