New Member
My in-laws (Father, Mother and Sister) went for B2 visa interview in Jan 2020 and they got rejected under section 214(b). The purpose of the visit was to attend their daughter's (my wife's) graduation ceremony that was to be held in Summer 2020. My wife is pursuing a Masters degree and is on H4 visa (dependent on my H1B). When asked for visa my Father-in-law produced expired visa stamp instead of valid (i.e. extended) I797 for H4 and that seems to be the underlying reason for rejection. Given below are the interview Q&A between the consular officer (CO) and my father-in-law (FIL).

CO: Good morning, what's the purpose of your visit?
FIL: To attend my daughter's graduation ceremony
CO: where's she studying
FIL: Told the name of the University
CO: Can I see her visa?
FIL: He produces the photocopy of my wife's expired H4 (expired Sep 2019)
CO: This is expired. Do you have a renewed visa?
He goes inside to consult someone... In the meantime my FIL searches for a valid visa document (not knowing that he will not find)
CO (after coming back): You don't have to search. I will check my computer.
FIL stops searching
CO: Sorry sir we cannot grant you visa today since I couldn't find her renewed visa information.

It was really unfortunate that my FIL did not produce renewed I797 which he carried in his stack, when asked for current visa - I feel this would have convinced the CO to grant the visa - correct me if I am wrong.

I was initially shocked that the CO didn't find information of renewed I797 on his database. But I was also confused as to what database he was referring to. I wish we had coached him well to produce I797 when asked for a visa.

We later found out that my wife had not updated her university about the renewed I797 - when she started her program she updated the university based on her previous I797 which was still valid then. Do you think that not updating the university with most recent I797 information was the reason the CO didn't find the information on his database?

My wife updated her university as soon as she found about this - so her university has the most current information.

One travel agent in India suggests that 'our expired visa stamp is the reason for their visa rejection' and that we should get our visa stamped based on the most recent I797 by traveling to India or Canada before my in-laws appear for interview for a second time. This sounds ridiculous to me since I know a few other cases where parents have go visa when their children in US had expired H1B or H4 visa but valid I797.

My main question: Since it looks like my wife's expired H4 visa could be a reason for their B2 visa rejection should we (my wife and I) get our visa stamped before my in-laws appear for the second time?

My wife has now extended here graduation ceremony to Dec 2020. I appreciate any input on how I should proceed. Thanks for your time!