Disclaimer and Copyright | Updates
22 CFR 41.101 Place of application.
(a) Application for regular visa made at jurisdictional consular office of alien's residence or physical presence.
(1) An alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa shall make application at a consular office having jurisdiction over the alien's place of residence, or if the alien is a resident of Taiwan, at the American Institute in Taiwan, unless-
(i) The alien is physically present in the United States and is entitled to apply for issuance or reissuance of a visa under the provisions of §41.111(b); or
(ii) A consular office having jurisdiction over the area in which the alien is physically present but not resident has agreed, as a matter of discretion or at the direction of the Department, to accept the alien's application; or
(iii) The alien is subject to INA 222(g) and must apply as set forth in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section.
(2) The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services is authorized to designate the geographical area for which each consular office possesses jurisdiction to process nonimmigrant visa applications.
(b) Place of application for persons subject to INA 222(g). Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, an alien whose prior nonimmigrant visa has been voided pursuant to INA 222(g), who is applying for a new nonimmigrant visa, shall make application at a consular office which has jurisdiction in or for the country of the alien's nationality unless extraordinary circumstances have been determined to exist with respect to that alien as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Exceptions based on extraordinary circumstances.
(1) An alien physician serving in underserved areas of the United States under the provisions of INA 214(l) for whom an application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement and/or a petition to accord H-1B status was filed prior to the end of the alien's authorized period of stay and was subsequently approved, but whose authorized stay expired during the adjudication of such application(s), shall make application in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
(2) Any other individual or group whose circumstances are determined to be extraordinary, in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section, by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services upon the favorable recommendation of an immigration or consular officer, shall make application in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
(3) An alien who has, or immediately prior to the alien's last entry into the United States had, a residence in a country other than the country of the alien's nationality shall apply at a consular office with jurisdiction in or for the country of residence.
(4) An alien who is a national and resident of a country in which there is no United States consular office shall apply at a consular office designated by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services to accept immigrant visa applications from persons of that nationality.
(5) An alien who possesses more than one nationality and who has, or immediately prior to the alien's last entry into the United States had, a residence in one of the countries of the alien's nationality shall apply at a consular office in the country of such residence.
(d) Definitions relevant to INA 222(g).
(1) Extraordinary circumstances - Extraordinary circumstances may be found where compelling humanitarian or national interests exist or where necessary for the effective administration of the immigration laws. Extraordinary circumstances shall not be found upon the basis of convenience or financial burden to the alien, the alien's relative, or the alien's employer.
(2) Nationality - For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, a stateless person shall be considered to be a national of the country which issued the alien's travel document.
(e) Regular visa defined. "Regular visa" means a nonimmigrant visa of any classification which does not bear the title "Diplomatic" or "Official." A nonimmigrant visa is issued as a regular visa unless the alien falls within one of the classes entitled to a diplomatic or an official visa as described in §41.26(c) or §41.27(c).
(f) Q-2 nonimmigrant visas. The American Consulate General at Belfast is designated to accept applications for the Q-2 visa from residents of the geographic area of Northern Ireland. The American Embassy at Dublin is designated to accept applications for Q-2 visas from residents of the geographic area of the counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, and Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an applicant for a Q-2 visa may not apply at any other consular post. Consular officers at the Consulate General at Belfast and at the Embassy at Dublin have discretion to accept applications for Q-2 visas from aliens who are resident in a qualifying geographic area outside of their respective consular districts, but who are physically present in their consular district.
§ 41.102 Personal appearance of applicant.
(a) Except when the requirement of personal appearance has been waived pursuant to paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section, each applicant for a nonimmigrant visa who is at least 14 years of age and not more than 79 years of age must personally appear before and be interviewed by a consular officer, who shall determine on the basis of the applicant's representations, the visa application and other relevant documentation:
(1) The proper nonimmigrant classification, if any, of the alien; and
(2) The alien's eligibility to receive a visa.
