214 b Non Immigrant (visitor) Visa Denial: which countries get denied the most

People often think that getting a non immigrant visa to visit or study in the US will be easy. This is not necessarily true! The government understands that many people try to use a non immigrant visa as a backdoor into the country, so they put measures in place to help stop illegal immigration through the 214 b visa.

The main thing? You must show that you have firm ties to your nation and a reason to return, such as a job, property and/or family there. Check the list below, it’s not the countries you would think that have the easiest ( or hardest) time with non immigrant ( visitor) visa denial.


Which countries have the easiest and hardest time with non immigrant (visitor) visa denial?

  1. You might think that with all of the poverty stricken favelas, Brazilians have a tough time getting visitor visas. Not True with only a 3.5% refusal rate
  2. On the other hand, considering its stability and high employment, you would conclude that Canadians have an easy time.  Also Not True with a very high 43.1% denial rate.
  3. Egypt with its recent troubles would likely have a high refusal rate, right?  But it’s 39.5% which is relatively low. Similarly, with millions displaced, Syrians who apply for visitor visa to the US are denied at a 46.1% rate. And the numbers are not much different for two other countries with similar histories: Iran 48.2% and Iraq 39.2%
  4. Great Britain And Northern Ireland – one might say “slamdunk,” but still 16.9% are denied visitor visa issuance.
  5. Haiti, still reeling from natural disaster, has a 47.1% refusal – which means more than half who apply are approved.
  6. Libya, stinging after recent events, would be unlikely to see many of its citizens allowed to visit the US? Wrong. Only 33.8% are denied visitor visa.
  7. HERE IS PERHAPS THE MOST INCREDIBLE FACT: millions have crossed the border from Mexico yet only 12.1% of those who ask to travel here legally are denied visitor visa.
  8. Norway for some bizarre reason has a variably high 19.1% denial rate.
  9. Pakistan, long on the watch lists, has a variably low 38.5% denial rate.
  10. About 90% of visitor visa applicants from Russia are granted which is pretty remarkable considering the many reasons they might choose to stay in the US.

What do we learn from the above data?

Getting a non immigration (visitor) visa is not as easy as filing the paper work! If you are applying for a non immigrant visitor visa, you might seriously consider the counsel of an immigration attorney, as preparation of the application makes all the difference.

We recently had a case of a young – unmarried man- who needed to come to the US from the Ukraine. He belonged to the highest risk group (young, unmarried, and male), trying to come in from a country in the midst of profound turmoil – and yet we were able to secure a visitor’s visa for him.

This fact is very significant considering the unrest in his homeland as well as how concerned the US government with people traveling here with no permanent ties to their country. 

But it’s all in the presentation of the application. Again, getting a visitor’s visa is not as easy as submitting paperwork. If you really want to come to the US, don’t leave it up to chance. Get the help of a proven professional.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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