Reasons Why You May Be Ineligible for a Visa
Under US immigration laws, not everyone will be eligible to receive a visa to travel to the United States. There are several grounds for finding an alien ineligible for a visa, including:
Aliens found to have communicable diseases that pose significant public health risks to Americans will not be allowed to travel to the US. This can include those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Additionally, aliens will have to provide proof of vaccination for several diseases, including polio, measles, mumps, hepatitis B and influenza type B.
Aliens who are habitual drug users or who have physical or mental disorders that would and have posed a risk to themselves or others also may be denied visas on health grounds.
Conviction of certain crimes is a valid reason for denying a visa request. These include:
- Crimes of moral turpitude
- Drug crimes that violate any US local, state or federal law, or the laws of a foreign country, including charges for conspiracy or attempt to commit drug crimes and drug trafficking
- Multiple criminal convictions (defined as two or more convictions with aggregate sentences over the past five years)
- Human trafficking
- Money laundering
Conviction for other crimes also may impact an alien's ability to receive a US visa. US embassies and consulates run extensive background and criminal history checks on each visa applicant, so it is important to be truthful about any criminal convictions or pending charges you may have against you.
Over the past several years, the United States has increased its scrutiny of visa applications for security threats. While terrorism is one of the chief security concerns of the United States, other security threats also can result in a visa denial, including espionage or sabotage of US goods, technology or sensitive information; attempts to overthrow the US government; and membership in a totalitarian political party. If the US determines that allowing a specific individual into the country will have a serious adverse effect on US foreign policy, the US also may deny a visa application on security grounds.
As part of the efforts to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of evaluating security risks, all visa applicants between the ages of 14 to 79 are required to provide biometric data as part of the application process, which includes digital photographs and fingerprints. This information is then used to verify that the original visa applicant is the same person who is using the visa to enter the US at a port of entry.
Some of the other grounds for which an alien may be denied a visa include those charged with unlawful voting, international child abduction, polygamy and draft evasion. Certain aliens who were previously deported from the US or failed to attend their removal proceedings also may be denied visas. Aliens who abused or failed to comply with the conditions of a previous visa may be unable to obtain a new one, such as those who abused the privileges of a student visa.
Other grounds than those listed here also may result in an alien being denied a visa. If you have concerns about your visa application or have been denied a visa, contact an experienced immigration attorney for guidance.
Getting Ready To Apply for a Visa
To read and print out a copy of the checklist, please review Getting Ready to Apply for a Visa
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