(b) Waivers of personal appearance by consular officers. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section or as otherwise instructed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services, a consular officer may waive the requirement of personal appearance if the consular officer concludes the alien presents no national security concerns requiring an interview and:
(1) Is within a class of nonimmigrants classifiable under the visa symbols A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (except attendants, servants, or personal employees of accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, NATO-6, or is a Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) nonimmigrant classifiable under visa symbol E-1, and is seeking a visa in such classification; or
(2) Is an applicant for a diplomatic or official visa as described in § 41.26 or § 41.27 of this chapter; or
(3) Is an applicant who is within 12 months of the expiration of the applicant's previously issued visa and:
(i) Is seeking re-issuance of a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification;
(ii) Is applying at the consular post of the applicant's usual residence; and
(iii) Is an applicant for whom the consular officer has no indication of visa ineligibility or of noncompliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations.
(c) Waivers of personal appearance in the national interest. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, the Secretary may waive the requirement of personal appearance of an individual applicant or a class of applicants if the Secretary determines that such waiver is in the national interest of the United States.
(d) Waivers of personal appearance in unusual or emergent circumstances. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services may waive the requirement of personal appearance of an individual applicant or a class of applicants if the Deputy Assistant Secretary determines that such waiver is necessary as a result of unusual or emergent circumstances.
(e) Cases in which personal appearance may not be waived. Except for a nonimmigrant applicant whose personal appearance is waived under paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), or (c) of this section, the personal appearance requirement may not be waived for:
(1) Any nonimmigrant applicant who is not a national or resident of the country in which he or she is applying.
(2) Any nonimmigrant applicant who was previously refused a visa, is listed in CLASS, or otherwise requires a Security Advisory Opinion, unless:
(i) The visa was refused and the refusal was subsequently overcome; or
(ii) The alien was found inadmissible, but the inadmissibility was waived.
(3) Any nonimmigrant applicant who is from a country designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor of terrorism, regardless of age, or who is a member of a group or sector designated by the Secretary of State under section 222(h)(2)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
§ 41.103 Filing an application and Form DS-156.
(a) Filing an application -
(1) Filing of application required.Every alien seeking a nonimmigrant visa must make an electronic application on Form DS-160 or, as directed by a consular officer, an application on Form DS-156. The Form DS-160 must be signed electronically by clicking the box designated "Sign Application" in the certification section of the application.
(2) Filing of an electronic application (Form DS-160) or Form DS-156 by alien under 16 or physically incapable. The application for an alien under 16 years of age or one physically incapable of completing an application may be completed and executed by the alien's parent or guardian, or if the alien has no parent or guardian, by any person having legal custody of, or a legitimate interest in, the alien.
(3) Waiver of filing of application when personal appearance is waived. Even if personal appearance of a visa applicant is waived pursuant to 22 CFR 41.102 , the requirement for filing an application is not waived.
(b) Application -
(1) Preparation of Electronic Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) or, alternatively, Form DS-156. The consular officer shall ensure that the application is fully and properly completed in accordance with the applicable regulations and instructions.
(2) Additional requirements and information as part of application. Applicants who are required to appear for a personal interview must provide a biometric, which will serve to authenticate identity and additionally verify the accuracy and truthfulness of the statements in the application at the time of interview. The consular officer may require the submission of additional necessary information or question an alien on any relevant matter whenever the consular officer believes that the information provided in the application is inadequate to permit a determination of the alien's eligibility to receive a nonimmigrant visa. Additional statements made by the alien become a part of the visa application. All documents required by the consular officer under the authority of §41.105(a) are considered papers submitted with the alien's application within the meaning of INA 221(g)(1).
(3) Signature. The Form DS-160 shall be signed electronically by clicking the box designated "Sign Application" in the certification section of the application. This electronic signature attests to the applicant's familiarity with and intent to be bound by all statements in the NIV application under penalty of perjury. Alternatively, except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the Form DS-156 shall be signed by the applicant, with intent to be bound by all statement in the NIV application under penalty of perjury.
