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Tourist Visa Application Denial at US Embassy in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Tourist Visas; specifically United States tourist visas and more to the point, denial of such applications. 

It is an unfortunate fact but US Tourist Visas do get denied and I won't say the denials occur in a high frequency but they do occur rather frequently and here in Thailand we see a fair number of folks who go ahead and contact us after a Tourist Visa has been denied. Often times these individuals will be significant others of American citizens and they will contact us after having been denied and we go ahead sometimes and assist in subsequent K-1 Fiancée Visa applications, US Marriage Visa application such as a K-3 Visa or CR-1 spouse visa, an IR-1 spouse visa etc. But many people are put off or taken aback when they are denied at the US Embassy and I think one of the reasons they are taken aback is because he don't really fully understand the framework under which Consular Officers are adjudicating denials at the US Embassy.

These are denial slips. One side of this is in Thai and one side of it is in English. These are handed out rather frequently when a US Tourist Visa is denied here in Thailand at the US Embassy and I want to go ahead and read it so we are going to go ahead and put this up, the English version and I will put up the Thai version as well just so folks can see it. I will go ahead and read it:  "Dear applicant, this is to inform you that you have been found ineligible for a Non-immigrant Visa under Section 214 (b) of the US Immigration and Nationality Act. A denial under Section 214 (b) means that you do not meet the requirements of the classification of the Non-immigrant visa for which you applied. Today's decision cannot be appealed. However, you may reapply anytime. If you decide to reapply you must submit a new application form and photo, pay the Visa application fee again as applicable, and be interviewed by a Consular Officer.  If you choose to reapply, you should be prepared to provide information that was not presented in your original application or to demonstrate that your circumstances have changed since that application." Now to stop quoting there.  I want to go ahead and analyze this a little bit because for people that don't really understand what's being said, there is a lot going on in here. This denial is actually rather dense from a legal standpoint. First of all they deny under section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. Folks that are unaware of this should understand that section of the law requires that a Consular Officer in their mind if you will, go ahead and undertake an analysis of the applicant and that analysis requires that the applicant show strong ties to their home country or another country outside the United States and weak ties to the United States. The presence of an American citizen spouse, American citizen fiancée or significant other for that matter can have a profound effect on analysis under 214(b) especially here in Thailand and in my opinion leads to a large number of denials just based on that alone.  Other folks, you'll see it throughout the internet, maybe even videos on YouTube, with respect to the issue of denial and proving up your bona fides with respect to your strong ties to Thailand. Things like showing a job in Thailand, showing assets in Thailand, etc. etc. I think that those are important and depending on the circumstances of the case, they can provide a lot of weight, but if there are family relationships between an American and a Thai that is going to be pretty heavy with respect to 214 (b) analysis. A couple of other things that should be noted in here. It should be noted that today's decision cannot be appealed.  As noted in prior videos on this channel under the heading Consular Absolutism or Consular Non- reviewability, you go to our search function and search for either of those terms, but to just go ahead and paraphrase what is going on there: the Consular Officer is making a factual determination. They are applying Immigration Law abroad and the United States Supreme Court and various jurisprudence since the time that they made an initial decision on this issue, have determined that the Consular Officers making this determination, especially with respect to Non-immigrant visas applications, their adjudication is held to be none reviewable. They have absolute Authority when it comes to making factual findings and determinations of law with respect to those seeking admission to the United States, especially in a non-immigrant status. So while their decision, you can go ahead and reapply for a later application, their decision in and of itself stands for what it's worth.

So the thing to take away from this video is you need to really go ahead and think before applying for a US Tourist Visa. Do you fit the requirements of a US tourist visa?  As noted further, quoting directly again, "this means that you did not meet the requirements of the classification of the Non-immigrant Visa for which you applied." So going back to sort of summing up this video that is the thing to think about with respect to applying for a US Tourist Visa. Do you really meet your criteria? If you are trying to utilize a Tourist Visas to move to America via sort of circumvention of the Immigration Laws or the Immigrant Visas, you don't apply. And that is not the correct visa for you and the other thing is if there's any sort of nebulousness with respect to intent, especially where there is a family relationship with an American citizen or an American spouse or an American fiancée for example, then it is not a great idea, in fact it is beyond "not a great idea"; it is not a good idea at all, you should not be applying for a US tourist visa most notably under Section 214 (b) but depending on what one's intentions are, it may be outright fraud and applying for a  Non-immigrant Visa with immigrant intent knowingly can cause problems down the road. 

So the thing to take away from this video is denials of Tourist Visas although again not exactly common, they do happen with some frequency and those who are denied for such visas should not really be taken aback. They should understand the legal framework which was applied in their given case and moreover those who have yet to apply for a US tourist visa, go ahead and do some research further to this video. We have other things up on our website which discuss this further. Some folks may really be genuinely within the application criteria with respect to a Tourist Visa. Meanwhile other folks might not be and they might simply be unaware that there are other visa categories which may suit their needs.