Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants Must Show Intentions to Leave the United States

The United States government welcomes foreigners who desire to visit the country temporarily for business, pleasure or any other reason considering the U.S. immgration laws. Unlike several countries, the U.S. has no internal controls on most visitors, such as the need to register with local authorities. But to benefit from such privileges, foreign nationals must attest that they are eligible for entry into the U.S. in the first place.

Every U.S. Visa Applicant is Believed to be an Intending Immigrant

Under U.S. immigration law, all visa applicants have the burden of proof to show that they are not intending immigrants. Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) or 8 U.S.C. § 1184(b) states:

Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status....

To qualify for a visitor or student visa, for example, an applicant must meet the requirements of I.N.A. §§ 101(a)(15)(B) or (F), respectively. (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(B) or (F).). Failure to do so will result in a refusal of a visa under I.N.A. 214(b).

The most common grounds for such a denial concerning the requirement that all prospective visitors or students must possess a residence overseas that they have no intention of abandoning. Applicants should provide proof of their residence and must show that their ties to their home country will compel them to return home at the end of their stipulated authorized stay.

Specifically challenging is the requirement that visa applicants demonstrate that they will return to their home country when their authorized status expires. U.S. immigration law demands that consular agents view all U.S. visa applicants as an intending immigrant which means someone who permanently wants to live in the U.S., until the applicant is proven otherwise. Be mindful that consular officers make decisions in a matter of minutes of the consular interview and they either approve or deny visa applications.

What Do the Strong Social Ties for Student and Visitor Visas Entail

Interviewing Officers apply the strong-ties test on every case. What comprises strong ties may differ from country to country, city to city and person to person. A few examples of strong ties can be but are not limited to:

  • A stable job
  • A house
  • A family and a
  • Bank account

Ties are the details of the visa applicant’s life that bind the applicant to his or her home country. These might include assets such as:

  • A job
  • Children
  • Spouse
  • Elderly parents
  • Business or
  • Health-related concerns

In most instances, a foreigner who has a steady job, spouse, and small children who are not also entering the U.S., as well as real estate assets, bank accounts or a business, will pass the strong-ties test.

When a consular officer evaluates a visa application he will look at the applicant’s professional, social, cultural and other factors of influence. In cases of where younger applicants who might have not had the opportunity to develop many strong ties, consular officers might look at their:

  • specific intentions
  • family situation
  • connections in their home country and in the U.S
  • the applicants age
  • their long term plans and prospects within their country of residence.

Providing Proof of Sources of Financial Support in the U.S.

If an applicant has friends or relatives in the U.S, it can be helpful to have on hand proof of financial support for the planned visit. One alternative would be to prepare an I-134, Declaration of Financial Support as well as a personal statement or an invitation letter from the host to show resources available to provide room and board.

Ask an Immigration Attorney for Advice

Talk to an immigration lawyer to advise you on what constitutes strong social ties to your home country. If you are still in doubt, call Gambacorta Law Office for assistance at 847 908 4913 and our team will be happy to help in any way possible.