I'm thinking of applying for USA visa (B2) because I'm moving to China to study. Since there are no direct flight from my country to China, I'm considering flying through the US and, perhaps, spending a couple of days there.

I'm still not sure I'll go through US. It's also possible to go through Europe. Maybe I'll fly over US just when going back. Anyway, it seems applying for the visa now is a good idea, because afterwards, I'll be outside my home country and can be more difficult to apply, right?

Should I be concerned about getting a visa refusal, because I'm not completely sure that I'll go through US now? In case of a refusal, does the passport gets stamped?

I looked at this question here, thinking it might be the same in the US.

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    The title doesn't match the question. A visa refusal is a problem regardless of whether or not your passport is stamped. – ugoren Jun 11 '17 at 10:28
  • Is it better now? – KcFnMi Jun 11 '17 at 10:30
  • much better. I still think the stamp issue is unimportant. A refusal can have consequences without it. – ugoren Jun 11 '17 at 14:45
  • Might be interesting to read: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/7999/… – Michael Jun 11 '17 at 17:47
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    To add to the OP's question, is there any negative effect from being granted a US visa and not using it? – Spehro Pefhany Jun 12 '17 at 20:09
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In case of refusal, does the passport gets stamped?

I can say definitively that as of February 6, 2017 the USA no longer puts the Application Received visa stamps in passports to indicate refusals. Indeed consular officers are specifically instructed not to do so.

From the Department of State:

9 FAM 403.10-3(A)(8) (U) Indicating Nonimmigrant Visa Refusals in Passports (CT:VISA-1; 11-18-2015)

(U) Do not place a stamp indicating “application received,” or any other marking in an applicant’s passport in connection with a visa application. With issuance and refusal data now available to all posts through the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), there is no longer a need to alert interviewing officers to previous refusals by making a marking in an applicant’s passport. In addition, CCD information is now available at secondary in ports of entries (POEs) and at other DHS offices. Officers at posts in Canada and Mexico should ensure they follow the procedures in 9 FAM 403.10-3(A)(7) above for refusing applicants who may have been eligible for automatic visa revalidation at POEs.

The old procedure was:

PN1.2-13 Indicate Refusal in Passport

a. Posts must place a stamp in the applicant's passport to indicate when a visa application is received and refused. The stamp is for record keeping purposes, i.e., it will assist the post in locating chronologically filed applications if the applicant reapplies for a visa. If the applicant applies at a different post, it will immediately alert the officer that the applicant has made a previous application for a visa.

b. The stamp must contain the following text:

U.S. (Embassy/Consulate General/Consulate) (Name of Post)

Application Received on _____________(Date of Application).

The old stamp made it readily apparent to other consulates and everyone that you had been refused a US visa. Now as it stands, only the Five Eyes might know this. Does not mean it gives you the license to lie when applying for visas to other countries, however it opens up that avenue.

Should I be concerned with a visa refusal because I'm not complete sure I'll go through US now?

No visa application is every completely guaranteed and a visa refusal anywhere is generally a negative when applying for a visa to even a different country, so being concerned is normal and it is generally better to apply when you're convinced you will be using it.

It depends in many factors. Based in what you write, I wouldn't apply now, but I can't really say it's the right thing.

The key question is what are the chances of refusal. If they're significant, then applying may be bad for you, because the rejection may make it harder to get a visa in the future. One if the thing you need to show in order to get a visa is strong ties to your home country. Moving to China for two years may make it hard.

Not applying would mean you can't fly through the USA. But you have other options, so it doesn't seem critical.

  • When you say "Moving to China for two years may make it hard.", should I think that in the future I'll have less ties with my original country and so less change to get a US visa. And so would it be better to apply for a visa now? – KcFnMi Jun 11 '17 at 17:36
  • I'm saying it might lead to a refusal now, if they know of your intention to move (and you're required to reveal anything relevant). I'm not saying it will lead to refusal - nobody can say for sure. – ugoren Jun 11 '17 at 18:17

There's no reason to get a visa now to maybe/maybe not use it in two years' time.

You've misunderstood the restrictions on where you can apply for visas. The US requires you to apply for a visa from either a country of which you're a citizen or your country of residence. Since you'll be spending two years studying in China, China will be your country of residence. If you decide to come home via the USA (or anywhere else), you can apply for any necessary visa in China.

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    This does not answer his main question. – Musonius Rufus Jun 11 '17 at 12:03
  • @PaulofOsawatomie Because their main question is irrelevant to their actual problem. – David Richerby Jun 11 '17 at 12:08
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    There are many reasons to get a visa now rather than in China. It's much easier to do the necessary paperwork, communicate with the consulate's local staff, etc. in your own country than in a foreign country. – Relaxed Jun 11 '17 at 12:32

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