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Visa Denied?

Find answers to common questions about denied visas below

There are different types of visas that are issued based on need: tourist, student, work visa, etc. Visas can get denied for various reasons. The reason could be overstay, previous criminal record, failure to renew or extend a previous visa, and more. Being aware of some of the common reasons for visas getting denied can help you avoid similar situations. Below are common questions answered by Experts about denied visas.

My B-1/B-2 visa was denied. What can I do?

Case Details: I own a business in Nigeria (where I live) and work with U.S. based businesses for my resources. Denial of visa adversely affects me. If I have broken the law but been released without conviction, can my ten year tourist visa renewal be denied?

Your options are limited when a visa is denied. You will need to wait for at least six months before re-applying. The U.S. consulate has the sole authority and discretion to approve or deny visas. Since it is considered a privilege and not a right to visit the U.S., there is no appeal process.

Usually the chances of a tourist visa approval are high if the applicant has strong ties to return to their home country and have used their visa responsibly during past visits. In the event of breaking the law, not being convicted is beneficial but there is no guarantee that the visa would be granted or renewed.

What's the recourse if my L-1B visa extension was denied?

Additional Questions: Can my employer appeal the decision? Is there a possibility to apply for a new L-1B visa instead of extending?

You cannot appeal the denial of a visa extension. The employer can appeal the denial of the visa itself. You are allowed to remain in the U.S. while the appeal is pending if your employer permits you to do so. If your request for extension is approved, your visa can be renewed.

Another approach could be to apply for a fresh L-1B visa. In such a case, the appeal for extension would be nullified. This implies that if no appeal for extension is pending, your status would be that of an illegal immigrant or of visa overstay. You will have to leave and return with a fresh visa.

Questions about 10-year B-2 visa, Form I-94 extension and visa validity if extension is denied.

Case Details: I have a B-2 visa which is valid for ten years. I would like to extend the duration on my Form I-94 by applying for Form I-539. If the extension is denied, is the visa valid if I leave the U.S. before expiry of Form I-94? If the denial decision of the extension is received after my expiry date, is my visa still valid?

A visa will be valid even if the extension is denied if you leave before the expiry date. If you have applied for an extension, have not yet received a decision, and the expiry date arrives, it would be wise to leave the country. If the extension is denied and you continue to remain in the U.S. after the expiry date on Form I-94, your visa will most likely be canceled. If you are thinking about an extension it would be sensible to apply for it at the earliest.

How long can I legally stay in the U.S. if OPT extension and motion to consider are denied?

Case Details: I am currently on F1 visa status, my Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension was denied. I filed a motion to reconsider and that was denied too.

Form I-94 is the document that determines your duration of stay in the U.S. It usually has “D/S” mentioned on it, which refers to “duration of status”. Since you are on an F-1 visa you are legally entitled to stay in the U.S. until you remain in the specified course of study or OPT. You will need to leave once the program is complete. Below are a few scenarios once the program is complete:
  • You are allowed 60 days of valid legal stay (valid status) after the program ends
  • If you do not leave within 60 days, you are given a grace or leniency of 180 days without penalty
  • If you overstay for 180 days up to a year (after the 60 day window) you are likely to face a three year bar to enter the U.S.
  • If you overstay for over a year it will earn you a ten year ban

The limit on the legal stay requires strict compliance. If you extend even by one day, there will be consequences. If you overstay and apply for a visa in the future, you may be questioned by the officials and the visa could be denied.

Visa denial usually occurs for specific reasons. Sometimes it is because of clear non-adherence to procedure and other times it could be at the discretion of the immigration officer. There could be some options available for you based on your individual situation. It's best to know the various legal provisions, your rights and the best course of action and asking an Expert is a quick and affordable way of getting these legal insights.
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