Home EDUCATION 30 Reasons for Student VISA denials 2022/2023

30 Reasons for Student VISA denials 2022/2023


Reasons for Student VISA denials -The rate at which individuals apply for F-1 student visas is high. These individuals often fail to take basic steps to maximize their chances. VISA applicant must show that he or she: is a legitimate, has the ability to cover the costs of education and living in the US and has strong ties to the home country and will depart after the education program is finished.

Reasons For Student VISA Denials

Reasons for Student VISA denials

The article below will focused on some of the most frequent reasons for Student VISA Denial:

  1. Country of Origin – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

One of the determinant factors in the student visa application is the Nationality. A student from economically and politically stable nation for instance France, stand a chance of being issued a visa, whereas applicants from Iraq, Congo, and Uzbekistan have the odds stacked In some cases, unless a prestigious job is awaiting the applicant’s return to a less developed country, it may be difficult to overcome the odds and receive a student visa.

  1. Ties. 

The strength of one’s ties is viewed through the age factor. For young applicants, their parents’ occupations (“Who’s your Daddy?) Test if the applicant’s father “works with his hands” the applicant may be viewed as coming from a poorer family and thus more of an immigration risk. As a part of this standard-of-living analysis, the consul may treat those from rural areas or small towns with less fealty and more likely to deny than those from large cities. A lack of travel to Eurozone countries may be considered a negative, evidencing, in the eyes of the consul, the family’s tenuous financial position and lack of discretionary income, or reflect a “sheltered” applicant who has not yet seen the world.

  1. Interview Problems. 

Student visa interviews takes 2 to 3 minutes, the applicant only gets a single chance to make a first impression. And it is that first impression that counts. While a consul is not supposed to reevaluate the applicant’s English, an applicant’s insufficient English is factored in anyway. An inability to articulate reasons for selecting the university may be fatal.

  1. Lack of Documented Finances. 

The student visa applicant must be able to show evidence and ability to pay for an academic program. Consuls posted in developing countries are very alert to fraud in this regard. Bringing a bank statement showing the transfer of $40,000 on your sponsor’s account 2 days before the interview will raise the question of the source and whether the funds are truly available to pay for the education.

  1.  Previous US Visa Denial – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

 Applicant that was refused a VISA previously will have the Consul check the reasons which “translates” to the student visa application as well. For instance, if you had applied for a visa to visit the US to attend a friend’s convocation, it is very possible that a “lack of ties” factored into the denial, and will also lead to a student visa refusal. If the denial was recent, the current officer may even consult with the previous consul about “what happened” at first interview.


  1. Change of Status in US – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

Many tourists, visitors and Summer Work Travel participants after arriving to the US decide to stay and enroll in school. They change their status and attend school. But what they fail to foresee is the “greeting” that they will receive at the Embassy when they return home to apply for a student visa. They are not considered “returning” students, entitled to deference, but first-time student visa applicants. In the worst case, the consul may feel deceived by the failure to return home after the lapse of their initial status and slap a 212(a)(6)(C)(i) finding on the applicant. Another consul may simply deny under Section 214(b). This, regardless of how long the person studied in the US, how little time is left until graduation, or how much money was already spent on the unfinished education.

  1. Section 221(g) Refusal – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

While a 221(g) decision is only a temporary refusal, the impact could be permanent. If delays cause a student to miss a semester or unable to return to OPT, the student will consider other alternatives. Most prone to 221(g) are Chinese and Russian STEM participants, with the concern of espionage at the forefront. Front-and-center on the consul’s radar are the technologies on the Technology Alert List. Going home mid-semester to attend a friend’s wedding is a recipe for disaster for a STEM student in need of a new student visa. Similarly, those who have a common name may be forced to enter the 221(g) Twilight Zone — caught in the limbo between visa issuance and hard refusal. If the 221(g) becomes protracted, a writ of mandamus lawsuit may be appropriate.

  1. Visa Consultants/Travel Agents/Notaries. 

Agents or VISA consultants are often compensated after issuance of the visa, and so their zeal to maximize the chances of receiving the visa sometimes knows no ends. They may supply fake academic credentials or fake or doctored bank statements. The problem for the student is that this may lead not to just a 214(b) refusal, but to a 212(a)(6)(C)(i) permanent bar. Even if you were not aware of the fake document, the consul will reflexively impute knowledge to you, saying that you are responsible for your agent’s actions.

  1. Other Document Problems – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

Forgetful applicants who do not bring a needed document, such as TOEFL or GRE results or confirmation of a scholarship or bank statements of the sponsor, may end up on the wrong side of the visa decision. While these kinds of situations may be ripe for a 221(g) temporary refusal contingent on the submission of the missing document, sometimes the busy consul will be less forgiving, and render a 214(b) decision.