(4) Registration. The Form DS-160 or the Form DS-156, when duly executed, constitutes the alien's registration for the purposes of INA 221(b).
§ 41.104 Passport requirements.
(a) Passports defined. "Passport" as defined in INA 101(a)(30) is not limited to a national passport or to a single document. A passport may consist of two or more documents which, when considered together, fulfill the requirements of a passport, provided that the documentary evidence of permission to enter a foreign country has been issued by a competent authority and clearly meets the requirements of INA 101(a)(30).
(b) Passport requirement. Except for certain persons in the A, C-3, G, and NATO classifications and persons for whom the passport requirement has been waived pursuant to the provisions of INA 212(d)(4), every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa is required to present a passport, as defined above and in INA 101(a)(30), which is valid for the period required by INA 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(I).
(c) A single passport including more than one person. The passport requirement for a nonimmigrant visa may be met by the presentation of a passport including more than one person, if such inclusion is authorized under the laws or regulations of the issuing authority and if a photograph of each visa applicant 16 years of age or over has been attached to the passport by the issuing authority.
(d) Applicants for diplomatic visas. Every applicant for a diplomatic visa must present a diplomatic passport, or the equivalent thereof, having the period of validity required by INA 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(I), unless such requirement has been waived pursuant to the authority contained in INA 212(d)(4) or unless the case falls within the provisions of §41.21(b).
§ 41.105 Supporting documents and fingerprinting.
(a) Supporting documents --
(1) Authority to require documents. The consular officer is authorized to require documents considered necessary to establish the alien's eligibility to receive a nonimmigrant visa. All documents and other evidence presented by the alien, including briefs submitted by attorneys or other representatives, shall be considered by the consular officer.
(2) Unobtainable documents. If the consular officer is satisfied that a document or record required under the authority of this section is unobtainable, the consular officer may accept satisfactory alternative pertinent evidence. A document or other record shall be considered unobtainable if it cannot be procured without causing the applicant or a member of the applicant's family actual hardship as distinct from normal delay and inconvenience.
(3) Photographs required. Every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa must furnish a photograph in such numbers as the consular officer may require. Photographs must be a reasonable likeness, 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches in size, unmounted, and showing a full, front-face view of the applicant against a light background. At the discretion of the consular officer, head coverings may be permitted provided they do not interfere with the full, front-face view of the applicant. The applicant must sign (full name) on the reverse side of the photographs. The consular officer may use a previously submitted photograph, if he is satisfied that it bears a reasonable likeness to the applicant.
(4) Police certificates. A police certificate is a certification by the police or other appropriate authorities stating what, if anything, their records show concerning the alien. An applicant for a nonimmigrant visa is required to present a police certificate if the consular officer has reason to believe that a police or criminal record exists, except that no police certificate is required in the case of an alien who is within a class of nonimmigrants classifiable under visa symbols A-1, A-2, C-3, G-1 through G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6.
(b) Fingerprinting. Every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa must furnish fingerprints, as required by the consular officer.
§ 41.106 Processing. Consular officers must ensure that the Form DS-160 or, alternatively, Form DS-156 is properly and promptly processed in accordance with the applicable regulations and instructions.
§ 41.107 Visa fees.
(a) Fees based on reciprocity. The fees for the issuance of visas, including official visas, to nonimmigrant nationals or stateless residents of each foreign country shall be collected in the amounts prescribed by the Secretary of State unless, on the basis of reciprocity, no fee is chargeable. If practicable, fees will correspond to the total amount of all visa, entry, residence, or other similar fees, taxes or charges assessed or levied against nationals of the United States by the foreign countries of which such nonimmigrants are nationals or stateless residents.
(b) Fees when more than one alien included in visa. A single nonimmigrant visa may be issued to include all eligible family members if the spouse and unmarried minor children of a principal alien are included in one passport. Each alien must execute a separate application. The name of each family member shall be inserted in the space provided in the visa stamp. The visa fee to be collected shall equal the total of the fees prescribed by the Secretary of State for each alien included in the visa, unless upon a basis of reciprocity a lesser fee is chargeable.
