How to Appeal a Visa Denial


Any time you apply for any type of visa there is a possibility you will be denied. This is even true for “B” class visitor’s visas.

Fortunately a denial isn’t always the end of the world. There are ways to appeal them.

When you get denied you will receive what is called a Visa Refusal Letter. 

Look at the Letter Type

There are two types of visa denial letters no matter what type of visa you’ve applied for.

A 221(g) is the letter that’s sent out when your visa application was missing documentation that is required to process it. The  221(g) is color coded.

  • Blue means that immigration needs more documentation.
  • White means the decision is going to USCIS.
  • Pink means the officer needs administrative processing.
  • Yellow means that immigration requires more time to determine your status. 

As you can see, in some cases you’re not even looking at a permanent denial if you receive a 221(g) letter. 

A 214(b) letter is different. A 214(b) letter is the letter you receive when the immigration officer has decided that your application fails to meet the requirements for the type of visa that you’re applying for. 

Look at the Information Provided

The letter should clearly outline what you need to do to fix the problem.

For example, let’s say you got a 214(b) letter because you applied for a B-1 visa. The immigration officer does not believe you intend to return home as your visa application suggests.

You can show that you have family members and friends in your home country, a job to return to, a home that you still own, and even plans that you’ve made such as tickets that you’ve bought to future events in your home country.

All of this provides evidence that you intend to leave the United States on time. 

Correct the Issue

In most cases what you need to do is correct the issue or problem and demonstrate that you’ve done so, either by providing more evidence as requested or helping to build the case for why you meet the requirements of the visa you’re asking for.

In some cases you may have applied for the wrong type of visa, and may need to apply for a different one.

Consult an Immigration Attorney

You vastly increase your chances of successfully appealing your visa denial if you work with an immgration attorney to correct the issues. If you haven’t started your visa application yet then working with an attorney is the best way to make sure that your efforts are successful.

See also:

How to Increase Your Chances of a US Visitor’s Visa Extension

How Much Does an Immigration Lawyer Cost? 

5 Steps to a Smoother Immigration Process

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