What is it about?

Visas are the key to global travel. Especially for those outside the Western world, global travel is a luxury. Obtaining a travel visa to the United States can be expensive and the outcome uncertain. This article tracks the history of U.S. nonimmigrant legislation and examines U.S. nonimmigrant visa approval and denial statistics between 2000 and 2016. Through an exploration of the three top reasons for nonimmigrant visa denials, the authors expose the arbitrary nature of denials issued under the 214b legislation, and how nonimmigrant identities get constructed through the conceptualization of the illegal immigrant.

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Why is it important?

These three interventions contribute to the mobilities literature by exposing a data source that we believe can and should be analysed on many fronts. We also compare statistics on visas denied at first contact to those successfully contested and examine how the rhetoric about immigration and illegal immigration gets put into law and enacted as a primary way to refuse NIV acquisition.


This article examines how nonimmigrant visa (NIV) denials are connected to and impacted by the perception of immigration and specifically the legislation purported to stymie illegal immigration. This article addresses three themes: the global NIV approval statistics compiled from U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website; the visa interview with the vice consul – which we have termed First Contact; and the legislated reasons NIVs get denied at the time of first contact, especially the 214(b).

Jackal Tanelorn
Florida International University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Worldwide approval (and denial): analysing nonimmigrant visa statistics to the United States from 2000 to 2016, Mobilities, February 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2019.1567986.
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