Immigration Specialists London

USA Visa Refusal Rate 2021: Understanding the dynamics of US visa approval and refusal rates in 2021 is crucial for applicants and immigration professionals alike. This guide provides an in-depth analysis of the refusal rates for various visa categories, including B1/B2, H1B, F1, and F2 visas, offering insight into the trends and factors influencing these outcomes. We also discuss the common reasons behind visa denials and compare the 2021 rates to previous years. With this information, applicants can better prepare for their US visa applications, enhancing their understanding of the US immigration process.

Published On:


Last Updated:

USA Visa Refusal Rate

1. Overview of US Visa Rejection Rates in 2021


Applying for a US non-immigrant visa can be a meticulous process, with varying acceptance and rejection rates over the years. Understanding these trends and the factors affecting them is crucial for potential applicants.

YearDetails
2018Applications Decided: 12.76 million, US Visa Refusals: 3.73 million, US Visa Issuances: 9 million, US Visa Acceptance Rate 2018: 70.53%, US Visa Refusal Rate 2018: 29.47%
2019Applications Decided: 11.73 million, US Visa Rejections: 2.99 million, US Visa Approvals: 8.74 million, US Visa Approval Rate 2019: 74.50%, US Visa Rejection Rate 2019: 25.50%
2020Applications Decided: 5.36 million, US Visa Denials: 1.35 million, US Visa Grants: 4.01 million, US Visa Success Rate 2020: 74.85%, US Visa Denial Rate 2020: 25.15%
2021Applications Decided: 3.15 million, Refusals: 356,240, Issuances: 2.79 million, Acceptance Rate 2021: 88.68%, Refusal Rate 2021: 11.32%
Overview of US Visa Acceptance and Refusal Rates (2018-2021)

Analysis of Year-over-Year Trends

The data shows fluctuating trends in US non-immigrant visa acceptance and rejection rates. A significant increase in acceptance rate from 70.53% in 2018 to 88.68% in 2021 can be observed. Factors influencing these changes include policy shifts, economic conditions, global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, and the quality of applications.

For latest details, please refer our post on US Visa Acceptance Rate 2022.

Chances of US Visa Approval

The chances of US visa approval depend on several factors, including the type of visa, individual circumstances, and application quality. Proper documentation and preparation are crucial.

Chances of Visa Approval After Rejection:

Applicants often succeed in subsequent attempts by rectifying the issues in their initial application.

Note on US Visa Chances Calculators:

Online tools claiming to estimate visa chances should be used with caution, as only consular officers can make accurate assessments.

US Visa Acceptance and Refusal Rate 2019, 2020, 2021
Us Visa Acceptance And Refusal Rate 2019, 2020, 2021

Top Reasons for US Non-immigrant Visa Denials

Reason for DenialExplanation
Inadequate documentationIncomplete or incorrect documentation can lead to denial.
Insufficient financial resourcesApplicants must show adequate funds for their US stay.
Misrepresentation of informationFalse information can result in denial and a permanent ban.
Criminal history/security concernsSecurity risks may lead to denial.
Immigrant intentNonimmigrant visa applicants must prove temporary stay intentions.
Prior visa violationsPast immigration law violations can affect the decision.
Health-related issuesCertain health conditions may be grounds for denial.
Top Reasons for US Non-immigrant Visa Denials:
U.S. B1B2 Visitor Visa Acceptance and Rejection Rate 2021
U.s. B1B2 Visitor Visa Acceptance And Rejection Rate 2021

2. Detailed Analysis of 2021 B1/B2 Visa Approval Rates


In 2021, the approval rates for different categories of US B1/B2 visas varied. B1 business visas, which are generally for business-related travel, had an 88.49% acceptance rate. In contrast, B2 tourist visas, intended for leisure or medical treatment purposes, had a lower approval rate of 58.25%. The B1B2 combination visas, suitable for both business and tourism purposes, had an 83.20% acceptance rate. For Mexican citizens, B1/B2/BCC combination cards and B1/B2/BCV cards (Lincoln Foil) demonstrated even higher approval rates of 96.18% and 91.13%, respectively.

Analysis of Different Types of Visas

The variance in approval rates between these categories can be attributed to several factors:

  • B1 Visas: Often backed by companies, applicants for business visas may have a clear and defined purpose for their travel, contributing to a higher approval rate.
  • B2 Visas: These visas cater to a more diverse applicant pool, including tourists and those seeking medical treatment, which may lead to a comparatively lower approval rate.

External Factors Affecting Approval Rates

It’s crucial to consider that external factors, such as changes in U.S. immigration policy and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, can significantly influence visa approval rates.