(c) Certain aliens exempted from fees.
(1) Upon a basis of reciprocity, or as provided in section 13(a) of the Headquarters Agreement with the United Nations (61 Stat. 716; 22 U.S.C. 287, Note), no fee shall be collected for the application for or issuance of a nonimmigrant visa to an alien who is within a class of nonimmigrants classifiable under the visa symbols A, G, C-2, C-3, or NATO, or B-1 issued for participation in an official observer mission to the United Nations, or who is issued a diplomatic visa as defined in §41.26.
(2) The consular officer shall waive the nonimmigrant visa application and issuance fees for an alien who will be engaging in charitable activities for a charitable organization upon the written request of the charitable organization claiming that it will find the fees a financial burden, if the consular officer is satisfied that:
(i) The organization seeking relief from the fees is, if based in the United States, tax-exempt as a charitable organization under the provisions of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)); if a foreign organization based outside the United States in a country having laws according recognition to charitable institutions, that it establishes that it is recognized as a charitable institution by that government; and if a foreign organization based in a country without such laws, that it is engaged in activities substantially similar to those underlying section 501(c)(3), and
(ii) The charitable activities in which the alien will engage are specified and will be a part of, or will be related to and in support of, the organization's provision of services, including but not limited to health care, food and housing, job training, and similar direct services and assistance to the poor and needy, and
(iii) The request includes the location of the proposed activities, the number and identifying data of each of the alien(s) who will be applying for visas, and
(iv) The proposed duration of the alien(s)'s temporary stay in the United States is reasonably consistent with the charitable purpose for which the alien(s) seek to enter the United States.
(3) Foreign national employees of the U. S. Government who are travelling to the United States on official business in connection with that employment.
(d) Refund of fees. A fee collected for the issuance of a nonimmigrant visa is refundable only if the principal officer at a post or the officer in charge of a consular section determines that the visa was issued in error or could not be used as a result of action taken by the U.S. Government for which the alien was not responsible and over which the alien had no control.
(e)(1) Visa processing surcharge. In addition to the collection of the fee prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section, a consular officer shall collect or ensure the collection of a surcharge for the processing of applications for machine readable nonimmigrant visas and for machine readable combined border crossing cards in the amount specified by the Secretary of State from such applicants as the Secretary of State shall designate. Such surcharge is refundable only if, as a result of action taken by the U.S. Goverment for which the alien was not responsible and over which the alien had no control, the alien's application is not processed.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a consular officer shall collect or insure the collection of a processing fee for a machine-readable combined border crossing card and nonimmigrant visa in an amount determined by the Secretary and set forth in 22 CFR 22.1 to be sufficient only to cover the cost for manufacturing the combined card and visa if:
(i) The alien is a Mexican citizen under the age of 15;
(ii) The alien is applying in Mexico; and
(iii) The alien has at least one parent or guardian who has a visa or is applying for a machine-readable combined border crossing card and visa.
§ 41.108 Medical examination.
(a) Requirements for medical examination. An applicant for a nonimmigrant visa shall be required to take a medical examination if:
(1) The alien is an applicant for a K nonimmigrant visa as a fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen or as the child of such an applicant; or,
(2) The alien is seeking admission for medical treatment and the consular officer considers a medical examination advisable; or,
(3) The consular officer has reason to believe that a medical examination might disclose that the alien is medically ineligible to receive a visa.
(b) Examination by panel physician. The required examination, which must be carried out in accordance with United States Public Health Service regulations, shall be conducted by a physician selected by the alien from a panel of physicians approved by the consular officer or, if the alien is in the United States, by a medical officer of the United States Public Health Service or by a contract physician from a list of physicians approved by the DHS for the examination of INA 245 adjustment of status applicants.
(c) Panel physician facility requirements. A consular officer may not include the name of a physician on the panel of physicians referred to in paragraph (b) of this section unless the physician has facilities to perform required serological and X-ray tests or is in a position to refer applicants to a qualified laboratory for such tests.
