If a visa is denied, the consular official should give the applicant the reason(s) for denial in writing. The denial letter will specify which section of the law was applied in your case.

If a specific document is lacking the consul will give written notice to the applicant explaining which documents are needed. This is called a 221(g) letter.
You should collect the missing documents and arrange to deliver them to the consular officer. You may need to return for a follow-up interview.

If you are denied under any section of the law other than 221(g), you will have to reapply at a later date.

You may be denied under sections 214(b) or 212(a):

  • If you are denied under 214(b), we do not recommend re-applying unless your personal circumstances, that prove your non-immigrant intent, change significantly or you feel that you did not present all the information the officer would have needed to approve your visa.
  • The U.S. Department of State explains visa denials in detail.
  • U.S. Department of State Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas

Visa Delays

  • It generally takes 2-4 weeks to obtain a visa from either a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.
  • If your application requires a background check or you will be engaging in research in a sensitive area, there may be further delay as these checks are performed.