I am often contacted by those refused visas under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and asked: “How can this be? I have great ties to my country. Married, kids, a good job. How can they say I don’t have enough ties?” Unfortunately, many do not understand that “ties” are only a part of the 214(b) equation; another factor considered by consular officers is whether the purpose of the trip to the US corresponds to the type of visa applied for.
A gentleman recently contacted me about B-1 business visa refusals under 214(b). His problem was not that he lacked ties to his home country, but that he planned to work in the United States on the visa. It sounded like he received bad advice from an incompetent attorney, and then “dug his own grave” by attempting to obtain the visa under varying pretexts.
His case was sympathetic in the sense that it sounded like his attorney was genuinely incompetent and perhaps unethical. The individual set up a company in the US, rented an office, opened a corporate bank account, and placed a substantial amount of money on the account. He rented an apartment and bought a car. His B-1 visa expired, so he applied for a new visa – honestly, telling the consul he planned to work. The consul – correctly – denied the visa.
The company then applied for an L-1 visa for him, but received a 10-page Request for Evidence. On the advice of his attorney, he applied for a B-1 visa again – with a changed story about the purpose of his visit. Fortunately for him, the consul only denied him under 214(b), when a 212(a)(6)(C) misrepresentation finding may have been appropriate.
Now the gentlemen wants to close the American company, the corporate bank account, and “finish his affairs” in the US, but he cannot receive a visa to do so. Unfortunately for him, the consul believes that he plans to work – and will not issue to him a visa to wrap up his US business. Once you start down one visa path, it can be difficult to reverse course. (Or as they say, “once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t put it back.”) He will need to have a friend in the US or a representative close the corporate account and send him the personal items he left behind in the US. Maybe in a couple of years he will be able to obtain a visa to visit Disney World, but right now… he – and his “ties” – are stuck in his home country, wondering what could have been.
If you have been denied under 214(b) and would like to have your case evaluated objectively, please contact us.