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Denials: Nonimmigrant Intent and Insufficient Evidence

In general, U.S. consulates may issue visas only to applicants with the requisite "nonimmigrant intent," meaning intent to return to an unabandoned foreign residence abroad after their temporary stay in the U.S. O-1B principals need not prove ties to a residence abroad when establishing "nonimmigrant intent,” while P-1 visa applicants are required to demonstrate that they have a residence abroad that will not be abandoned.

If nonimmigrant intent is not sufficiently established, the consulate may issue a 214(b) denial. To address a consulate's concerns on the issue of "nonimmigrant intent" - in consular parlance, the "214b" issue - be prepared to document the full range of the alien's ties to his/her home country, by way of residence, family, employment, stature, business, banking, etc. If a 214(b) denial is issued, a new consular application must be filed with the accompanying fee. Note that the DS-160 application should contain significantly new information if a better outcome is expected.

If insufficient evidence is available at the time of visa processing, the consulate may issue a 221(g) denial. This often occurs in cases in which additional information is needed, or the consulate requires additional processing time beyond what is available during the interview. The applicant can make a new visa appointment and supply additional information in response to a 221(g) denial.

All denials will be explained to applicants orally and in writing. Applicants can also tell if they have been refused visas by a notation stamped on the last page of the passport, stating "application received." Generally, the stamp is annotated either with "g" or "221g," meaning insufficient evidence to grant the visa, or "b" or "214b", meaning the visa was denied for want of the requisite nonimmigrant intent. There is no appeal process for consular denial. Consulates must now enter all visa denials into their computer system, to which CBP also has access.