§ 41.111 Authority to issue visa.
(a) Issuance outside the United States. Any consular officer is authorized to issue regular and official visas. Diplomatic visas may be issued only by:
(1) A consular officer attached to a U.S. diplomatic mission, if authorized to do so by the Chief of Mission; or
(2) A consular officer assigned to a consular office under the jurisdiction of a diplomatic mission, if so authorized by the Department or the Chief, Deputy Chief, or Counselor for Consular Affairs of that mission, or, if assigned to a consular post not under the jurisdiction of a diplomatic mission, by the principal officer of that post.
(b) Issuance in the United States in certain cases. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services and such officers of the Department as the former may designate are authorized, in their discretion, to issue nonimmigrant visas, including diplomatic visas, to:
(1) Qualified aliens who are currently maintaining status and are properly classifiable in the A, C-2, C-3, G or NATO category and intend to reenter the United States in that status after a temporary absence abroad and who also present evidence that:
(i) They have been lawfully admitted in that status or have, after admission, had their classification changed to that status; and
(ii) Their period of authorized stay in the United States in that status has not expired; and
(2) Other qualified aliens who:
(i) Are currently maintaining status in the E, H, I, L, O, or P nonimmigrant category;
(ii) Intend to reenter the United States in that status after a temporary absence abroad; and
(iii) Who also present evidence that:
(A) They were previously issued visas at a consular office abroad and admitted to the United States in the status which they are currently maintaining; and
(B) Their period of authorized admission in that status has not expired.
§ 41.112 Validity of visa.
(a) Significance of period of validity of visa. The period of validity of a nonimmigrant visa is the period during which the alien may use it in making application for admission. The period of visa validity has no relation to the period of time the immigration authorities at a port of entry may authorize the alien to stay in the United States.
(b) Validity of visa and number of applications for admission.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, a nonimmigrant visa shall have the validity prescribed in schedules provided to consular officers by the Department, reflecting insofar as practicable the reciprocal treatment accorded U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents, or aliens granted refugee status in the U.S. by the government of the country of which the alien is a national, permanent resident, refugee or stateless resident.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) of this section, United States nonimmigrant visas shall have a maximum validity period of 10 years.
(3) An unexpired visa is valid for application for admission even if the passport in which the visa is stamped has expired, provided the alien is also in possession of a valid passport issued by the authorities of the country of which the alien is a national.
(c) Limitation on validity. If warranted in an individual case, a consular officer may issue a nonimmigrant visa for:
(1) A period of validity that is less than that prescribed on a basis of reciprocity,
(2) A number of applications for admission within the period of the validity of the visa that is less than that prescribed on a basis of reciprocity,
(3) Application for admission at a specified port or at specified ports of entry, or
(4) Use on and after a given date subsequent to the date of issuance.
(d) Automatic extension of validity at ports of entry.
(1) Provided that the requirements set out in paragraph (d)(2) of this section are fully met, the following provisions apply to nonimmigrant aliens seeking readmission at ports of entry:
(i) The validity of an expired nonimmigrant visa issued under INA 101(a)(15) may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission; and
(ii) In cases where the original nonimmigrant classification of an alien has been changed by DHS to another nonimmigrant classification, the validity of an expired or unexpired nonimmigrant visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission, and the visa may be converted as necessary to that changed classification.
(2) The provisions in paragraph (d)(1) of this section are applicable only in the case of a nonimmigrant alien who:
(i) Is in possession of a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay, or, in the case of a qualified F or J student or exchange visitor or the accompanying spouse or child of such an alien, is in possession of a current Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, or Form IAP-66, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, issued by the school the student has been authorized to attend by DHS, or by the sponsor of the exchange program in which the alien has been authorized to participate by DHS, and endorsed by the issuing school official or program sponsor to indicate the period of initial admission or extension of stay authorized by DHS;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days solely in contiguous territory, or, in the case of a student or exchange visitor or accompanying spouse or child meeting the stipulations of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, after an absence not exceeding 30 days in contiguous territory or adjacent islands other than Cuba;
(iii) Has maintained and intends to resume nonimmigrant status;
(iv) Is applying for readmission within the authorized period of initial admission or extension of stay;
(v) Is in possession of a valid passport;
(vi) Does not require authorization for admission under INA 212(d)(3); and
(vii) Has not applied for a new visa while abroad.
