Social, Family, and Economic Ties (NIV)

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.

46 thoughts on “Social, Family, and Economic Ties (NIV)

  1. This is GREAT! Thank you! It will give answers to some questions in users minds, therefore easing the nerves of the applicant at time of interview. Their confidience level will increase, knowing they are really prepaired.

  2. Since marrying my American husband, I have been denied a tourist twice. I believe I meet the social, family and economic ties requirement since I have worked in the Philippines for over 3 years, all my family lives here, my husband has lived here on a permanent resident visa for three years, our daughter (almost two years old) was born here and lives with us, and we own a home and a car here. My job has earned me an average of about 10,000 PhP per month. Some have told me that because I am married to an American, a tourist visa is not a viable option for me. Is this true — especially given my level of income?

  3. What are the chances that a local relative can be given a visa to accompany a US citizen veteran, living in Manila, has dementia and needing complete care and assistance, to come to the US for medical assistance then go back home to the Philippines. This local relative is the simple, next door type who has no income, no permanent work. He has been overseas in the past and been traveling outside the Philippines. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

    • I went home every year, I renewed my G5 visa in every other two years. Lasy 2009, my contract ends from previous employer but I get a new one. They give me a blue letter, then I scheduled for another interview. Then mu bisa was granted. Some officers does not know about so much on G visa while she interview me, she keep asking her co employee, tjen she is not sire whats sure whats she doing, she denied me and tell me to sey for another interview. So stressed because my ticket is two way. That was very very unrewarding vacation,and it does not concern them but too much on me. Im happy thAt the embSsy now is upgraded. See u again in 2014.

  4. Good Day, I want to asks if we have a 80% chance to have a U.S. Tourist visa because our relatives in the United States are inviting us to have our vacatuon there all expense paid by them but the only problem is how can we get the U.S. Visa. My husband is an Overseas worker in Saudi Arabia working as a Design structural Engineer and we have two kids who are still in high school and in fourth Grade.I hope you could help me with the things i needed to prepare in order for the consul to grant us Visa:-) Thank you and God Bless!

    • Hello! Unfortunately, we’re not able to provide a percentage chance of getting the tourist visa. The consular officer will evaluate your social, family, and economic ties to the United States and outside of the United States.

  5. Is there a document or website associated with the Embassy’s website where I can find a list of required documents needed for the interview?

    When given the letter stating: 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, it doesn’t state what you are actually missing or lacking that will help you to prove your case to the Consular Officer.

  6. Hi unfortunately my visa was denied. the reason that the consulate gave me is that I don’t have the intention to stay temporarily and I don’t have ties on my country. BUT all she ask me about is how I won my all expense paid trip. unfortunately she couldn’t understand the process how I won. I tried to give her a letter regarding the challenge I went through to win the trip, but she didn’t even read it. and ask me about the conversion of miles from kilometers. Is the interview a quiz challenge? I thinks it is inappropriate.. and didn’t ask me about my stay and the tour., that way she can conclude that I am abandoning my country.

    • We realize the disappointment you must have felt. However, please understand that due to the large volume of applications we process each day, consular officers may not always look at supporting documents, unless there are points in the application form or in the interview that need clarification. Otherwise, decisions are made based on the interview and the information on the application form. Generally, the consular officer is looking to see that you have compelling ties or reasons to return to the Philippines. For more information on ties, please read our previous blog post at http://blogs.usembassy.gov/philippines/?p=217

  7. Hi. May I be enlightened why our VISA application was denied when we applied as a family for a supposed 2-week vacation and business meeting with a possible trade partner in the US next year. I own a medium-sized food manufacturing and retail business here in the Philippines, we have more than 500 employees. I have been awarded and cited numerous times by institutions, publications, and books due to success in business. Also, I remain actively involved in the management of the business as the President of the company, and also very active in the local industry where I sit as officer and/or board director of various professional organizations. I hold numerous properties, vehicles, and assets. Although my wife’s sisters are US citizens, all my family are all here in the Philippines since our family is quite prominent in business and politics. The consul only asked 3 questions and did not even to bother to see any document. He told us that he could not grant us a visa since I did not establish ties and no intention to stay temporarily in the US. How could I even answer if I was not asked? Should I have answered without being asked? Anyway, thank you for any enlightenment.

    • If you need clarification why your family did not qualify for nonimmigrant visas, please send an email to ConsManilaNIV@state.gov. Include your full names and passport numbers.

      With regard to your comment about the interview process, please understand that the sheer volume of daily visa applications precludes lengthy interviews or discussions. In the majority of visa cases, a review of the application form often provides sufficient information to enable a consular officer to make a determination as to whether an applicant would qualify for a visa. Consular officers may look at supporting documents only when there are items in the application form or in the interview that require clarification.