Chances of Getting B1/B2 Visa

The likelihood of obtaining a B1/B2 visa largely depends on the applicant’s travel purpose and adherence to visa qualifications. Business travelers, due to their typically clearer travel objectives and company backing, often have higher approval rates compared to those applying for tourism visas.

US H1B H2A Work Visa Approval and Denial Rate 2021
Us H1B H2A Work Visa Approval And Denial Rate 2021

3. Insight into 2021 U.S. H1B Work Visa Approval Rates


The year 2021 saw varying acceptance rates for different types of H-Type work visas in the United States:

  • H1B Work Visa: This popular visa for specialized occupations had a high acceptance rate of 92.85%.
  • H1B1 Work Visa: Specifically for Chilean and Singaporean nationals, it had an even higher approval rate of 97.84%.
  • H2A Agricultural Worker Visa: This visa category, for temporary agricultural workers, had a 95.60% acceptance rate.
  • H2B Non-Agricultural Worker Visa: For temporary non-agricultural workers, the approval rate was 94.15%.
  • H3 Trainee Visa: Intended for trainees or special education visitors, this visa had an 85.84% acceptance rate.
  • H4 Visa: For dependents (spouses and children) of H-Type visa holders, the acceptance rate was 95.51%.

In comparison, the overall rejection rate for H-Type visas in 2018 was 15.5%.

H1B Visa Interview Success Rate

The success rate of H1B visa interviews varies annually and across different U.S. consulates. Factors influencing these rates include:

  • Applicant’s Credentials: The educational background, work experience, and skills of the applicant play a crucial role.
  • Quality of Application: How well the application is prepared, including the accuracy and completeness of documentation.
  • Geopolitical Considerations: Diplomatic relations and policies between the applicant’s home country and the U.S. can impact visa decisions.

Impact of U.S. Immigration Policies on H1B Visas

U.S. immigration policies, especially changes under different administrations, significantly affect H1B visa approval rates:

  • Trump Administration: Policies introduced heightened scrutiny on H1B applications, leading to fluctuations in approval rates.
  • Biden Administration: Some of the earlier policies are being revisited, potentially impacting future approval rates.

It’s important for applicants to stay informed about current U.S. immigration policies and prepare their applications accordingly to improve their chances of success.

Visa TypeApproval Rate in 2021
H1B Work Visa92.85%
H1B1 Work Visa (Chile/Singapore)97.84%
H2A Agricultural Worker Visa95.60%
H2B Non-Agricultural Worker Visa94.15%
H3 Trainee Visa85.84%
H4 Dependent Visa95.51%
US Work Visa Approval Rate 2021
US F1 Student Visa Acceptance Rate 2021
Us F1 Student Visa Acceptance Rate 2021

4. Examination of 2021 F1 and F2 Visa Rejection Rate


The F1 student visa, crucial for international students wishing to study in the U.S., and the F2 visa, for their dependents, have seen varying acceptance and rejection rates over the years. In 2021, there was a noticeable trend in these rates, reflecting changes in policy and other factors.

F1 Student Visa Rates:

In 2021, the F1 visa had an acceptance rate of 80.16%, meaning a majority of applicants were successful. However, there was still a significant rejection rate of 19.84%. This pattern of acceptance and rejection has varied over the years, often influenced by changes in U.S. immigration policy, global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, and the quality of applications.

F2 Visa Rejection Rate:

For those applying for F2 visas, the scenario is slightly different. In 2021, the acceptance rate was lower at 67.66%, with a higher rejection rate of 32.34%. This variation can be attributed to the specific requirements and scrutiny that dependents of F1 visa holders face during the visa process.

Special Circumstances for Indian Applicants:

Applicants from certain countries, such as India, might experience different trends due to bilateral relations and specific consular policies. Moreover, those with a prior B1/B2 visa could face additional scrutiny regarding their intent to return to their home country after their studies.

YearF1 and F2 Visa Acceptance & Rejection Rates
2021F1 Visa Acceptance Rate 2021: 80.16%
F1 Visa Rejection Rate 2021: 19.84%
F2 Visa Approval Rate 2021: 67.66%
F2 Visa Refusal Rate 2021: 32.34%
2020F1 Visa Approval Rate 2020: 68.81%
F1 Visa Refusal Rate 2020: 31.19%
F2 Visa Approval Rate: 67.17%
F2 Visa Denial Rate: 32.83%
2019F1 Visa Acceptance Rate 2019: 74.62%
F1 Visa Rejection Rate 2019: 25.38%
F2 Visa Acceptance Rate 2019: 70.37%
F2 Visa Rejection Rate 2019: 29.63%
2018F1 Visa Rejection Rate 2018: 34.97%
F2 Visa Rejection Rate 2018: 36.62%
F1 and F2 Visa Acceptance & Rejection Rates