(3) The provisions in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section shall not apply to the nationals of countries identified as supporting terrorism in the Department's annual report to Congress entitled Patterns of Global Terrorism.
[NAFSA ed. note: This report is now called Country Reports on Terrorism. This title replaced the previously published title Patterns of Global Terrorism beginning with the report for 2004. The three countries currently listed as State Sponsors of Terrorism are: Iran, Sudan, and Syria.]
§ 41.113 Procedures in issuing visas.
(a) Evidence of visa. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) of this section, a nonimmigrant visa shall be evidenced by a physical visa placed in the alien's passport or by an electronic visa located in the Department's records. The appropriate symbol as prescribed in 41.12, showing the classification of the alien, shall be entered on the visa.
(b) Cases in which a physical visa is not placed in passport. In the following cases a physical visa shall be placed on the prescribed Form DS-232. In issuing such a visa, a notation shall be made on the Form DS-232 on which the visa is placed, specifying the pertinent subparagraph of this paragraph under which the action is taken.
(1) The alien's passport was issued by a government with which the United States does not have formal diplomatic relations, unless the Department has specifically authorized the placing of the visa in such passport;
(2) The passport requirement has been waived; or
(3) In other cases as authorized by the Department.
(c) Visa format. A machine-readable visa shall be in the format designated by the Department, and contain, at a minimum, the following data:
(1) Full name of the applicant;
(2) Visa type/class;
(3) Location of the visa issuing office;
(4) Passport number;
(6) Date of birth;
(8) Number of applications for admission authorized, or the letter "M" for multiple applications for admission authorized;
(9) Date of issuance;
(10) Date of expiration;
(11) Visa control number.
(d) Insertion of name, petition, and derivative status notation.
(1) The surname and given name of the visa recipient shall be shown on the space provided.
(2) If the visa is being issued upon the basis of a petition approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the number of the petition, if any, the period for which the alien's admission has been authorized, and the name of the petitioner shall be reflected in the annotation field on the visa.
(3) In the case of an alien who derives status from a principal alien, the name of the principal alien and of the petitioner shall be reflected in the annotation field on the visa.
(e) Period of validity. If a nonimmigrant visa is issued for an unlimited number of applications for admission within the period of validity, the letter "M" shall be shown under the word "entries". Otherwise the number of permitted applications for admission shall be identified numerically. The date of issuance and the date of expiration of the visa shall be shown at the appropriate places in the visa by day, month and year in that order. The standard three letter abbreviation for the month shall be used in all cases.
(f) Restriction to specified port(s) of entry. If a nonimmigrant visa is valid for admission only at one or more specified ports of entry, the names of those ports shall be entered in the annotation field. In cases where there is insufficient room to list the port(s) of entry, they shall be listed by hand on a clean passport page. Reference shall be made in the visa's annotation field citing the passport page upon which the port(s) are listed.
(g) Delivery of visa. In issuing a nonimmigrant visa, the consular officer should deliver the visaed passport, or the prescribed Form DS-232, which bears the visa, to the alien or to the alien's authorized representative. Any evidence furnished by the alien in accordance with 41.103(b) should be retained in the consular files, along with Form DS-156, if received.
(h) Disposition of supporting documents. Original supporting documents furnished by the alien should be returned for presentation, if necessary, to the immigration authorities at the port of entry. Duplicate copies may be retained in the consular files or scanned into the consular system.
(i) Review of nonimmigrant visa issuances. Nonimmigrant visa issuances must be reviewed, in accordance with guidance by the Secretary of State, by consular supervisors, or a designated alternate, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures.
