“Thank God, I am not a Cuban.” This is what every Indian applying for a non-immigrant visa to enter the US might be thinking right now! According to recent US government data on visa refusals, more than 80% of B visitor visa applications for tourism or business purposes were rejected for Cubans in 2016. This data is causing concern regarding which the next nation will be to see the maximum visa refusals.
Well, the idea is not to scare you but to give you a glimpse of the changed situation under the Trump administration. People applying for non-immigrant visas need to be extra cautious during the application and interview process, since a single mistake can ruin their chances of entering the US.
From the experiences of applicants whose visa applications have been rejected, I have created a list of 10 mistakes you should avoid making when applying for a US B1/B2 visa.
10 Reasons Your B1/B2 Visa Could be Denied
1. Application for the Wrong Type of Visa: When filling in the US visa application form, you need to choose from many classes and sub-classes. There have been multiple examples where people selected the wrong category (B1 or B2).
2. Providing Incomplete or Inaccurate Information: Providing complete and truthful information in your visa application is crucial, since any incomplete or false information will only lead to unnecessary delays and even visa denial in extreme cases. What’s worse? Furnishing false information can severely impact your future chances of being granted a US visa.
3. Previously Refused US Visa: The US government doesn’t allow people with a criminal record or someone whose US visa application has previously been refused or a person who has overstayed their US visa to enter to the country again.
4. No Intent of Returning: The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is issued to people who want to travel to the US temporarily, for business purposes (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). However, if the consular officer suspects that the applicant does not intend to return to their home country and is looking to stay on in America, the visa application will immediately be denied.
5. Being Overly Confident During the Interview: Confidence is good but avoid appearing over-confident. It is a put-off anywhere, especially during a visa interview. Whenever I am asked how to prepare for the visa interview, I always advise people to be calm, honest and confident. Over-confident people appear to be taking the interview process too casually, and do not seem serious about their entry into the US.
6. Casual Attitude During the Interview: Reaching late for the interview, and that too in informal clothing, or sitting too casually in front of the consular officer only illustrates that the applicant is not serious about the interview. You need to portray the right attitude.
7. Ineffective Communication: Many people, out of anxiety, commit the mistake of providing too much or too less information to the consular officer during the visa interview. Sometimes, they may not even realize that they have just ruined their chances of getting into the US. The key here is to answer briefly and to-the-point.
8. Giving too Much Information: It has been commonly seen that in order to strengthen their chances or prove their genuineness, many applicants give too much information to the consular officer. As a result, the consular officer gets tempted to ask further questions, whose answers might not be in favour of the applicant.
9. Not Being Able to Provide Accurate Information about the Sponsor: Many get their US trip sponsored by a friend or family member living in USA. The consular officer will be more than interested in knowing everything about them. If you are not able to give the correct information, stay prepared for visa denial.
10. Insufficient Funds to Return to Your Home Country: Other than having sufficient funds to sponsor your stay in the US, you should have enough funds to return to your home country, since the authorities will not want the applicant use this as an excuse to stay back in the US.
These are the major reasons that can increase the chances of your visa being denied, irrespective of the country you belong to. So, prepare well and always fill the application form carefully.