Why Are US Student Visas Denied and How to Apply Successfully?

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A small group of students study outdoors.

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In the United States, the main destination for international students, there is no favoritism when applying for a visa. Even students admitted to the best universities, with high academic qualifications, and those who come from families with high purchasing power, can be refused a student visa.

Every year, thousands of student visa applications are denied, and in most cases, this is due to basic errors made on the application form.

There are many reasons why a visa may be refused. They are all listed under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which assumes that all visa applicants are immigrants unless they can credibly demonstrate that their family, economic and outside the United States are strong enough to return to their country on schedule. end of their authorized stay.

Although the F-1 nonimmigrant visa is the most common type of visa issued to students who wish to pursue higher education in the United States, there are also other visas, such as the M-1 and the J- 1.

Students who plan to attend a private elementary school, high school, language training program, or seminary also apply for the F-1 visa.

However, persons entering the United States under other visa categories are not permitted to enroll in a university without an F-1 visa.

Top Mistakes When Applying for an F-1 Visa

The fewer mistakes you make, the more likely you are to get a visa. Here are the most common mistakes:

Lack of proof of intention to return home at the end of the academic program to an institution certified by the SEVP – Student and Exchange Visitor Program – is a compelling reason for the rejection of a visa application. By not confirming the intention to return to the home country after completing higher education, the visa is not approved.

Lack of evidence demonstrating strong ties or traditional ties – marital, children, property – with their country of origin, which determines whether the visa applicant intends to stay or leave the country upon completion of studies.

Lack of sufficient funding and insufficient documentary evidence of finances. Not being able to demonstrate that you have the financial ability to cover your education and living expenses in the United States may be considered an indication of intent to work without authorization. Submitting a bank statement with a certain amount deposited two days before the interview raises questions about the source of funding to live a college year in the United States and whether bank funds are available to pay for the college program.

Lack of evidence on English exams such as TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo English Test.

Mention that you have relatives living in the United States The question will ask how these relatives entered the country.

Indicate that you wish to work in the United States after graduation. If an officer believes a student may be trying to overstay, the student may be denied admission.

If it is determined that the student visa applicant may be a potential immigrant, the officer will reject the visa immediately.

False or inappropriate documents.

Failing security checks on various government databases.

If you are coming to the United States to study a technologically or politically sensitive subject, you may need to pass an additional security clearance before receiving a visa. Most likely, the visa will not be refused, but the application processing time may be delayed. In these cases, students often have to defer admission for a semester or a year.

You have been found inadmissible to the United States or have a previous visa denial. Common inadmissibility charges include criminal convictions, fraud, and previous stays in the United States of more than 180 days. In addition, many tourists enroll in courses upon arrival in the United States and then apply for a student visa to return to the United States. Their visas may be refused.

You do not prove that you have been accepted into an SEVP-certified institution with the original I-20 or DS-2019 forms required for F-1 and J-1 student visas, respectively.

You experience any of the following issues during the brief interview: misconduct at the time of the interview; poor communication or language skills with difficulty in English, poor body language, droopy eyes, poor or overly ostentatious clothing, among other negative aspects; failing to give convincing and confident answers in the interview.

Failure to provide reasons for choosing a specific university, country and program. If a student is unable to justify their intentions to the visa officer, there is a good chance that their application will be rejected. Be sure to be prepared to explain why you chose the course, college, and university you gained admission to, and explain how the selected program fits into your career plans.

Your answers are long and confusing.

Tips for Proving Strong Ties to Country of Origin

Depending on the type of student visa and the age of the applicant, consular authorities focus on different aspects to determine strong ties. During the interview, students must provide the supporting documents required by their visa category.

Students between the ages of 17 and 20 applying for a visa for the first time must provide their academic background and explain their most immediate intentions.

Graduates applying for an MBA and advanced study visa must provide information about their academic background, career plans, and how the academic program they are applying to will support the achievement of their plans.

For a student visa application in mid-career, between the ages of 20 and 45, the interview at the embassy covers current employment, goals, family ties, professional stability, academic program and ability to do so. carry out.

The interview for a visa to study English depends on the student’s age and background, and how the language education program will influence their long-term plans.

If the visa is for occasional or amateur students, the interview is only about strong ties.

If it is a visa for primary or secondary students, the student must provide proof of parents’ finances, such as bank accounts, future employment opportunities in the home country and written statements from the family about future plans to return home. Prepare a realistic argument about why you intend to return.

Tips for Applying for a US Student Visa

The sooner you submit the application, the more likely you are to be approved. During admissions season, there is a saturation in processing as the number of applications increases, so late applications have a higher risk of rejection.

A student visa may be denied if you apply after the program start date on your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

Check all the documents required for the student visa. Provide adequate proof of English proficiency.

Properly document all your academic qualifications.

Be prepared for all sorts of questions about your financial situation and bring evidence showing cash rather than real estate or other assets. You must prove that you have enough money to cover at least the expenses of the first academic year.

Be honest and convincing during the visa interview without evading questions. It is crucial to prepare adequate, short and clear answers beforehand on the reasons why you have chosen the country, the training and the establishment indicating the reasons for returning to your country of origin.

Carefully write the SOP – statement of intent – for the visa, according to the specific guidelines.

This story was originally published August 11, 2022 2:47 p.m.

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Isabel Olmos is a journalist with the Servicio Público. En el Nuevo Herald ha escrito historias para Trasfondo, Locales, Revista Viernes y Galería 305, y ha cubierto temas basices como salud, arte, cuisine y viajes. Is a documentary filmmaker for television. Es Licenciada en Periodismo por el CEU Universidad San Pablo de Valencia, España.

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