Common Reasons U.S. Visas Are Denied

Preparing to apply for a U.S. visa can be stressful to the say the least. The process to apply for a visa can be challenging, and it takes time to research and gather the necessary documentation.

In the U.S. there are several kinds of visas, and you have to figure out the right one to apply for. While there are different specific types of visas, the primary groupings are immigrant and nonimmigrant. The type of visa you’re applying for plays a significant role in what you’re required to submit, and whether or not you’ll need things like a U.S. sponsor to support you, an employer to sponsor you, or as is the case sometimes, a fiancé sponsorship.

Some of the documents that are required regardless of the type of visa you’re applying for can include your passport, your travel plans, the dates of the last five trips you made to the U.S., and in some cases a resume. This is just the beginning, and other forms include police certificates from where you currently live, a medical examination and evidence of financial support.

So, with all the work you put in the last thing you want is a denial. Sometimes having an understanding of the most common reasons denials happen can be helpful.

The following are some of the most common reasons U.S. visas are denied.

Recent Changes in Policy

One of the first things to be aware of as it relates to visa denials is a recent policy memorandum that was issued. Now, visa applications can be denied when authorities make the decision, and they no longer have to submit a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).

Basically what this means is that if you’re missing documents or something from your visa application, your visa can be denied even without you receiving notice that these items are missing. You don’t have the opportunity to then submit the missing information under this change.

That makes it even more important to make sure you’re fully prepared when you submit your application.

Applying for the Wrong Visa Category

One of the reasons people are often denied a visa outside of not having the proper documentation is that they apply for the wrong category. Many times an applicant isn’t eligible for the visa category they’re applying for.

Before you even start gathering information, it is important to make sure you carefully research the categories and ensure you’re selecting the one that’s truly applicable to you.

Strong Ties To Your Home Country

During the interview process, it may be determined that you as an applicant don’t have strong ties to your home country. If that’s the case, in more technical terms the determination is that you didn’t overcome the presumption of immigrant intent.

This could show that you might not be as likely to return to your home country at the end of your temporary stay permitted by your visa, so you may not be approved.

For example, if you didn’t have compelling enough family relationships in your home country, you may be denied for this reason because immigration officials may feel unsure that you will ultimately return home at the end of your visa.

Likelihood to Become a Public Charge

When someone applies for a U.S. visa, an important component of whether or not they’re approved is if they are going to be able to support themselves financially, or if they will have financial support from another source while they’re in the country.

Someone may be deemed ineligible for a visa if they don’t demonstrate this, and there may be a concern they will become what’s called a public charge.

A public charge means that the consular office may turn someone down because they view them as likely to become dependent on the U.S. government for financial support.

For most types of visa applications, something called an Affidavit of Support is required. If someone’s applying for a visa that doesn’t require this, they might have to demonstrate their ability to financially provide for themselves in other ways. For example, they may have to show they have the money personally to do it, or they may have a job offer in the U.S. Another option is to show sponsorship from someone in the U.S.


Finally, another reason visas are turned down is because the consular office may find the person is misrepresenting themselves or trying to commit fraud. When someone is turned down for this reason, it makes them permanently ineligible for a visa, unlike many of the other reasons for denial.

News Reporter