5. Detailed Breakdown of Other US Visa Rejection Rates in 2021


Visa TypeRejection Rate (2021)
J1 Exchange Visitor Visa8.37%
J2 Visa for Spouses/Children of J15.87%
C1/D Combination Visa
L1 Intracompany Transferee Visa5.84%
L2 Visa for Spouses/Children of L14.10%
K1 Fiancée Visa17.78%
K2 Visa for Children3.85%
A1 Visa (Diplomatic)6.07%
A2 Visa (Other Foreign Government Official)6.74%
A3 Visa (Attendants/Servants of A1/A2)15.12%
E1 Visa (Treaty Trader)5.79%
E2 Visa (Treaty Investor)7.49%
E3 Visa (Australian Specialty Occupation)3.35%
G1 Visa (Principal Resident Representative)8.63%
G2 Visa (Other Representative of a Foreign Government)8.91%
G3 Visa (Representative of a Non-recognized Government)3.39%
G4 Visa (International Organization Officer/Employee)3.05%
G5 Visa (Attendant/Servant of G1-G4)21.70%
M1 Student Visa21.74%
M2 Student Visa25.76%
NATO Visas
O1 Visa (Extraordinary Ability)8.05%
O2 Visa (Assistants to O1)7.12%
O3 Visa (Spouses/Children of O1/O2)6.77%
P1 Visa (Athletes, Artists, Entertainers)4.49%
P2 Visa (Artists/Entertainers in Exchange Program)7.14%
P3 Visa (Artists/Entertainers in Culturally Unique Programs)20.96%
P4 Visa (Spouses/Children of P1, P2, P3)5.36%
T Visas (Victims of Human Trafficking)
U1 Victim of Criminal Activity Visa36.41%
U2 Spouse of U1 Visa30.94%
U3 Child of U1 Visa25.81%
U4 Parent of U1 Visa6.67%
U5 Sibling of U1 Visa16.67%
V1 Spouse of Permanent Resident4.24%
V2 Child of Permanent Resident2.37%
V3 Derivative Child of V1 or V23.45%
Q1 Cultural Exchange Program20.97%
I Representative of Foreign Media6.95%
R1 Religious Occupation14.64%
R2 Spouse or Child of R120.02%
TN NAFTA Professional9.79%
TD Spouse or Child of TN3.63%
N8 Special Immigrant (Parent)33.33%
N9 Special Immigrant (Child)50.00%
CW1 CNMI Transitional Worker5.44%
CW2 Spouse or Child of CW14.44%
Detailed Breakdown of Other US Visa Rejection Rates in 2021
US Visa Acceptance Rate by Country 2021
Us Visa Acceptance Rate By Country 2021

6. Global Overview: U.S. Visa Acceptance Rates in 2021


Diverse Visa Approval Rates Across the World

In 2021, an intriguing pattern emerged in the global landscape of U.S. visa acceptance rates. The data reveals a significant variation in visa approval rates by country, showcasing how different regions and nationalities experienced varying degrees of success in their U.S. visa applications. This diverse spectrum highlights the nuanced nature of U.S. visa policy and its impact on applicants from around the globe.

Analyzing the Highs and Lows of Visa Approval

Countries like Argentina, Papua New Guinea, and Peru topped the list with acceptance rates soaring above 95%, reflecting a highly favorable outcome for visa applicants from these nations. This high approval rate indicates strong bilateral relationships, effective visa processing, and perhaps a lower perceived risk of visa violations from these countries.

Conversely, several countries experienced lower acceptance rates, with some even falling below the 50% mark. This could be attributed to a variety of factors including geopolitical dynamics, economic conditions, and historical patterns of immigration and visa compliance. These lower rates highlight the challenges faced by applicants from certain regions and underscore the importance of a well-prepared visa application.

In general, the majority of countries saw more than 75% of their U.S. visa applications approved, pointing to an overall positive trend in global U.S. visa relations. However, the fluctuating rates across different countries underscore the complexity of U.S. visa policies and their varied application across different national contexts.

