There are several factors that can limit an applicant from obtaining an F-1 Student Visa to further academic study at a school, college or university in the United States. These range from having the basic ability to qualify under the terms of the F-1 student visa to more specialized issues.
Taking a Look at the Fundamental F-1 Visa Qualifications
In order to acquire an F-1 academic student visa, all applicants must be able to provide the following to the U.S. consular agent doing the interview:
- Acceptance to an SEVP-certified institution, as shown by having been issued an original I-20 or DS-2019 form
- Competent in the English language
- Proof of financial resources enough to cover tuition, living expenses and additional costs as designated on the I-20 form or DS-2019, and
- Evidence of intent to return home upon completion of the academic program
If you are unable to provide any documentation to support these factors, the risk of not getting an F-1 student visa will be high.
Filing an F-1 Student Visa Application Late Can Lead to a Denial
Planning ahead and submitting F-1 student visa applications in good timing is crucial to the success of the application process. A student visa application will be denied if it is submitted after the program start date on the I-20 or DS-2019 form. The consul chosen to interview the applicant can deny the visa application even if the program start date has not passed as they have reason to believe that the applicant will enter the U.S. after the date has passed.
An approval can be granted if the institution can confirm that the applicant will still be allowed to enroll in the program and register for courses at the time of entry into the U.S.
Lack of Financial Resources Can End the Possibility of Getting a Student Visa
Student visa applications can be denied if there is no evidence of sufficient funds to cover the expenses as shown on the I-20 or DS-2019 form, that also includes tuition and living expenses. Financial evidence must show liquid assets, that is, one that is immediately accessible to use such as cash or real estate or fine art. Consular officers do not expect that the applicant will have enough liquid assets to cover the entire duration of the program, but as required there should be enough funds available to cover a minimum of one year.
No Proof of Intent to Return to Home Country May End in a Denial
One of the most common reasons student visas are denied is that consular officers are very skeptical that applicants will return to their home country. Consuls are advised to keenly review a variety of factors when making a decision on an application. These details include:
- Bank accounts in one’s home country
- Future employment opportunities at home
- Written statements by family members or friends about a future return plan
At times it can be very difficult to provide such evidence especially a young student who has not been able to establish strong social ties with their home country outside of his or her relationships. Consular agents are quite understanding of this, but denials still happen. It is very important for the student to provide convincing supporting evidence of a plan to return home immediately after the program ends.
Failure to Pass a Security Check Can Result in a Visa Denial
Every foreign national applying for a student visa will be required to undergo a security check within various government databases to see if their name has been tagged for any reason. If an applicant is tagged within a database system, he or she will not receive a student visa, but it is all dependent on the reason that person was tagged for. If the student is planning to enter the U.S. to study a technologically or politically sensitive topic, that individual will need to pass an additional security clearance before getting a visa. The security screening might not result in a denial, but it could delay the processing time of the application; students often have to postpone their admission for a semester or a year if and when this happens.
Hire an Immigration Attorney
If you plan to further your studies in the U.S. and you have shown interest in applying for an F-1 student visa talk to an immigration lawyer to help with the application process. Call Gambacorta Law Office at 847 908 4913 for a first free consultation.