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What are the chances of being rejected for a travel visa to the US?

Not exactly an open door policy.
By Natasha Frost, Dan Kopf
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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

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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