Adjusted U.S. Visa Acceptance Rate by Country 2021

CountryUS Visa Acceptance Rate (2021)
Afghanistan27.91%
Albania89.22%
Algeria61.60%
Angola41.48%
Antigua and Barbuda83.34%
Argentina97.69%
Armenia62.93%
Australia85.73%
Austria93.71%
Azerbaijan87.73%
The Bahamas92.09%
Bahrain77.52%
Bangladesh70.09%
Barbados87.07%
Belarus83.19%
Belgium83.43%
Belize74.64%
Benin67.95%
Bhutan56.67%
Bolivia88.70%
Bosnia-Herzegovina78.16%
BotswanaNot Listed
Brazil85.75%
BruneiNot Listed
Bulgaria81.60%
Burkina Faso75.45%
Burma60.60%
Burundi46.77%
Cabo Verde74.68%
Cambodia64.38%
Cameroon60.07%
Canada48.19%
Central African Republic63.64%
Chad27.23%
Chile86.58%
China20.91%
Colombia72.25%
Comoros26.32%
Costa Rica92.03%
Croatia95.35%
Cuba47.31%
Cyprus84.91%
Czech Republic83.76%
Democratic Republic of Congo62.64%
Denmark68.89%
Djibouti11.66%
Dominica77.15%
Dominican Republic95.67%
Ecuador84.32%
Egypt76.19%
El Salvador79.37%
Equatorial Guinea25.87%
Eritrea44.04%
Estonia90.91%
Eswatini91.11%
Ethiopia92.48%
Fiji43.36%
Finland83.49%
France77.79%
Gabon68.75%
Gambia59.70%
Georgia36.96%
Germany75.18%
Ghana82.51%
Great Britain and Northern Ireland88.03%
Greece89.14%
Grenada80.37%
Guatemala92.74%
Guinea38.74%
Guinea-Bissau37.50%
Guyana63.24%
Haiti54.13%
Honduras87.62%
Hong Kong S.A.R.94.72%
Hungary83.33%
Iceland75.00%
India87.75%
Indonesia94.17%
Iran33.19%
Iraq63.52%
Ireland60.00%
Israel95.08%
Italy84.14%
Jamaica80.87%
Japan95.31%
Jordan61.91%
Kazakhstan56.71%
Kenya65.14%
Kiribati50.00%
Kosovo87.49%
Kuwait81.82%
Kyrgyzstan56.00%
Laos10.14%
Latvia84.09%
Lebanon47.79%
Lesotho50.00%
Liberia45.83%
Libya75.74%
Liechtenstein75.00%
Lithuania84.09%
LuxembourgNot Listed
Macau87.50%
Madagascar78.18%
Malawi87.88%
Malaysia92.79%
Maldives33.33%
Mali37.04%
Malta83.33%
Mauritania16.86%
Mauritius90.08%
Mexico95.77%
Moldova33.63%
Mongolia60.43%
Montenegro90.70%
Morocco79.15%
Mozambique67.25%
Namibia89.29%
NATO CountriesVarious Rates
Nepal81.28%
Netherlands74.72%
New Zealand87.26%
Nicaragua87.28%
Niger38.61%
Nigeria56.22%
North Korea0.00%
North MacedoniaNot Listed
Norway91.35%
Oman83.55%
Pakistan67.47%
PalauNot Listed
Palestinian Authority Travel Document49.20%
Panama91.71%
Papua New Guinea96.55%
Paraguay86.67%
Peru95.89%
Philippines89.80%
Poland81.52%
Portugal82.14%
Qatar88.31%
Romania82.97%
Russia70.58%
Rwanda65.04%
Samoa67.42%
San MarinoNot Listed
Saudi Arabia86.57%
Senegal65.05%
Serbia86.73%
SeychellesNot Listed
Sierra Leone64.30%
Singapore90.28%
Slovakia89.13%
Slovenia84.81%
Solomon IslandsNot Listed
Somalia33.33%
South Africa82.33%
South Korea81.97%
South Sudan54.29%
Spain81.71%
Sri Lanka74.66%
St. Kitts and NevisNot Listed
St. Lucia82.53%
St. Vincent and the GrenadinesNot Listed
Sudan59.10%
Suriname93.58%
Sweden60.54%
Switzerland81.08%
Syria55.96%
Taiwan87.35%
Tajikistan42.76%
Tanzania92.73%
Thailand68.18%
Timor-LesteNot Listed
Togo83.02%
Tonga53.33%
Trinidad and Tobago92.95%
Tunisia75.08%
Turkey86.30%
Turkmenistan68.00%
TuvaluNot Listed
Uganda61.30%
Ukraine84.85%
United Arab Emirates91.07%
United Kingdom88.03%
Uruguay91.18%
Uzbekistan54.02%
Vanuatu66.67%
Venezuela72.78%
Vietnam88.68%
Yemen45.70%
Zambia83.46%
Zimbabwe90.69%
U.S. Visa Acceptance Rate by Country 2021
US Visa Rejection Rate by Country 2018
Us Visa Rejection Rate By Country 2018

7. Analyzing 2018 B-Visa Refusal Rates by Country


Insights into Geographic Variations in Visa Refusals

The year 2018 saw notable disparities in U.S. B-visa refusal rates across different countries, painting a diverse picture of the challenges faced by applicants globally. These variations offer insights into the factors influencing visa decisions and highlight the importance of understanding country-specific trends when preparing visa applications.

