“A very good friend of mine in Ireland has been denied entry to the U.S. He had tried to come here without a visa in 2008 and did not gain entry, so he applied for a visa and was also denied by something called Section 214(b). He is a genuine person who does not intend to live here, and yet he keeps getting denied. Why is this, and what can be done to get him a visa?”

You don’t provide much information about your friend’s background – age, employment status, level of education, etc. – but clearly he’s having a problem convincing U.S. consular officials in Dublin that he would not overstay the terms of a B tourist visa.

You say he was denied entry here in 2008 by using the visa waiver program. This denial would have required him to apply for a B visa at the American Embassy in Dublin.

As part of his application, he would have been asked to provide proof that he has a residence and binding ties in Ireland that would require his return to the country – for instance, a job or education commitments.

If a consular officer thinks that a visa applicant is an overstay risk, the application can be denied under Section 214(b), which states, “Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status.”

In other words, your friend has failed to provide proof that he’ll leave the U.S., and that’s why he’s been denied both entry under the visa waiver program, and a B visa at the embassy.
It could be that your friend is young, single and perhaps jobless. It’s not uncommon for these applicants to be turned down when applying for admittance to the U.S.

If your friend does have a job, or is in the middle of a course of study, presumably he provided evidence to show this. If he didn’t he can re-apply for the visa -- this is allowed for all those who have 214(b) denials.

If he wants to reapply he’ll have to come better prepared in order to secure a visa. The onus is on visa applicants to prove that they have a residence and commitments abroad, so until he’s able to do that he’ll keep getting denied.

HIV Clearance

AS of January 4 of this year, HIV is no longer considered a communicable disease that could ban a person from traveling or immigrating to the U.S. Testing for HIV will also no longer be required as part of the medical exam that all prospective immigrants must undergo before a visa can be issued.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, HIV infection is no longer defined as a communicable disease of public health significance, therefore the immigration-related screening is no longer necessary.

Both non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications contain the question, "Have you ever been afflicted with a communicable disease of public health significance or a dangerous physical or mental disorder, or ever been a drug user or addict?"

As of January 4, HIV-positive visa applicants will no longer have to answer yes to this question based solely on their HIV status.

Those who have been denied admission to the U.S. in the past because of HIV-positive status are now free to re-apply for a visa, and provided everything else is in order, approval will be granted.