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U.S. Family and Friends of Visa Applicants

U.S. Family and Friends of Visa Applicants

How does an applicant qualify for a non-immigrant visa?

According to U.S. immigration law, every applicant is considered to be an intending immigrant until they can prove otherwise during an interview with a consular officer.  Each applicant must demonstrate that they have a residence outside of the United States and have strong ties that will compel them to return to this residence after the conclusion of a temporary visit to the United States.  These ties may include socio-economic, professional, and/or family ties.

Because each applicant's situation is different, each case is examined individually and accorded every consideration under the law.  The burden of proof is entirely upon the applicant, who must qualify for the visa according to his/her ties, not on the basis of a U.S. sponsor.

What can I do to help?

All applicants are given the opportunity to list U.S. friends and family on their electronic application.  At the time of the visa interview the consular officer will review the applicant's electronic application and ask any clarifying questions.  Family and friends should keep in mind that visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends.  For this reason, Consular Officers prefer to speak with visa applicants about their motive of travel and ties, rather than reviewing documentation such as letters of invitation.

Is there an appeal or reconsideration process for a visa denial?

Under United States Immigration Law, there is no appeal or reconsideration process for visa denials.  Most visa denials, however, are not permanent.  Applicants may reapply at any time and a different Consular Officer will evaluate their qualifications for a visa.  When deciding whether or not to reapply, applicants should consider if there has been a change in their circumstances since the time of their last application or if there is new information that may be included on their electronic application.  Unfortunately, some applicants will not qualify for a non-immigrant visa, regardless of how many times they reapply, until their personal, professional, and financial circumstances change considerably.  For more information on visa denials, please see visit the Visa Denials section.

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