I applied for a B1/B2 visa last month and it was denied based on section 214(b). Actually, the Consul told me that I was denied the visa because I was applying for a period longer than 6 months. I wanted to participate in a church programme which has classes (less than 18 hrs/week) and volunteer work, but it's not accredited, so I don't qualify for a student visa. The Consul suggested that I apply for a J1 visa, but this is not possible either as the church is not on the relevant database and it would be too expensive and time consuming for them to enter.
Now I am thinking of reapplying for a B1/B2 visa, but only for a 6-month period. Do you have any ideas on how I could increase my chances of getting it?
Another thing is, the Consul told me that I cannot get an ESTA for the rest of my life because I was rejected for a visa. Is that true? Is there anything I can do about it?
Thanks for the help!