  8. Hellow,
    Will the interviewer depend on the answers given by the applicant of the visa? And will be depending on us if we will be able to convinced them that we will just have a vacation?

    • One’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa will be determined at the time of interview with a consular officer. To qualify for the visitor visa, you should be able to demonstrate sufficiently strong familial, social, professional and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the United States. For more information on ties, please read our previous blog post here.

  9. I applied for a B2 visa. We (with my 70 yr old mother, my 9 yr old son and myself) have a scheduled interview on feb 6. purpose is purely leisure, family vacation and visit my brother and other relatives. need your kind assistance what sort of supporting documents i should bring along during the interview. i run a trading business (a corporation) wherein i am one of the directors. i own a car. my son goes to school. Mother is a plain housemaker. Would appreciate your immediate advise.

    • Hi Bonita. During the interview, an officer references the application forms, and may refer to supporting documentation if necessary. However, most visa interviews are conducted based on information provided in the application and the interview questions. While the officer may ask for some documentation, the heart of the interview is the applicant’s responses to the officers’ questions. For more information on documentation, please read our previous blog post here.

  10. Hi.

    I have a common law partner in the Phils for 6 years now, we are just waiting for the nso decree of his anullment before we get married. We have 3 kids, the first two were born in the u.s . ( 5 years old and 3 years old respectively)but live with us here in the Philippines(they are u.s citizen by birth). My visa expired in 2010 and tried to renew but was denied. While we wanted so much to bring the kids to U.S. to visit their birthplace, we cannot due to our visa denial. We have a good life in the Phils, managing our own business and staying in the U.s for good was not our intention, we just want to visit with the kids now that they can already appreciate things and places. Please advise us what to do.

    • Hi Celina. U.S. immigration law presumes that an applicant intends to immigrate, and to qualify for a visa an applicant must overcome this presumption. To qualify for the visitor visa, you must therefore, sufficiently convince the consular officer that you have strong ties to the Philippines that would compel you to return after a temporary trip to the United States and that you will comply with the terms of your visa. Ties are various aspects of one’s life that bind one to his/her country of residence, like one’s profession, employment, social and family relationships, and properties. All of these factors are considered in the process, and U.S. Immigration Law requires that the visa application be refused if these strong ties are not apparent. For information on ties, please read our previous blog post here.

  11. Hi, I was invited by my brother to visit him in US he is now a US citizen. I am a licensed nurse here and in US. I currently don’t have a job and now applying for a position, but my wife have a stable job and another part-time job at a local university. We have a small property under our name and a child. Should I apply for the visitor’s visa despite the fact that it is indeed untimely because I don’t have a job as of the moment. I wanted to visit him it has been 3 or 4 years that we haven’t seen each other I wanted to grab the opportunity because he will be paying for the all the expenses. I will travelling for free that’s is a very rare opportunity. Do you think the consular officer will be gracious enough to grant me a visitor’s visa? This is my first time applying for a visa. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks

    • Hi Rico. To qualify for the visitor visa, you should be able to demonstrate sufficiently strong familial, social, professional and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the United States. Ties are various aspects of one’s life that bind one to his/her country of residence, like one’s profession, employment, social and family relationships, and properties. All of these factors are considered in the process, and U.S. immigration law requires that the visa application be refused if these strong ties are not apparent. For more information on ties, please visit our website.

  12. My Visa appplication was denied today, i was ready to answer questions but the consul only asked 4 questions, how old am i, whats my job, how much my salary is and which countires have i travelled to, …no additional questions and i dont know if they saw my application that ive been with my job for 7 years. travelled to 3 countries . i believe that would credit for a strong tie to my country due to the tenure at a prestigous company i work for and no intentions of leaving that american company…one reason im thinking is because i work at a bpo company or callcenter thats why….so howcome i wasnt asked of more questions to defend myself? it wasnt even discussed or explained after she denied it what socio ecocomic tie am i lacking the fact that she didnt even asked more questions…it took us 5 mins in the consul interview and 3 hours falling in line for the worth of $140..help us understand please.

    • Please understand that the sheer volume of daily visa applications precludes lengthy interviews or discussions. In the vast majority of visa cases, a review of the application form often provides sufficient information to enable a consular officer to make a determination as to whether an applicant would qualify for a visa. To qualify for the visa, you should be able to demonstrate sufficiently strong familial, social, professional and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the United States. Ties are various aspects of one’s life that bind one to his/her country of residence, like one’s profession, employment, social and family relationships, and properties. All of these factors are considered in the process, and U.S. Immigration Law requires that the visa application be refused if these strong ties are not apparent. For more information on ties, please visit our website.

