I was denied a non-immigrant visa because I was told I lacked “strong ties” to my home country. What does that mean?

July 25, 2016

According to U.S. immigration law, consular officers are obligated to assume that all non-immigrant visa applicants intend to immigrate to the United States. It is the responsibility of each applicant to prove to the satisfaction of the consular officer that he/she will return to the Dominican Republic upon the completion of the stated purpose of travel. Specifically, a non-immigrant visa applicant may be refused under Section 214(b) of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act if the consular officer is not fully convinced that the applicant maintains a residence abroad that he/she has no intention of abandoning. In order to qualify for a visa, an applicant must demonstrate that he/she has strong ties commitments to the Dominican Republic and intends to neither take residence nor seek unauthorized employment in the United States.

Strong ties to the Dominican Republic differ from person to person. For some, ties derive from business/professional connections. Others may demonstrate financial ties or significant property/ real estate investments in the country. It is also very possible to demonstrate ties through family and social links here in the Dominican Republic. Each case is unique. It is important to clearly and succinctly communicate with the consular officer any information that sheds light on your particular situation and will show that you intend to depart the United States in a timely manner and resume your life in the Dominican Republic.

Denial of a visa under section 214(b) is not permanent. An applicant is free to reapply whenever he/she chooses. However, the requirement to demonstrate strong ties to the Dominican Republic is always the basis for issuance of a visa. Before deciding to reapply for a non-immigrant visa, it is advisable to wait until you are able to demonstrate stronger personal, business, professional, and/or cultural ties to your home country.