When a person is denied a tourist visa, he/she is usually handed a blue letter. The blue letter is marked with a reason why the visa was denied. One option states that an applicant’s “social, family, and economic ties” are not sufficient to issue a visa. This language is based on the 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which states:
“Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the officer, at the time of the application for a visa . . . that he is entitled to nonimmigrant status . . .”
Essentially, the consular officer is looking to see that the applicant has compelling reasons to return to the Philippines. By law, the burden of proof is on the applicant to show that he or she qualifies for the visa. This proof may come in many forms, but when considered together, it must be strong enough for the consular officer to conclude that one’s ties to the Philippines will bring him/her back at the end of a short, temporary stay in the United States. Each person has a different situation and there is not one correct way to show the compelling ties, but all applicants should be honest in discussing residence, employment, and family relationships.