Visa Refusal

Immigration law delegates the responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas to consular officers overseas. They have the final say on all visa cases. By regulation the U.S. Department of State has authority to review consular decisions, but this authority is limited to the interpretation of law, as opposed to the determination of facts. An applicant can influence the post to change a prior visa denial only through the presentation of new convincing evidence leading to a different determination of facts.

When a visa application is refused, the Consular Officer will provide the applicant a refusal letter that indicates the section of U.S. immigration law under which the refusal is made, and options available to the applicant. Information on visa ineligibilities and waivers of ineligibility is available at the State Department website.

If you receive notice that you have been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, it does not mean that the visa has been refused permanently; it means that more information is required before a final decision can be made regarding a case. Applications may be refused under Section 221(g) if required documentation is missing or has expired, or if the applicant has not provided sufficient proof of a qualifying relationship, for example.

In the refusal letter, the consular officer will indicate additional information required to complete the visa application. You have one year from the date of the refusal to submit the information, and no further action can be taken on your application until you provide this information. You may send requested information to the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal using courier services that are offered at no extra cost for the applicant. Please visit the U.S. Visa Service website and follow instructions to “Register Your Appointment” and for “Visa Document Courier Services“.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.

Important Notice: Before inquiring about status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives must wait at least 180 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.

Throughout the entire visa application and interview process you must tell the truth and give complete and accurate information. If you do not, your visa processing will be delayed or you may be found ineligible to enter the United States.