Visa denial based upon immigrant intent, Section 214(b) of Immigration and Nationality Act

Substantial transcription: 

7th July 2012 at 05:16 PM

9.59 Minutes

What do we do when our visa gets denied under section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act?   Basically, this means that if the consulate doesn’t believe you are going to come back, they deny the visa, saying that you have an immigrant intent which you have not been able to rebut.   So the idea is whenever somebody goes for a visa stamping, they actually are presumed to have immigrant intent unless they prove otherwise.   Of all the visas A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H all the way to V, some visas are immune to this problem.

What are the visas that are immune?

H-1 as well as H-4, L-1 as well as L-2, and O-1 and O-1 derivative visas are immune by law almost.  H and L are clearly immune by law and O by implication.  With these visas, if you have a green card going, the consulate is not going to deny your visa for that reason.

On the other hand, there are notorious visas that are very susceptible to this problem:

B-1, B-2, F-1 as well as F-2 (which are for students), and J-1 as well as J-2 are susceptible.  A lot of physicians on J-1’s have had a visa denial on 214(b).

TN visa holders strictly not going for visa stamping but can be stopped at the border if their green card has been filed.  So bear in mind that when TN holders apply for a green card, they should be careful about this particular factor.

The biggest problem with 214(b) is it is extremely difficult to fight it.  I have recently taken a case in which an F visa was denied on 214(b), and I think we have a fighting chance because the visa applicant has come to the U.S. many times and she has left within her time permitted.  So she’s been a frequent traveler on a B visa.  Her F visa denial is extremely unjustified, in my opinion.

Let me just very quickly go through the visa alphabets.

A visa (diplomats) will have no problem.  They have no issues of a green card being denied.

B visa will have a problem.

C, D, and E visas will usually not have a problem.

The only thing you have to establish for E-3, especially for Australians (E-3 is kind of equivalent of H-1), is that you do have an intention to come back but not to the same degree.   In other words, if you have a home in Australia, the degree of proof is not very high so it is very easy to meet that degree of proof.

G visa is ok.

H visa is ok.

By the way, H-2B visas can have a major problem with immigrant intent.  These are people who are coming to U.S. for to perform skilled labor.

I, which is international journalists/media representatives, may or may not be ok.

J visa will definitely be a problem.

K -1 and K-3 are no problem because they are fiancés or spouses of U.S. citizens and are obviously meant to go into green card.

L visa is no problem.

M, which is folks who are doing vocational training, can have this problem.

P visa (performers, athletes, etc.) can have a problem but usually won’t.

Q visa (exchange visitors) can have a problem.

R visa usually won’t.

 S, T, and U visas won’t usually have a problem because they are done within the USA and are usually either victims of crime or people who are assisting in criminal investigations.

So what do you do if you get a 214(b) denial?

Normally there isn’t much we can do but, if you have been to USA before or else there is something unique in your case, we can ask the consulate to reconsider and if they are not willing and able, then we can ask the visa office in Washington, D.C. to intervene.  You can also contact your family or employer in the U.S. to contact the local Congressmen to seek their intervention.  This typically is not helpful but you can try.  If anybody from the bar or a lawyer tells you he or she can fix it, be mindful because they may not be able to.  Especially be careful when you talk with lawyers in your own country.  This makes me very nervous because we have had some cases where local lawyers in other countries did some strange stuff.  They had some hook ups with consulates and ultimately got caught.

The biggest problem is with fraud or misrepresentation.  If you make a misrepresentation in attempting to get any immigration benefit, you can be barred from entering USA forever.

Going back to 214(b) denials, you can ask the consulate to reconsider.  Reapply if you have a case that begs for a special consideration, like you’ve been to the U.S. many times.  For example, one of my friends asked me that, if his girlfriend is refused a B visa, is it okay to bring the lady in on a K-1 (fiancé visa)?  My take is do not use the fiancé visa in lieu of B-1 or B-2 visa, because if you do not have the intention to get married, the government can consider it to be fraud.  So make sure you want to get married within 90 days after they enter the U.S.

