Title 22 Part 41 → Subpart L → §41.121
Title 22 → Chapter I → Subchapter E → Part 41 → Subpart L → §41.121
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 22 Part 41 → Subpart L → §41.121
§41.121 Refusal of nonimmigrant visas.
(a) Grounds for refusal. Nonimmigrant visa refusals must be based on legal grounds, such as one or more provisions of INA 212(a), INA 212(e), INA 214(b) or (f) or (l) (as added by Section 625 of Pub. L. 104-208), INA 221(g), INA 222(g), or other applicable law. Certain classes of nonimmigrant aliens are exempted from specific provisions of INA 212(a) under INA 102 and, upon a basis of reciprocity, under INA 212(d)(8). When a visa application has been properly completed and executed in accordance with the provisions of the INA and the implementing regulations, the consular officer must issue the visa, refuse the visa, or, pursuant to an outstanding order under INA 243(d), discontinue granting the visa.
(b) Refusal procedure. (1) When a consular officer knows or has reason to believe a visa applicant is ineligible and refuses the issuance of a visa, he or she must inform the alien of the ground(s) of ineligibility (unless disclosure is barred under INA 212(b)(2) or (3)) and whether there is, in law or regulations, a mechanism (such as a waiver) to overcome the refusal. The officer shall note the reason for the refusal on the application. Upon refusing the nonimmigrant visa, the consular officer shall retain the original of each document upon which the refusal was based, as well as each document indicating a possible ground of ineligibility, and should return all other supporting documents supplied by the applicant.
(2) If an alien, who has not yet filed a visa application, seeks advice from a consular officer, who knows or has reason to believe that the alien is ineligible to receive a visa on grounds which cannot be overcome by the presentation of additional evidence, the officer shall so inform the alien. The consular officer shall inform the applicant of the provision of law or regulations upon which a refusal of a visa, if applied for, would be based (subject to the exception in paragraph (b)(1) of this section). If practicable, the consular officer should request the alien to execute a nonimmigrant visa application in order to make a formal refusal. If the individual fails to execute a visa application in these circumstances, the consular officer shall treat the matter as if a visa had been refused and create a record of the presumed ineligibility which shall be filed in the consular office.
(c) Nonimmigrant refusals must be reviewed, in accordance with guidance by the Secretary of State, by consular supervisors, or a designated alternate, to ensure compliance with laws and procedures. If the ground(s) of ineligibility upon which the visa was refused cannot be overcome by the presentation of additional evidence, the refusal must be reviewed without delay; that is, on the day of the refusal or as soon as it is administratively possible. If the ground(s) of ineligibility may be overcome by the presentation of additional evidence, and the applicant has indicated the intention to submit such evidence, a review of the refusal may be deferred for not more than 120 days. If the reviewing officer disagrees with the decision and he or she has a consular commission and title, the reviewing officer can assume responsibility and readjudicate the case. If the reviewing officer does not have a consular commission and title, he or she must consult with the adjudicating officer, or with the Visa Office, to resolve any disagreement.
(d) Review of refusal by Department. The Department may request a consular officer in a specific case or in specified classes of cases to submit a report if a visa has been refused. The Department will review each report and may furnish an advisory opinion to the consular officer for assistance in considering the case further. If the officer believes that action contrary to an advisory opinion should be taken, the case shall be resubmitted to the Department with an explanation of the proposed action. Rulings of the Department concerning an interpretation of law, as distinguished from an application of the law to the facts, shall be binding upon consular officers.
[52 FR 42597, Nov. 5, 1987, as amended at 56 FR 30428, July 2, 1991; 63 FR 671, Jan. 7, 1998; 66 FR 10364, Feb. 15, 2001; 71 FR 50339, Aug. 25, 2006; 84 FR 16612, Apr. 22, 2019]