Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: I am a citizen of the U.K. I was planning to visit the U.S. at the end of the month, to visit some friends. Since I wanted to stay longer than 90 days, I applied for a B-2 visitor’s visa at the U.S. Embassy. I was denied the visa. Can I now go to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN- ARI SAUER: The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows nationals from certain countries to travel to the U.S. as a visitor, for tourism or business, for up to 90 days without a visa. The VWP is available to nationals of the following 36 countries: Andorra; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brunei; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Monaco; the Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; and the United Kingdom. The list of countries that participate in the VWP does change, so visit the Department of State website, http://www.travel.state.gov, for the most up to date list.
Foreign nationals who wish to stay in the U.S. longer than 90 days, or who are traveling to the U.S. for purposes other than as a tourist or for a B-1 visa appropriate business purpose, are required to apply for visas even if they are a national of one of these 36 countries.
Foreign nationals who enter the U.S. on the VWP are not eligible to change status to another nonimmigrant status or apply for Adjustment of Status to that of a Legal Permanent Resident (green card), except in limited circumstances. Foreign nationals who have previously been denied entry into the U.S. or who have previously stayed in the U.S. more than 90 days after being admitted on the VWP are ineligible t
o apply for admission under the VWP and must apply for a visa for future travel to the U.S.
A Foreign national who has recently been denied a visa for any reason, while not permanently barred from entering on the VWP, could still be denied the required authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), could be subjected to additional questioning at the port of entry, and could be denied entry to the U.S. on the VWP at the port of entry.
Therefore you might not be able to enter the U.S. for your trip without a visa. The most common reason for a visitor visa being denied is under INA Section 214(b) for failure to show that you have strong ties to your home country, that you are likely to return to your home country upon the expiration of your authorized stay, or for failure to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the U.S. so that you will not be required to work while you are in the U.S. A denial of a visa under Section 214(b) does not make you ineligible to reapply. Therefore I would suggest that you reapply for a B-2 visitor visa and bring as much documentation as you can to show that you have strong ties to the U.K. and enough money in your bank account to support yourself while you are in the U.S. As these visa appointments are usually only a few minutes long, you should have the documentation organized in a manner to allow the consular officer to go through the documentation quickly.
If you would like assistance with this process or you would like to discuss this or other issues further, you can schedule a consultation with me by calling 1-800-343-4890 or 901-682-6455 or by clicking here to
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* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of New York and New Jersey. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.