Deciphering the Highs and Lows of Refusal Rates

In countries like Venezuela, Haiti, and Honduras, visa refusal rates were remarkably high, exceeding 50%. Such elevated refusal rates could be influenced by economic instability, security concerns, or high rates of previous visa overstays and illegal immigration from these countries. This data suggests that applicants from these countries may face stricter scrutiny and the need for stronger documentation to overcome potential barriers to visa approval.

Conversely, nations like Argentina, Hong Kong SAR, and the United Arab Emirates experienced much lower refusal rates, indicating a favorable visa adjudication environment for these applicants. Low refusal rates in these countries might reflect stronger economic ties, lower risk profiles, and a history of compliance with U.S. visa regulations.

The varied refusal rates across countries underscore the complexities of the U.S. visa process and the influence of regional dynamics on visa outcomes. Applicants from countries with higher refusal rates should pay particular attention to the requirements and expectations of U.S. consular offices to enhance their chances of visa approval.

Adjusted USA Visa Refusal Rate by Nationality 2018

Country2018 B-Visa Refusal Rate
Venezuela74.28%
Haiti67.59%
Honduras60.32%
Nigeria57.47%
Jamaica54.46%
Guatemala53.62%
Nepal51.53%
Dominican Republic49.54%
Ghana49.35%
Pakistan47.89%
El Salvador51.49%
Kenya41.59%
Ethiopia41.74%
Bangladesh40.05%
Ukraine40.97%
Jordan42.62%
Algeria34.85%
Colombia35.11%
Egypt32.15%
Ecuador31.38%
India26.07%
Lebanon25.22%
Mexico24.93%
Belarus23.26%
Bolivia22.19%
Thailand22.17%
Trinidad and Tobago19.28%
China17.00%
Turkey17.49%
Vietnam26.20%
Russia14.89%
Brazil12.73%
Indonesia12.81%
Panama11.71%
Romania10.44%
Costa Rica9.91%
Saudi Arabia7.47%
South Africa7.31%
Israel5.10%
Malaysia4.94%
Hong Kong SAR4.25%
Uruguay4.11%
Poland3.99%
United Arab Emirates3.75%
Kuwait2.71%
Argentina1.73%
Adjusted US Visa Refusal Rate by Nationality 2018

This table provides a comprehensive overview of the 2018 B-visa refusal rates by country, helping applicants and stakeholders understand the geographic variations in visa approval outcomes. It can serve as a valuable resource for those seeking to apply for U.S. visas from these countries.

8. FAQs on US Visa Rejection Rate by Country


  1. What Was the Overall Approval Rate for US Non-Immigrant Visas in 2021?

    In FY2021, the US processed 3,148,323 non-immigrant visa applications, including B1/B2, F1, H1B, C1/D, and J1 visas. The approval rate was 88.68%, with 11.32% of applications being denied.

  2. What Are the Approval Rates for US B1/B2 Visitor Visas?

    In 2018, the US B1 business visa had an 88.49% approval rate, the B2 tourist visa had a 58.25% approval rate, and the B1/B2 combination visa had an 83.20% approval rate.

  3. How Does the US B1/B2 Visitor Visa Approval Rate Vary by Country?

    The approval rate for US B1/B2 visas varies significantly by country. In 2021, several countries had an approval rate exceeding 90%, with Argentina at 97.69%, Papua New Guinea at 96.55%, and Peru at 95.89%, among others.

  4. What Was the Approval Rate for the US H1B Work Visa in 2021?

    In 2021, the US decided 66,307 H1B work visa applications, with an approval rate of 92.85% and a denial rate of 7.15%.

  5. What Were the Approval and Denial Rates for the US F1 Student Visa in 2021?

    For the US F1 student visa in 2021, there were 446,422 applications with an approval rate of 80.16% and a denial rate of 19.84%.

  6. What Was the Approval Rate for the US J1 Exchange Visitor Visa in 2021?

    In 2021, the US J1 Exchange Visitor visa had an approval rate of 91.63% and a denial rate of 8.37%, with 141,511 applications being processed.


These FAQs provide an overview of the US visa approval and denial rates for various visa types and highlight how these rates can vary based on visa category and applicant nationality. For further details please refer U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs for detailed information on different visa categories, application procedures, and requirements.