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Study & Exchanges – Refusals

Section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act requires that Consular Officers must assume that every visa applicant intends to leave his or her home country and immigrate to the United States. The applicant must convey during the interview that this presumption of immigrant intent is not true.

The Consular Officer must be convinced that the applicant:

1- Has a home outside the United States that they will not abandon;

2- Is visiting the United States temporarily and will leave when the stated purpose of travel is complete;

3- Is able to pay for the trip; and

4- Meets the requirements of the visa type for which they are applying, and/or that planned activities in the U.S. are allowed by that category.

Why you were refused

As each person’s situation is different, there is no single reason that explains all refusals. The most common reason for being refused is that the officer decided, based on your information and circumstance that your social, family, economic or other ties to Iraq are not strong enough to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent and qualify for a visa. “Ties” are the various aspects of life that bind you to Iraq, such as family relationships, employment commitments, possessions and other factors.

Another common reason for a refusal is that based on your information and circumstance, you do not meet the qualifications for the visa category for which you are applying, or that your planned activities in the U.S. are not allowed by that category.

Can I reapply?

Section 214(b) denials are not permanent. If you have new information or if your overall circumstances have changed significantly, you may reapply. Applicants who provide identical information in a second interview rarely get a different result.


The I-20 or DS-2019 does not entitle you to a visa. This form only states that you have been accepted to a school in the U.S. Students must show that they are credible, qualified students and that they intend to leave the U.S. after they finish their studies.

Students may be ineligible if it appears that their primary purpose is an indefinite stay in the U.S. for themselves or their family.

Visa helper or Travel Agents

Some applicants may hire the service of travel agents to facilitate the visa application procedure. While some agents provide helpful information, most do not. They are also expensive and often exaggerate their helpfulness.

Applicants who provide false information in their visa application with the help of visa agent may be permanently ineligible for a visa to the United States.

Remember: You alone are responsible for the accuracy of the information in your application. Intentionally submitting false information either on the application itself or during the visa interview can lead to permanent visa ineligibility. Never submit your application without reviewing it first for accuracy if you have had help filling it out.