  13. I find it nice that the NIV2 admin takes some time answering comments and enlightening us. My father who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer just want to go and see my grandfather and his siblings who are now US citizens before God forbid anything might happen just had his NIV application denied today. My grandfather is too old to travel to Manila and has health conditions. So our family decided that we would go there instead. My father has no intent on staying in the US as he does not want to die there and we were planning to go there for just 2 weeks. I, who will accompany him for his trip already have my 10-year multiple entry US Visa issued last year.

    My father has no job, is 56, but we have our own house, because he was involved in an accident 30 years ago which caused his left arm to be amputated. All of us has a pending US Immigrant Visa Application, but, he was just recently diagnosed with liver cancer (most of the patients diagnosed with liver cancer dies within 6 months of learning the disease) that’s why we decided to apply a tourist visa for him.

    He seriously has no intent staying in the US but we find it difficult to establish it with his situation – he is sick and disabled. So my question is, how can we establish his Social, Family and Economic Ties with his situation?

    • Che, we are sorry to hear about your father’s and grandfather’s health conditions. Unfortunately, consular officers must make visa decisions according to U.S. immigration law. Every applicant must qualify on his/her own merits. To qualify for the visa, you should be able to demonstrate sufficiently strong familial, social, professional, and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the United States. Ties are various aspects of one’s life that bind one to his/her country of residence, like one’s profession, employment, social and family relationships, and properties. All of these factors are considered in the process, and U.S. Immigration Law requires that the visa application be refused if these strong ties are not apparent.

      • I totally understand. We will re-apply again :) Would it help if we got a medical certificate from a doctor saying he has 6 months or less to live? In that way, we would really establish that he has no intent to immigrate.

        • When an officer conducts an interview, he or she references the application forms, and may refer to supporting documentation if necessary. However, most visa interviews are conducted based on information provided in the application and the interview questions. While the officer may ask for some documentation, the heart of the interview is the applicant’s responses to the officers’ questions.

  14. Dear Sir/Madam ,my self jig . my family live in us.my father is LPR and my sister is a citizen.
    my father and my sister put my immigrant file last year 2011 on F4 & F2b category, i was student visa 2009 to 2011 in Australia. now i am an india . last year i have rejection in usa visitor visa .visa officer told me you will be apply in your home country (India) . now i want to meet my parents bcz i very tried .and i want to reapply for tourist visa .can you plz plz suggest me what i do.

  15. Hi. I have an invitation letter from my fiancee in u.s to come spend christmas with her. I apply a tourist visa. And my interview is on october. Pls I need your help on the documents I will provide

    • Patrick, the application requirements for visitor visas are provided in our website. To qualify for the visitor visa, you should be able to demonstrate sufficiently strong familial, social, professional and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the United States. A list of documents that you may bring to your interview is provided here.

  16. Greetings! I am married to a US Citizen, and has two children from my previous relationship. My husband lives in the US and usually comes home to the Philippines once a year for a period of 2 to 3 months of stay. If my husband apply for a spouse visa for me, will it be possible that we can bring the children with us too?

    • In order for a spouse of a U.S. citizen to qualify for immigration benefits, an I-130 immigrant visa petition must be filed on the alien spouse’s behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. citizen’s place of residence. The USCIS must approve the visa petition before the alien spouse can apply for an immigrant visa.

      For your children to qualify for immigration benefits, your husband must file separate I-130 immigrant visa petitions (IR2/CR2, minor child/step-child of a U.S. citizen) on their behalf with the USCIS. Please be aware that under existing regulations, only children under the age of 18 at the time their natural parent married a U.S. citizen are considered “step-children” for immigration purpose. Your husband may wish to contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 regarding the matter.

  17. Hi, i applied for student visa F-1 early this year and was denied, under section 214b, and now i have reapplyed would be going this december.Please i need your help on strong tied cos i’m only a student i worked in my dad’s company no assests, but i have very light evidence,please if you can help me with an idea.thank you

    • Jane, as you know, nonimmigrant student visa applications are evaluated under Section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, which states, in part, that every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa ”. . .shall be presumed to be an immigrant until (s)he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, . . .that (s)he is entitled to nonimmigrant status. . . .” This statutory presumption of immigration may be overcome if the applicant demonstrates sufficiently strong familial, social, professional, and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after a temporary stay in the United States. Student visa applicants must also prove to the consular officer that sufficient funds are or will be available from an identified and reliable source to defray all living and school expenses during the entire period of anticipated study in the United States. Specifically, applicants must prove they have enough readily available funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study, and that adequate funds will be available for each subsequent year of study. More information about student visas is provided in our website..

