How not to apply for a visa in the United States: why we were refused
When we arrived for the first time for an interview, it turned out that we had to stand in line at a street that was marking time from the cold from foot to foot across the road from the entrance to the consulate. As in the best pictures about the queue for sausage in the USSR.
Between the queue and the heavy door, representatives of the consulate security staff run across the road, check passports and call a person inside on 2.
After us, the girl came in line and immediately asked: what is usually asked for an interview? In the queue, everyone stood tense and frozen, and immediately rejoiced that you could tell about the interview, which lasts half a minute and almost do not ask about anything during this time. All who told, served for the first time.
In the queue on the street we stood for 40 minutes, I was all green already from the cold ... maybe that's why we were suspected of possible immigration and denied visas. Or the Americans are just very good trolls.
Our history of filing for a US visa
Our background: at the time of applying for a visa, we are in a civil marriage, a residence permit in Novosibirsk (nobody asked about it), were submitted in St. Petersburg, in international passports most of the pages in Asian stamps: Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos ... Two semi-annual Schengen neatly lost in this Asian chaos, but present.
The last five years have been living in Russia for a total of just over a year. We are freelancers. Romka IT specialist, which in the states could theoretically be in demand. I am a photojournalist, blogger, photographer.
The first interview lasted 15 minutes. Mostly consisted of silence. A woman in the window asked questions in very difficult Russian, we already thought that we should speak English, but we were afraid that it would have a bad effect on the issuance of a visa (read somewhere that it was better not to demonstrate knowledge of English).
Then there were pauses, and she communicated with her fingers with a computer. Then the smile on her face faded smoothly, she paused for a while, then shoved us a little through the window and said that everything, everything is written, go. On pieces of paper it was written that we need to wait for an additional administrative check, since not enough data to issue a visa.
What questions were asked at the interview at the US Embassy
They asked questions like: who do we come to each other about, how do we travel a lot, why and when do we want to go to the USA, who do we work with.
Repeated interview for a US visa
A few days later we were called for a re-interview. It lasted minutes 10-15. They were mainly interested in Romkina work. When they took enough interest and understood that he could not work anywhere and at home, he did not want to live (this is evident from the number of stamps in his passport), gave papers with a refusal of a visa and passport. I (for girls) were not asked about work at all. That is, gender equality and all that is American in the consulate of St. Petersburg does not play a role.
US visa denial
The denial of a US visa indicates the reason for the “inadequate connection with the homeland.”
Considering that according to the statistics of refusals of a US visa in Russia over the last year there were only 7%, we gained experience of absolutely some kind of epic file. And our round-the-world trip is still not merging. And with our travel history, it is not clear whether they will ever give us a visa to the USA, since in our life it is unlikely that something drastically changes - the official work that binds us to Russia will not appear for sure. And this is usually the main indicator that the applicant is a potential immigrant.
WHAT SAYS THE LAW
- What you need to know if you are refused a US visa
United States immigration law requires a consular officer to treat each applicant as a potential immigrant until proven otherwise. To get the right to move freely throughout the United States, you must prove your intention to leave the United States before you receive a guest or student visa. Ustraveldocs. If you do not convince the consular officer that you leave the United States on time, you may be denied a visa under section 214 (b) of the Immigration and US Citizenship Act.
- What is an 214 (b) article?
Article 214 (b) is a section of the US Immigration and Citizenship Act. It says:
“Any foreign citizen should be considered a potential immigrant until the consular officer during the examination of the entry request receives sufficient evidence that the applicant is eligible for non-immigration status.”
The US consular officers have a difficult job. In a short time, they must decide whether the applicant can obtain a temporary visa. In most cases, the decision is made after a short interview and familiarization with the evidence provided by the applicant, which confirms the applicant's connection with the country of residence. To obtain a guest or student visa, the applicant must meet the criteria set out in sections 101 (a) (15) (B) and 101 (a) (15) (F) Immigration and Citizenship Act accordingly, who emphasize that a citizen of another country entering the US should be in the United States only temporarily.
If the applicant does not meet these criteria, he will be denied a visa on the basis of Section 214 (b) of the Immigration and US Citizenship Act. Most often, the reason for refusal is the non-compliance with the requirement that a potential guest or student should have a permanent residence in their country, which he / she does not intend to (a) leave. The applicants confirm the existence of such a place of residence, showing the existing contacts with their country, which will force the applicant to leave the United States after the period of stay. Responsibility for proving the foregoing, according to the law, is imposed on the applicant himself.
- How can an applicant prove "close ties"?
The concept of “close ties” differs depending on the country, city and identity of the applicant. Examples of relationships include having a job, a home, a family, or a bank account. “Connections” are different aspects of life that connect you to your country of residence: your property, employment, social and family ties.
Try to imagine exactly what connects you with your country. Will the consular officer of another country believe that you have no intention of leaving your place of residence? The answer may be positive if you have a job, family, own or rented accommodation or other circumstances that will force you to return to your country at the end of the trip. The situation of each applicant is individual.
Consular officers of the United States take into account these differences. At the interview they consider each case individually and take into account professional, social, cultural and other factors. In the case of young applicants who have not had the opportunity to acquire significant contacts with their country, the consular officer may pay attention to the intentions and family situation of the applicant, his long-term plans and prospects in the country of permanent residence. Each case is considered individually and comprehensively, in accordance with the law.
- Is the failure in accordance with Article 214 (b) permanent?
Not. The consular officer will review the visa file and its opinion if the applicant provides additional evidence of ties outside the United States. Unfortunately, in a number of cases, applicants will not meet the criteria for obtaining a nonimmigrant visa, regardless of the number of repeated applications - until their personal, professional and financial circumstances change significantly.
After refusal on the basis of Article 214 (b), the applicant should carefully examine his situation and realistically assess his relations with his country. The applicant may write down factors that, in his (her) opinion, connect his (her) with the country of residence, and which were not taken into account during the interview with the consular officer. Also in case of refusal, it is necessary to analyze the documents provided to the consular officer. Applicants who are denied a visa under Article 214 (b) may reapply for a visa. At the same time, they will have to demonstrate additional evidence of links with the country of residence or show how their situation has changed since the previous application for a visa. Before re-applying for a visa, we recommend that you answer the following questions. 1. Did I explain my situation correctly during the interview? 2. Did the consular officer miss any facts of my case? 3. Is there any additional information that proves that I have close ties with my place of residence and my country?
Applicants should also remember that with each new application for a visa, they must pay a consular fee for considering an application for a visa, which is not returned, regardless of whether the visa was issued or not.
- Who can influence a consular officer to revise his decision?
US immigration law places the responsibility for granting or denying visas to consular officers of foreign diplomatic missions. It is they who make the final decisions on all visa applications. According to the law, the US Department of State has the right to review the decisions of consular officers, but this right is limited to the interpretation of the law and does not apply to establishing facts.
An example of the establishment of such a fact can be the determination of whether or not the applicant has a place of residence in his country, which is one of the basic conditions for granting a visa. Thus, the decision to grant visas is exclusively within the competence of consular officers of foreign diplomatic missions of the United States.
The only way to achieve a review of the refusal of a visa is to submit a new appeal, demonstrating new strong evidence of close ties with the country of residence.
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