How does the Unites States issue visas to Ukrainians: statistics of the State Department for 10 years

The entrepreneur Emil Salmanov, CEO of We Travel, posted on Facebook a chart of denials of US visa to Ukrainians. In his own observations, from 2006 to 2008 and from 2009 to 2013 there was a positive trend, and 2009, 2015 and 2016 became the years, when the number of denials increased. This is the data on denials of tourist visas of B type. The editorial team studied variations in visa (business and tourist) issue to Ukrainians for the last 10 years and asked the lawyers about trends in this area.

The website of the US State Department has detailed statistics on visas, issued by types for the last 17 years. We selected a few major types of visas, issued for the period from 2007 to 2017 for Ukraine, as well as overall statistics on the country for the last years, as follows:

Type of visa
Total number
Year В1/В2 О H J Е B1 B2
2007 20,990 63 959 9,345 21 329 600
2008 25,439 75 791 11,749 9 155 974 51,454
2009 20,924 61 493 9,216 23 122 777 43,698
2010 20,356 59 617 11,232 20 154 787 45,377
2011 25,455 65 722 9,310 18 188 868 50,086
2012 29,498 64 859 8,504 14 167 873 54,734
2013 30,883 130 796 5,594 58 173 1,058 51,934
2014 41,600 100 856 5,390 29 317 1,077 62,976
2015 52,943 118 855 7,215 76 267 930 77,203
2016 45,638 169 1388 6,597 174 456 1,301 72,624
2017 45,709 208 1061 4,451 120 708 1,409 70,650

Upon request of our editorial team, Semen Gladin, US Immigration Attorney from White Summers Caffee & James, who also assisted Ukrainian entrepreneurs with relocation, commented the trends in issue of permits to enter the United States. He told about the most popular types of visas, as follows:

  • В1/В2 (business/tourism). This visa does not allow working in the USA and, in general, the Lawyer dealt with small number of such visas. However, according to the Lawyer, at the level of unofficial monitoring, policy and practice of this visa issue have been tightened. The Lawyer says, “This is so much the case that they revoke В1/В2 В1/В2 visas, which already have been issued. I’ve heard about one guy, who was summoned to appear in the embassy where they asked to give his passport and cancelled his visa, because Pension Fund of Ukraine had not confirmed the receipt of payments to his account from the declared employer in Ukraine – it was interpreted as initial deception and absence of relationships, holding him in the homeland.”
  • О1 (visa for very gifted people). The Lawyer often deals with this type of visa. According to him, if you get approval from local department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (US Dept. of Homeland Security/US Citizenship and Immigration Services), based on statistics, you will probably have 100% success.
  • Е2 (visa for investors from the countries, which signed trade agreements with the USA). According to Semen Gladin, in contrast to other visas, this one can be obtained without approval from “local department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs” or change the status within the USA. However, as distinct from other working visas, this will not be a landmark decision for the embassy, therefore, even after getting approval to change the status into Е2, if it is necessary to cross the border, you anyway have to obtain direct approval of the embassy/State Department. The statistics on this type of visas is disappointing. The Lawyer says, “Problems with Е2 consist in the necessity to show that the funds to be spent on investment were honestly earned (most often, providing the evidence of tax payment) – that can be quite difficult in Ukraine for obvious reasons. Therefore, we prefer to change the status within the USA without further cross-board travelling. Statistics on change of status in the USA is 100% success.”
  • H-1B (visa for professionals, going to the USA with the purpose of professional work). According to Semen Gladin, in principle, there are many problems with this visa, but almost no disapprovals by State Department in Ukraine.
  • J-1 (exchange visitor) – is often used as temporary substitute for H-1B visa – statistics on this type of visa is negative.