Questions applicants ask when refused a US tourist visa

Installment 144

How Do I Demonstrate “Strong Ties” to Guyana?

This edition of Ask the Consul addresses common questions applicants ask when refused a tourist visa at the U.S. Embassy.

ask the councilI was refused a visa for “not demonstrating strong ties outside the United States.” What does that mean?
According to section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), “every alien … shall be presumed to be an intending immigrant until he/she establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission… that he/she is entitled to a nonimmigrant status.”
Applicants must satisfy the consular officer that they intend to visit the United States, that their intended activities in the United States are lawful, and that they intend to depart the United States after a short visit. One way to do this is for applicants to show they have possessions, jobs, and family relationships outside the United States that they will not abandon. This requirement is the same for applicants all over the world.

How can I demonstrate strong ties if I’m young and single, or older and retired?
During the visa interview, Consular Officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural, and other factors. In cases of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to form many ties, or older applicants who may have fewer ties than when they were working, consular officers may look at the applicant’s specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence.

My family member was given a tourist visa, but I was denied. How is that possible?
Visa applicants must qualify according to their own circumstances, not on the basis of anyone else’s circumstances. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.

I had a visa that expired. I went to the Consular Section to interview for a new visa and was refused. Why?
U.S. law requires that consular officers look at the applicant’s ties to Guyana at the time of application. If an applicant’s situation has changed, the applicant’s eligibility for a visa may have also changed. For example, applicants who recently lost their jobs may not have the same strong ties they used to have. Also persons with prior visas will be refused a new visa if it appears their activities in the United States may have violated U.S. law.

I’ve been refused a Tourist Visa under section 214(b). How soon can I re-apply?
Applicants refused visas under section 214(b) may reapply for a visa at any time, but must complete a new form DS-160 and pay a new application fee. When they do, they will need to show further evidence of their ties or how their circumstances have changed since the time of the original application. Applicants should not expect that a change in their situation entitles them to a visa, since there are many factors to consider.

“Ask the Consul” is a column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. If you have a general question about visa policy please email it to us at We select questions every other week and publish the answers in Stabroek News and on our website at . Information about visas and travel can be viewed at,, and at Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information.

Other than the questions we select, we DO NOT respond to questions sent to Ask the Consul. Please contact the visa inquiries unit (email or call 225-7965 between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday) if you have questions about a specific case.

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