§ 41.121 Refusal of individual 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.
§ 41.122 Revocation of visas.
(a) Grounds for revocation by consular officers. A consular officer, the Secretary, or a Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority is authorized to revoke a nonimmigrant visa at any time, in his or her discretion.
(b) Provisional revocation.
22 CFR 41.122(b)(1)
(1) General. A provisional revocation is subject to reversal through internal procedures established by the Department of State. Upon reversal of the revocation, the visa immediately resumes the validity provided for on its face. Provisional revocation shall have the same force and effect as any other visa revocation under INA 221(i), unless and until the revocation has been reversed. Neither the provisional revocation of a visa nor the reversal of a provisional revocation limits, in any way, the revocation authority provided for under INA 221(i), with respect to the particular visa or any other visa.
22 CFR 41.122(b)(2)
(2) Pending visa eligibility determination. A consular officer, the Secretary, or any Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority may provisionally revoke a nonimmigrant visa while considering information related to whether a visa holder is eligible for the visa.
22 CFR 41.122(b)(3)
(3) Automatic provisional revocation based on failure to comply with all EVUS requirements. Visas held by individuals subject to the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) who have not complied with the conditions described in 8 CFR 215.24 or whose notification of compliance has expired or been rescinded are automatically provisionally revoked and are no longer valid for travel to the United States, without further notice to the visa holder. The automatic provisional revocation pursuant to this paragraph (b)(3) shall be automatically reversed upon compliance with EVUS requirements set out at 8 CFR part 215, subpart B, as confirmed by receipt of a notification of compliance. A visa revoked on grounds other than failure to comply with EVUS shall remain revoked, notwithstanding compliance with EVUS.
(c) Notice of revocation. Unless otherwise instructed by the Department, a consular officer shall, if practicable, notify the alien to whom the visa was issued that the visa was revoked or provisionally revoked. Regardless of delivery of such notice, once the revocation has been entered into the Department's Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), the visa is no longer to be considered valid for travel to the United States. The date of the revocation shall be indicated in CLASS and on any notice sent to the alien to whom the visa was issued. This paragraph (c) does not apply to provisional revocations under paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
(d) Procedure for physically canceling visas. A nonimmigrant visa that is revoked shall be canceled by writing or stamping the word "REVOKED" plainly across the face of the visa, if the visa is available to the consular officer. The failure or inability to physically cancel the visa does not affect the validity of the revocation.
(e) Revocation of visa by immigration officer. An immigration officer is authorized to revoke a valid visa by physically canceling it in accordance with the procedure prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section if:
(1) The alien obtains an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status to that of permanent resident;
(2) The alien is ordered excluded from the United States under INA 236, as in effect prior to April 1, 1997, or removed from the United States pursuant to INA 235;
(3) The alien is notified pursuant to INA 235 by an immigration officer at a port of entry that the alien appears to be inadmissible to the United States, and the alien requests and is granted permission to withdraw the application for admission;
(4) A final order of deportation or removal or a final order granting voluntary departure with an alternate order of deportation or removal is entered against the alien;
(5) The alien has been permitted by DHS to depart voluntarily from the United States;
(6) DHS has revoked a waiver of inadmissibility granted pursuant to INA 212(d)(3)(A) in relation to the visa that was issued to the alien;
(7) The visa is presented in connection with an application for admission to the United States by a person other than the alien to whom the visa was issued;
(8) The visa has been physically removed from the passport in which it was issued; or
(9) The visa has been issued in a combined Mexican or Canadian B-1/B- 2 visa and border crossing identification card, and the immigration officer makes the determination specified in § 41.32(c) with respect to the alien's Mexican citizenship and/or residence or the determination specified in § 41.33(b) with respect to the alien's status as a permanent resident of Canada.
