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What are the chances of being rejected for a travel visa to the US? by Natasha Frost & Dan Kopf – Quartz – August 28, 2019

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Nearly 6.4 million people came to the United States on a B visa in 2017. This common visa type—B-1, for business travel; B-2, for tourism; or the combo B-1/B-2, for a bit of both—is issued for short-term travel to the US. If you plan to attend business meetings or conferences, spend a week on vacation in Hawaii or Florida, or visit family in the US, this is the visa you’re likely to need.

Not everyone requires one, of course. Citizens of 38 countries are eligible for the ESTA visa waiver system, allowing them to bypass ordinary visa requirements for short-term business or tourist travel. They are mostly rich nations in Europe and Asia.

But despite how common the B visa is, getting one isn’t as easy as it might appear. Applicants must pay a fee, apply online, and then attend an in-person interview, where they’ll be grilled on what their plans are, where they’ll be going, and—crucially—when they plan to leave the US. Processing time from there can take as much as two months.

Even then, many people find their applications rejected. In fiscal year 2018—which ran from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018—B visa applicants from around 50 countries were more likely to have their application refused than accepted. For citizens of Somalia, the refusal rate was more than 90%, with only 38 Somalis granted a B visa(pdf).

The table below shows the refusal rates for each country with at least 10 visas issued in fiscal year 2018, according to data from the US Department of State (pdf). The overall refusal rate, including countries with 10 or fewer visas issued, was 32.4%.

Refusal rate for travel visa applications, by country, in fiscal year 2018

Country Refusal Rate (%)
Somalia 90.2
Iran 87.7
Djibouti 83.0
Yemen 82.5
Syria 77.3
Guinea-Bissau 76.1
Burundi 74.4
Venezuela 74.3
Libya 73.7
Afghanistan 71.4
Burkina Faso 71.2
Guyana 70.6
Eritrea 69.5
Comoros 69.5
Haiti 67.6
Guinea 66.2
Liberia 64.4
The Gambia 64.2
Laos 64.1
Georgia 62.4
Uzbekistan 61.8
Mauritania 61.6
Moldova 61.1
Chad 60.8
Sierra Leone 60.6
Honduras 60.3
Sudan 59.8
Bhutan 59.6
Togo 59.6
Senegal 59.2
Kyrgyzstan 58.9
Nigeria 57.5
Iraq 57.0
Mongolia 56.5
Jamaica 54.5
Cabo Verde 54.2
Palestine 53.9
Armenia 53.8
Guatemala 53.6
Tajikistan 53.4
Turkmenistan 52.9
Cameroon 52.3
Republic of Congo 52.2
Angola 51.8
Nepal 51.5
El Salvador 51.5
Tonga 51.3
Cuba 51.0
Mali 50.6
Dem. Rep. of Congo 50.6
Dominican Republic 49.5
Ghana 49.4
Pakistan 47.9
Benin 47.7
Nicaragua 46.8
Rwanda 44.5
Niger 43.3
Morocco 42.9
Jordan 42.6
Uganda 42.3
Albania 41.9
Fiji 41.7
Ethiopia 41.7
Kenya 41.6
South Sudan 41.3
Ukraine 41.0
Bangladesh 40.1
Gabon 40.0
Maldives 39.9
Kazakhstan 39.4
Algeria 39.3
Canada 39.0
Vanuatu 38.3
Dominica 37.1
Central African Republic 36.0
Kosovo 36.0
Montenegro 35.4
Colombia 35.1
Tuvalu 34.8
Belize 34.6
Cote D`Ivoire 33.8
Sri Lanka 33.6
Cambodia 32.6
Egypt 32.2
Ecuador 31.4
Macedonia 31.3
Peru 28.5
Azerbaijan 28.5
Malawi 28.2
Tunisia 27.7
Philippines 27.1
Estonia 26.7
Zimbabwe 26.6
Grenada 26.4
Samoa 26.3
Vietnam 26.2
Sao Tome And Principe 26.1
India 26.1
Serbia 25.9
Kiribati 25.3
Lebanon 25.2
St. Kitts And Nevis 25.0
Mexico 24.9
Bosnia-Herzegovina 23.5
Belarus 23.3
Burma 23.1
Zambia 22.5
Bolivia 22.2
Thailand 22.2
Lesotho 21.9
St. Lucia 21.9
Ireland 21.8
Nauru 21.4
Equatorial Guinea 21.3
Great Britain 20.3
New Zealand 20.0
Tanzania 19.9
St. Vincent And The Grenadines 19.8
Trinidad And Tobago 19.3
Antigua And Barbuda 19.1
Botswana 18.7
Australia 18.0
Turkey 17.5
Marshall Islands 17.4
Lithuania 17.3
China 17.0
Greece 16.9
Slovakia 16.2
Latvia 15.2
Sweden 15.2
Finland 15.1
Russia 14.9
Italy 14.8
Singapore 14.3
Spain 14.0
Indonesia 12.8
Brazil 12.7
The Bahamas 12.5
Norway 12.4
Denmark 12.4
Slovenia 12.3
Madagascar 11.8
Panama 11.7
Seychelles 11.6
Chile 11.3
Bulgaria 11.3
Hungary 10.5
Romania 10.4
Czech Republic 10.4
Mozambique 10.2
France 10.1
Costa Rica 9.9
Belgium 9.8
Japan 9.8
Malta 9.6
Netherlands 9.6
Suriname 8.6
Eswatini 8.5
Namibia 8.4
Qatar 8.3
Timor-Leste 8.2
Paraguay 8.0
South Korea 8.0
Macau 7.8
Saudi Arabia 7.5
Germany 7.4
South Africa 7.3
Portugal 7.3
Iceland 7.1
Barbados 7.1
Bahrain 7.0
Papua New Guinea 6.8
Taiwan 6.8
Mauritius 6.5
Croatia 5.9
Switzerland 5.5
Austria 5.4
Luxembourg 5.2
Israel 5.1
Malaysia 4.9
Oman 4.9
Brunei 4.4
Hong Kong 4.3
Uruguay 4.1
Poland 4.0
United Arab Emirates 3.8
Solomon Islands 3.6
Kuwait 2.7
Cyprus 2.4
Argentina 1.7
Liechtenstein 0.0

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