Ask the Consul – Applying for a Nonimmigrant U.S. Visa: Myths & Misinformation

An image of a visa.

In the previous Ask the Consul articles we discussed the steps to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.  Now, we will discuss some common myths regarding the visa process in order to dispel any misinformation and misconceptions that may exist.

Myth 1: It is necessary to have a certain amount of money to receive a visa

Many people believe the U.S. Embassy only gives visas to people who have a lot of money. This is incorrect. Our goal is to facilitate legitimate travel between our countries. Consular officers are trained to assess the general situation presented by the applicant during their interview, and not just how much money they have. During the interview, consular officers evaluate each application individually and consider all of the applicant’s circumstances to determine whether a person is eligible for a visa. The consular officer evaluates the overall picture of the applicant’s life.

Myth 2: Cases are rejected when the consular officer does not carefully review your documents

In reality, the information that the applicant gives the consular officer through their answers during the interview is more important than a review of documents. We get much more information from these short interview conversations with the applicants and from their application forms than from the additional documentation they present. Additional documents do not have meaning unless the applicant can explain himself well during the interview.

Myth 3: The Embassy has a limited to the number of visas that can be granted

There is no limit on the number of tourist visas that can be approved each day. Anyone who qualifies for the visa can obtain it.

Myth 4: Tourism visa applicants are denied if they have many relatives living in the U.S.

Many Dominicans have siblings, parents, or children who are legal residents or American citizens, but applications from these individuals are not automatically rejected. Wanting to travel to the U.S. to visit family is a legitimate travel motive. It is important that people with relatives living in the U.S. indicate this in their DS-160 visa application and during their interview with the consular officer.