Myth #3 – A Consul can “close” a nonimmigrant visa application

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Z contacted our firm recently with an unusual request: help him submit a new B visa application to a US consulate after he was told that his previous application was “closed.”  Not understanding exactly what this meant, I asked him to forward any correspondence he had received from the consulate.

The correspondence stated that because more than one year had elapsed since his interview, the case had been closed administratively and that if he wanted to pursue a US visa, he would have to reapply again.  A reapplication meant that he would have to submit a new DS-160 application form and pay a new visa application fee. But this was wrong – his application had been pending under Section 221(g), and the US government failed to take any action on his application. The government cannot “sit on” an application and then use that non-action to “close” a case. If that were the case, think of the visa fees that the US could collect: it would be incentivized not to do anything.

While a consular officer has the right to require the submission of a new visa application after more than one year elapsed from the date of the interview, there is no right to collect additional visa application fees.

If your visa application has been “closed” and no decision was made on it, please contact us.