All U.S. non-immigrant visa applicants such as those applying for tourist/ visitor visas and F-1 student visas are required to demonstrate to the independent subjective discretion of the U.S. consular officer that they are qualified to receive a visitor visa. All non-immigrant visa applicants are considered to be intending to immigrate, or go to the U.S. to live permanently, and thus must prove that they have “non-immigrant intent”. Applicants who are unable to meet this burden are normally refused a visa under Section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. Obviously your “intent” is subjective and can only be demonstrated by showing other objective factors such as the purpose of the visit and that the applicant will return home when the purpose of the visit is completed.


A 214(b) refusal occurs when the consular officer interviewing the applicant independently decides that the applicant has not established that they meet the qualifications for the visa. While the consular officer will often not disclose the specific reason, examples of why applicants are refused include the following:

  • Failure to prove to the satisfaction of the officer non-immigrant intent
  • Lack of sufficient ties to their home country
  • Unable to communicate their reasons for travel to the United States
  • Consular officer is concerned that the applicant might overstay in the United States or work illegally
  • Immediate family members in the United States while the applicant has few family members in their home country
  • A pending or previously denied immigrant visa
  • Inadequate assets to support the temporary trip to the United States
  • Suspicious looking invitations from companies or persons in the United States

When the consular officer issues a 214(b) finding, the applicant’s passport is returned to them which should include an explanation explaining that they are ineligible to receive a visa at this time but may reapply again at another time. This is called a 214(b) refusal letter. It usually contains a very general explanation that the applicant failed to establish eligibility for the visa at this time.


The U.S. immigration attorneys at Enterline and Partners have decades of experience in reviewing and analyzing visa refusals. If you have been refused a non-immigrant visa, we will review your entire case and provide possible reasons why the consular officer made his or her decision. By understanding more about your case, it allows our attorneys to strategize on how a refusal might be overcome and which will hopefully lead to a visa issuance the next time you apply.