One more point -- there is a legal fiction created in U.S. immigration law about ties to your home country that says you can overcome 214(b) denial if you have ties to your home country.  That in my mind is a legal fiction.  To demonstrate ties is very difficult.  Of course, if you have family in your home country, that’s a good example of ties but to say you have property, but property can be sold, so I don’t think that’s really ties.  Having business is also not really a tie as a business can be sold.  Hence demonstrating ties to your home country is usually a difficult thing to do.

This issue has come up several times recently.  Feel free to ask me specific questions on the website, in a forum, or on a community conference call.


I was denial visa non immigrant on section 214 b in 2012 while I been living in USA from 1997 to 2002 and I was deported on absentia hearing by the immigration judge for 10 bar not entering to USA until my deportation was was over i applied for non ilmmigration and I was denied on September 2012 the problem was at the time when I was in USA I did apply for asylum but I didn't show up on the immigration hearing so I was deported on absentia hearing and I have strong ties on USA so what I can do for that case

I am making just a guess here, not knowing your entire case. Typically, if someone procures or tries to procure a US immigration benefit by fraud or misrepresentation, they are barred from entering the United States forever. There are limited waivers available.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

Good morning.

I was recently denied a B1/B2 VISA citing Section 214(b). Both my parents are in California as Legal Permanent Residents. They came there as Tourists first but got a job and eventually transitioned into LPR. My younger sister was petitioned and is staying with them while my younger brother was born there and is a US citizen. Does this have any bearing on my application and if it is how can this be overcome?

I have a very stable fulltime and parttime job here in the Philippines earning almost 2000 USD monthly. I was applying for a visa to spend the holidays hopefully with my family.

John, you can try contacting a lawyer to write a letter to the consulate explaining your case, but these types of tourist visa denials are difficult to overcome.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

My daughter in law, who is a single mother of Mexican boy and American girl, my granddaughter, has been denied B visa with section 214(b). She demonstrated the strong ties to Mexico - family and job. Her son should be left in Mexico with relatives while my daughter in law are visiting USA with her girl. She also provided the salary slips from her permanent employment. What else she can show to convince the Consular officer of her intent to return to Mexico after a short visit to USA ?

Thank you for your help,

Svetlana, unfortunately this type of denials, section 214 (b) are extremely difficult to overcome because they are largely a matter of a judgment call. You can try having a lawyer write a letter to the consulate explaining the circumstances, but these cases are difficult to win.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

Below is my dads background .Mom has always been a house wife & have lived in India most of her life excpet for 2 years in 1989 to 1991.
My dad has been working in the Yemen for a subsidary of American company called Clorex for 10 years as a plant manager for a chemical plant(purely mangement job). Did an MBA 2 years prior to his retirement at the age of 56 since the company sposored it as part of employee benefit.Since then he had been living as a retiree , now for 4 years. In between I have took them to SIngapore & Malaysia .Have a permanent residence in India .He pays luxruy tax for that home. Has a daughter(married and settled in a different town) and a son other than me(works and lives with them in their house) ( I work in the USA on an H1 for past 2 years).Have travel history to Saudi Arabia but not in the past 5 years.
I completely understand its the burden of applicant to prove the non immigrant Intent. But doesnt know how since both the times the officer didnt ask much .Both the times it was a joint interview .Wanted to know your comments.


Raj, tourist visas are often denied based upon incomprehensible reasons. The most difficult reason to overcome is the 214B denial. Essentially, the consular officer says that your parents possess immigrant intent and that he is not convinced they will come back. You can ask for a supervisory review of that decision, but most of the times they don't work.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

What are the chances my 6 yr nephew will be approved? My sister in law and nephew was recently denied of a visa to come here and attend our wedding. I want my nephew to reapply again by himself as he will be our ring bearer for our wedding in April. He was born and attends school in the Philippines, mother who interviewed with him the first time lives there with a small business, not a property owner, but his father lives in California (permanent resident). Please advise!

Denial of a tourist visa, especially based upon 214 B is difficult to reverse.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.

I was interviewed yesterday at Embassy of the United States of America, Consular section-Nonimmigrant Visa Unit, Manila Philippines. And i was denied under sec 214b. In my application there is a question regarding my immigrant petition. And i said YES my mother is the one who petitioned me. The Priority date is November 28, 2012, Notice date is September 25, 2014. My question is. Is my petition is the reason why i am rejected or denied?