  18. i am seeking all information, knowledge and help i could get..

    hi my name is Jhee, 23 years old, single mom and living in Philippines. i have an american boyfriend from Billings MT, and im planning to visit him. i already filed an interview from US embassy here at Philippines and my appointment will be in 18 days from now. but as i read over internet, stating that visiting your “BOYFRIEND” as the purpose of coming to America is a NO’ NO, because the consul may automatically deny the visa, my boyfriend who is a security-police-officer in MT could not visit me in Philippines because of the nature of his job. He’s not even rich to afford to loose that job he was working with 2 years now. reasons why i volunteer to go to US and spend time with him. i have 3 partial lands named under my name, i have a 1 year and 8 months baby and i just won the sole custody from my EX, im running a small family business under my name, and im living with my sick parents, (luckily my brother in Dubai came home in Philippines for 6 months visit, someone will take care of them while im away), and i have a not-enormous bank account. my boyfriend sent me a leter of invitation, pictures of his drivers license and company ID.

    Question: is it true that claiming to visit your boyfriend from USA will automatically denies your visa aplication? what other documents do i need to prepare?

    • Hi Jhee Torres. It is not true that claiming to visit your boyfriend in the US will automatically deny your visa application. Every applicant must qualify on his/her own merits. To qualify for the visa, you should be able to demonstrate sufficiently strong familial, social, professional and economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the United States. Ties are various aspects of one’s life that bind one to his/her country of residence, like one’s profession, employment, social and family relationships, and properties. All of these factors are considered in the process, and U.S. Immigration Law requires that the visa application be refused if these strong ties are not apparent.

  19. Hi… my name is Danay and im Eritrean nationality residing in Saudi Arabia, I applied for a student visa and i got refused. the consular told me i need to have strong family ties. Im 21 years old and i graduated from high school on 2010 and i was taking small courses on tourism and i have 2 certificates( already mentioned on my application and orginal papers was submited to officer on my interview. I was trained and worked in travel agency for about 2 years and i was invited to visit some English Institutes in 2012, but i didnt go because i believe im not qualified to go and make business trip because first of all i want to get my degree on marketing and management. I applied to AUM university for my degree and already accepted in my fathers sponsor ship, i present all documents i have even my fathers bank statement and employement later and my mother is working in south African embassy as a consular officer. My father have land nd family on my homeland country and i dont really get the point for not having a strong family relation while i present all the documents mentioned above. and i want to ask too how many chances i have to apply for a student visa again. please give me brif explanation on family ties other than what i brought to my previous interview.

    Best Regards

    • Hi Danay Eyob. You will be assessed by the Consular Officer based on your social, familial, professional, economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the US.

      To know more about Demonstrating Ties, you may read on our blog post 214(b) Refusals. If you wish to make further clarifications on your concern, you may contact the US Embassy in Riyadh, KSA , if you wish to have your application in this post.

  20. I had my interview today, on getting there, I was asked a few questions , which I answered correctly, she looked at my passport and saw I had traveled †ơ other countries , she asked ♍ƺ my year and course in my university, I told her am in my 3rd year, she asked if I ever applied b4, I said yes, and I was also denied 2wce, she asked me on what reasons, I told here I was told to go to my country and apply , that was also told I don’t have a family tier, she gave me my documents back and a letter, that she sorry my application is not granted and that I should go to my country Α̲̅πϑ apply, because that is where I got family tier. Infact its wayed ♍ƺ down , now I want †ơ travel †ơ my country and apply , but really understand what I have to show them again back in my country as a family ties, please help me and explain. This is the 3rd time am been denied , and they are telling me to go †ơ my country and apply. Thanks

    • Hi Blessing. You will be assessed by the Consular Officer based on your social, familial, professional, economic ties to a country outside the United States that would compel return after your temporary stay in the US. To know more about Demonstrating Ties, you may read on our blog post 214(b) Refusals.

  21. Hi, i am writing from Lagos Nigeria, i have never been to the US Embassy before for a Visa interview but when i had the chance once in 2012, it was a memorable experience and i am glad i take the initiative and challenge to go for a Visa processing for a youth diploma soccer coaching course, though i was refuse a Visa and was handed a white paper by the Consulate Officer and when i read i was ineligible for a Visa, but ask to settle my strong social, economic and family tier and then reapply. Ever since i have been trying to put this in order so that i can reapply, but it seems cumbersome to achieve i need help and counsel..Thanks

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