221(g) & Visa Refusal

The purpose of this blog post is to explain the common reason for visa application rejection under INA Section 221(g) and how it affects future visa applications.

When an individual applies for an L-1, B-1, F-1, H-1B, or other nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. consulate abroad, it is not uncommon to be initially refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This broad provision applies to a wide variety of visa application issues, including some that are minor and temporary.

Under INA 221(g), a consular officer is permitted to request additional information before making a decision on a visa application. This can occur if there is a problem or additional information is required in a case, even if the matter is minor or temporary. Examples of situations where 221(g) may be applied include when the employer’s petition approval is not yet in the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) system, when additional information is needed about the employees work, or when the case needs to undergo further security checks.

However, it is important to note that many cases can be approved after an INA 221(g) refusal. Security checks can clear, PIMS can be updated, and missing documents can often be provided. Therefore, it is possible for someone who received an INA 221(g) refusal to ultimately obtain a visa and enter the United States. Additionally, a 221(g) refusal does not mean that an applicant is not eligible for a different visa.

It’s also important to note that an INA 221(g) refusal must be revealed on future visa applications. This is the case even if the matter that created the INA 221(g) refusal was later overcome and the visa was issued. For VWP (Visa Waiver Program) travelers, this means that they may need to apply for a visa at the appropriate consulate, rather than using the VWP program after an 221(g) Refusal.

In conclusion, INA 221(g) is a common reason for visa application rejection and it is important to understand how it affects future visa applications and VWP travel.