The content below is drawn from the Heartland Immigration e-book, How to Get a Visa for the United States. It is the 18th installment provided on this blog. For more information about US visa law matters, please contact a Heartland Immigration lawyer today: 1-855-USA-IMMIGRATE
The consular officer will hopefully tell you the reason (which, again, is usually that you didn't demonstrate the kind of ties to your country that indicate you'll return instead of staying illegally in the U.S.), and will also tell you why they reached that conclusion based on the documents you submitted (the answers in your application matter most) and what you said during the interview. For example, the officer might say something like "I'm sorry, you don't have the kind of ties to X to overcome Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. (that's the provision that says you're assumed to be an intending immigrant, and thus ineligible for a nonimmigrant visa, unless you can demonstrate very strong ties to your country). You said that you don't have a job, you're not in school, you're not married, you don't own any property, and you've never traveled outside of your country before." This information can be useful for applying again in the future - it might help you know what to do differently or how to show stronger ties to your country.
In the very best case scenario, the consular officer's explanation will reveal a simple misunderstanding that, once corrected, could lead to the officer changing their mind and issuing a visa right away. This doesn't happen too terribly often, but sometimes there will simply be something that gets lost in translation or otherwise flubbed such that the consular officer thinks something that's not actually the case, and it ends up hurting you.
For example, in telling you why they don't think you have the kind of ties you need to demonstrate to be eligible for the visa, the officer might say something like "the fact that your cousin whom you want to visit and stay within the U.S. owns a small construction company and your profession here as a construction worker makes me think you might want to stay in the U.S. and work for your cousin, which would be illegal." In reality, the visa applicant might have actually said that they presently work for their cousin's construction company in their own country, and that they're traveling with that cousin to go see some other family in the U.S. The consular officer might have just been confused, thinking the cousin was in the United States. This kind of mix-up could happen because of a language barrier, because the applicant wasn't very clear in explaining the details because they were nervous, or because the consular officer's head was elsewhere during the discussion. Whatever the cause, this kind of mix-up can really hurt an applicant's chances of getting a visa.
Again, these kind of misunderstandings don't happen all that often, but they do occur. This is the sort of thing that if it does happen, you finding out the reason for the denial right away and explaining further or correcting a misconception might make the consular officer change their mind on the spot. It's therefore highly recommended that you ask the consular officer at the end of the interview to explain to you their reasoning in denying you.
About the Author
By Brad Menzer - Brad blogs regularly for Heartland Immigration. You can contact him at: email@example.com