Murthy Success Story: Improper 214(b) Visa Denial Reversed

We at the Murthy Law Firm are pleased to report a successful outcome in an H-4 visa stamping at a U.S. consular post, after the individual in the case had received two prior denials of his H-4 visa applications. The H-4 visa denials were issued under § 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which should not apply to H-4 applications. The path of this case is described here for our readers, as well as the methods used to overcome some problems, ultimately leading to our success in obtaining the visa issuance.

The Murthy Law Firm never reveals the identity of any client or the specifics of any case without written consent from the client/s involved. We appreciate the willingness of our client in this case to share his story with MurthyDotCom readers to help others who are suffering improper visa refusals at U.S. consular posts around the world.

Background: Multiple Prior H1B and H-4 Visa Denials

The individual in this case, who would later become a client of the Murthy Law Firm, first entered the United States in F-1 student status to pursue a master’s degree at a U.S. university. After completing his degree, he worked in his field and decided to return to engage in a further course of study in F-1 status. During this period of F-1 status he transferred to Tri-Valley University (TVU) and had to leave the United States after TVU was investigated and finally shut down.

A U.S. employer sponsored an H1B petition on this individual’s behalf in the spring of 2011. However, he suffered the common problems faced by many H1B visa applicants and was unable to obtain an H1B visa stamping at the consulate. He decided the most important thing was to be with his wife, who was working in the United States in H1B status. So, he decided to apply for an H-4 dependent visa. This application was denied at the U.S. consulate in India under INA § 214(b). The couple tried to resolve the visa denial problem on their own, but ultimately sought help from the Murthy Law Firm when a second H-4 visa application was denied on the same INA § 214(b) grounds.

Background: § 214(b) as Basis for Visa Denial

Section 214(b) refers to the presumed intention to immigrate to the United States that must be overcome by a visa applicant before a consular officer will grant a visa in most nonimmigrant classes. However, the H1B and H-4 categories, as well as the L-1 and L-2 categories, are not subject to § 214(b). They enjoy the benefit of the dual intent doctrine and a specific exception from the need to overcome the immigrant intent presumption. More on this is available on MurthyDotCom in Murthy Success Story: H-4 Visa Issuance Successful at Consulate, which describes a similar problem resolved by the Murthy Law Firm.

Murthy Takes Action with DOS and Consulate

Following the second denial of the H-4 visa, the individual in this case contacted the Murthy Law Firm for assistance. It was immediately noted that the § 214(b) denial was inappropriate based on the dual intent provisions within that very section. An attorney from the Special Projects Department in our firm contacted the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Office in Washington D.C., with an explanation of the improper denial at the consulate. The Visa Office agreed with our position and communicated with the consulate regarding the improper visa denial. This resulted in a correction of the error.

Shortly after our communications with the DOS, the consulate requested our client to resubmit his passport and his DS-160 visa application. The H-4 visa stamp was placed in his passport, allowing him to rejoin his wife in the United States.


We at the Murthy Law Firm are always pleased to help individuals and families. The successful result for our client in this case focused on the law and legal doctrines. We want to express our appreciation for the hard work and cooperation of the DOS and U.S. consular officials involved in rectifying the erroneous visa denials.  We offer this example for all visa applicants to consider speaking with an experienced immigration lawyer before giving up on their dream of studying, researching, working, or even temporarily residing in the United States. Should any of our readers have problems with incorrect denials of visa applications, we at the Murthy Law Firm are always available to assist you in seeking appropriate relief.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.