Antigua and Barbuda has lowest US visa refusal rates in OECS

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A common reason for visa application denials is an applicant failing to convince authorities that they do not intend to immigrate to the US
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By Shermain Bique-Charles

[email protected]

Antigua and Barbuda had the lowest refusal rates in the OECS for US non-immigrant visas last year.

That revelation comes via an updated report posted to the website of the US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

According to that report, the refusal rate for Antiguan and Barbudan nationals who applied for and were refused B-1 or B-2 visas last year stands at 14.09 percent.

In comparison, the refusal rate for Dominica is 25 percent, Grenada – 16.58 percent, St Kitts and Nevis – 17.14 percent, St Lucia – 16.72 percent, and St Vincent and the Grenadines – 14.12 percent.

Those statistics make Antigua and Barbuda the most successful within the OECS – as far as US visitor visa approvals for last year are concerned – and also place the country among the best in the wider region.

Across Caricom, the Bahamas has an 8.3 percent refusal rate, Barbados – 6.55 percent, Belize – 26.45 percent, Guyana – 28.42 percent, Haiti – 47.12 percent, Jamaica – 30.04 percent, Suriname – 11.91 percent, and Trinidad and Tobago – 13.64 percent.

Some of the most common reasons for visa application denials include the applicant failing to convince authorities that they have strong ties in their homeland and do not intend to immigrate to the US; a perceived likelihood that the applicant will become financially dependent on the US government; and having previously been in the country illegally.

The US is home to one of the largest Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora populations, and is the twin island nation’s foremost tourism source market.

Queries have been made in past years about the establishment of a US embassy in Antigua and Barbuda or another OECS territory, but US officials have previously shot down the possibility, noting the significant resources required to do so.

Currently, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are primarily served by the US Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados.

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