41.123 Discontinuance of Granting Nonimmigrant Visa Pursuant to INA 243(d).
(a) Grounds for discontinuance of granting a visa. Consular officers in a country subject to an order by the Secretary under INA 243(d) shall discontinue granting nonimmigrant visas for categories of nonimmigrant visas specified in the order of the Secretary (or his or her designee), and pursuant to procedures dictated by the Department.
22 CFR 41.123(b)
(b) Discontinuance procedure-
22 CFR 41.123(b)(1)
(1) Applications refused or discontinued only. Starting on the day the Secretary's (or designee's) order to discontinue granting visas takes effect (effective date), no visas falling within the scope of the order, as described by the order, may be issued in the referenced country to an applicant who falls within the scope of the order, except as otherwise expressly provided in the order or related Department instructions. Beginning on the effective date, a consular officer must refuse the visa if the individual is not eligible for the visa under INA 212(a), INA 221(g), or other applicable law, but if the applicant is otherwise eligible, must process the application by discontinuing granting, regardless of when the application was filed, if the applicant falls within the scope of the order and no exception applies. The application processing fee will not be refunded. The requirement to discontinue issuance may not be waived, and continues until the sanction is terminated as described below.
22 CFR 41.123(b)(2)
(2) Geographic applicability. Visa sanctions under INA 243(d) only apply to visa issuance in the country that is sanctioned. If a consular officer has a reason to believe that a visa applicant potentially subject to INA 243(d) sanctions is applying at a post outside the sanctioned country to evade visa sanctions under INA 243(d) (e.g., the applicant provides no credible explanation for applying outside the country), the consular officer will transfer the case to the consular post in the consular district where INA 243(d) sanctions apply, review any other applicable Department instructions, and proceed accordingly. When cases are transferred to a consular district where INA 243(d) sanctions apply, the adjudication will be subject to the discontinuation of issuance under the sanctions.
22 CFR 41.123(c)
(c) Termination of sanction. The Department shall notify consular officers in an affected country when the sanction under INA 243(d) has been lifted. After notification, normal consular operations may resume consistent with these regulations and guidance from the Department. Once the sanction under INA 243(d) is lifted, no new application processing fee is required in cases where issuance has been discontinued pursuant to an INA 243(d) order, and consular officers in the affected post must adjudicate the visa consistent with regulations and Department guidance. Consular officers may require applicants to update the visa application forms, must conduct any necessary adjudicatory steps, and may re-interview the applicant to determine eligibility.
This resource was last updated with:
84 FR 16610 (April 22, 2019), effective April 22, 2019, amending 22 CFR 41.121(a) and adding 22 CFR 41.123 to provide for discontinuance of visa issuance for recalcitrant countries under INA 243(d) [8 USC 1253(d)].
81 FR 72522 (October 20, 2016), effective November 29, 2016, amending 22 CFR 41.122 to provide for automatic provisional revocation of visas for failure to comply with EVUS registration requirements. Also see a companion DHS rule published at 81 FR 72481 (October 20, 2016).
80 FR 69588 (November 10, 2015), effective November 10, 2015, amending 22 CFR 41.102 (waiver of the personal appearance requirement) to conform to changes in delegated authorities and other conforming changes.
80 FR 67315 (November 2, 2015), effective November 2, 2015, amending 22 CFR 41.113 to reflect the current practice of issuing machine-readable visas on adhesive foils affixed to passports, rather than as a "stamp" and to provide for "the planned future practice of issuing such visas as electronic visas. An electronic visas is a machine readable tamper-resistant visa format, as required by 8 USC 1732, in that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of entry are expected to scan the machine readable zone of the visa holder's passport to verify the biometrics and identity of the individual and to authenticate the visa's validity by accessing information stored in the Department's electronic records database."
76 FR 23477 (April 27, 2011), effective April 27, 2011, amending 22 CFR 41.122 to remove the conditions on consular officer use of discretion to revoke nonimmigrant visas.
73 FR 23067 (April 29, 2008), effective April 29, 2008, amending 22 CFR 41.103, 41.106, and 41.113 to reflect the electronic Form DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application.