When you submit an application for a temporary visa, such as a student visa or tourist visa, or a permanent visa, such as a family-sponsored green card or a K1 fiance visa, there is a chance that your application may be denied. If your visa is refused, you may be curious about whether or not you'll be given a refund on your application fee. To discover whether you can request a refund in this scenario, simply continue reading.
Do I Get A Refund If My Visa Application Is Refused?
While some countries offer refunds to failed visa applicants, for the time being, the United States does not offer refunds on refused visas. One reason why you won't receive a refund if your petition is denied is that even if the USCIS or your nearest US consulate or embassy chooses to reject your application, a lot of time would still have been spent on assessing your application. As the USCIS and the US embassies and consulates have to pay their staff members for their time, it's only fair that the USCIS keeps your application fee regardless of whether your visa is ultimately approved or dismissed.
The second key reason why applicants who aren't granted visas aren't able to request refunds is that in most cases applicants who have their visas declined were not eligible to apply for the visa which they petitioned in the first place. In order to prevent yourself from wasting your hard-earned money, it's important to double-check which visas you are eligible for before you submit your visa application and pay your application fee.
For example, if you filled out an application form for a family-sponsored visa and asked your aunt, cousin, or grandparent to be your sponsor, your application will be quickly denied and you will lose the money which you spent on your application fee. This is due to the fact that the only family members who can legally sponsor a family-sponsored green card are a spouse, fiance, parent, child, or sibling. As a second example, if you have overstayed a temporary visa such as a tourist visa in the past, you should be aware that your history is grounds for your application being dismissed.
Are There Any Exceptions?
While you won't be given a refund if your visa is denied, you can apply for a refund if you have evidence that the USCIS made an error and filed your petition incorrectly. In this unlikely circumstance, you should contact customer support at the USCIS as soon as possible. In order to increase your chances of having your application fee refunded in full. If you submitted your visa petition online through the USCIS web portal, you'll be able to contact customer support directly through your USCIS account. Alternatively, if you submitted your application through the post, you can ask for a refund through the post or by ringing the USCIS.
You can also apply for a partial refund if you have evidence to show that the USCIS collected the wrong sum of money from you. For example, if you only submitted a single application and the USCIS double-billed your credit card, you have a strong case to be given a partial refund. So if you check your credit card statement or bank account statement and find that you have been incorrectly charged by the USCIS, it's within your best interests to contest the charges as soon as possible.
Can I Request A Refund If I Accidentally Submitted Two Applications?
Unfortunately no, if you accidentally submitted two visa applications and were promptly billed for both applications, it's highly unlikely that you'll get your money back. So be careful not to submit multiple visa applications, unless you are prepared to pay multiple application fees. In most cases, if your initial application is taking longer than you expected, there may simply be a backlog of applications that the USCIS is trying to get through.
However, if a significant amount of time has passed since you filed your petition and you are concerned that your application may have got lost, if you filled your application online, it's well worth checking the updated status of your visa petition online. As if you have significant reason to believe that your visa may have been lost, you'll be able to contact a staff member at the USCIS, through your online account with the USCIS. Do, however, hold off filling out a second application form, until your first application form has been processed, in order to avoid having to pay another application fee unnecessarily.
Can I Request A Refund If I Paid For Premium Processing?
If you opted to pay an additional fee for premium processing, you are in effect paying to ensure that your application is expedited. If you believe that your petition was not processed within the time stipulated for the USCIS' premium processing service, you can request a refund for the premium processing fee which you would have paid. You can either request a refund by emailing your specific premium processing unit or by ringing 1-866-315-5718. Just ensure that you have your receipt number for your premium processing service on hand. As you'll need your receipt number in order to request a refund. So that the customer support agent who takes your call is able to look up the details of your transaction.
Remember that you'll only be able to request a refund on an application fee if the USCIS made a rare error with filing your application or incorrectly charged your credit card or bank account. If your request for a temporary visa such as a student visa or a temporary work visa or your petition for a green card is denied, you won't be able to get your initial application fee back. So it's a wise idea to double-check your eligibility for your chosen visa and to fill out every section of your application in full, before paying your application fee. As it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure that you're eligible to apply for a visa and to fill out every section of your visa.