  1. Relatives in the United States – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

Questions like do you have any relative in the US? The DS-160 asks not just for immediate relatives but other relatives in the US. A failure to disclose the relative in the DS-160 may be considered a material misrepresentation and lead to a 212(a)(6)(C)(i) decision. The interview discussion may center on how the relative settled in the US. If by means of asylum, this may seriously dampen the student visa applicant’s chances. If the applicant’s sibling remained in the US after a Summer Work Travel program, this could also be considered a strike (a loss of “family credibility”). If a sibling is in the US as a student, the consul may consider one sibling in the US as “enough”.

  1. Filing of Immigrant Petition I-130 for F-1.

 A student visa applicant for whom an immigrant petition has been filed could have a problem. There is a DS-160 question that asks this question directly. Failure to indicate the filing of such a petition could lead to a permanent bar. Indicating the petition could lead to other questions: how long ago was the petition filed? Where is the applicant in the immigrant visa line? If the applicant may be entitled to an immigrant visa in the near future, the consular attitude may be that there is no need for a student visa because an immigrant visa will be received soon.

  1. Suspicious Source of Funds – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

The “Who’s Your Daddy?” test may backfire if your father (or mother) — or even one of his close business partners — has earned “questionable” money, particularly if those funds are being used to pay for the education in the US. Similarly, if your father is an “elite” close to a regime anathema to the US, then this may negatively impact the consul’s decision.

  1. Suspicious Courses or Institutions – Reasons For Student VISA Denials.

They are Certain courses or institutions that may set off “red flags” for a consul. Perhaps, a consular validation study showed that student visa recipients attending certain schools were not likely to return home. Or a consular sense that a two-week English language course is just a pretext to stay in the US may be prevalent. “How much will your English improve in 2 weeks?” may be the unspoken consular feeling.

  1. Small, Unknown Community Colleges – Reasons For Student VISA Denials.

 While the “quality” of the institution is not supposed to factor in to a consul decision, sometimes it does. A consul may be more deferential to an Ivy League school applicant — “must be a serious smart student” — than to Community College X in the middle of Nebraska.

  1. Mistakes in DS-160s – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

It is common sense that the DS-160 should not contain any mistakes but experience has shown that they occur all of the time. Cultural differences, language deficiencies, simple negligence, and unfamiliarity with US law can sometimes play a role here. For example, a person may consider himself “unemployed” because he does not work for someone else. But that same person probably would have received a visa had he indicated his actual situation: he was self-employed, had created his own nonprofit organization and had 8 employees working for him. A failure to indicate certain countries visited can lead to a refusal. A common error is the omission of a conviction that has been expunged, which may lead to a standard 214(b) denial as well as a misrepresentation finding (and possible inadmissibility for the underlying crime as well).

  1. “Weak” DS-160 – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

The DS-160 does not provide many opportunities to indicate in-depth detail, but where it does, the applicant needs to wisely utilize the space. A failure to do so can lead to a refusal. For example, if a mid-career student visa applicant for an MBA merely indicates her duties at her bank as “administration, calculate budget” and is passive at the interview, the consul may be less than impressed.

  1. Bad Students – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

The consul will question issuance of a visa to a returning student who has a poor academic track record while in the States (e.g., poor grades or poor attendance on an initial F-1 visa).

  1. Previously Spent Substantial Time in US – Reasons For Student VISA Denials.

 When a student visa applicant had previously spent substantial time in the US, the consul may believe that it is “time to spend some time at home” to reestablish ties to the home country. For example, an applicant who studied in high school for four years and is very “Americanized” who now wishes to continue studies in the US may encounter such a consular mindset.

  1. Worked in US Illegally – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

For a student visa applicant who had previously worked illegally in the US this is a no-brainer for the consul. Not only did the applicant engage in illegal behavior, but this probably reflects poor finances and a lack of economic ties to the home country. This applicant will not be receiving a student visa.

  1. Politic factor – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

Some visa refusals, including student visas, are tied to the ebb and flow of politics. From the Trump Travel Bans of applicants from mostly Muslim-majority countries, to Chinese scholars (“Visas are the Newest Weapon in US-China Rivalry”) and Russian students (“Russian Students Started Getting Denied US Visas More Often”), when geopolitical tensions ratchet up, the number of refusals and delays also go up.

  1. Admissions Process Mistakes and/or Misrepresentations. 

Another ripe area for potential misrepresentation findings is when a consul digs into an applicant’s qualifications. For example, if university enrollment is contingent on passing a certain exam, and the applicant applies for a visa with an already-issued I-20, the consul may doubt whether the university is fully aware of the applicant’s “missing” qualifications. Was it a university oversight or did the applicant submit false academic records to the university?

  1. Refusal Due to Inadmissibility – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

All student visa applicants are subject to the general grounds of inadmissibility, including health, criminal, security and immigration violations. For example, if the applicant had a conviction for a serious crime of moral turpitude — even if it took place 10 years ago and was expunged — he is not eligible for a student visa without a nonimmigrant waiver. If the company that he owns provided a bogus employment letter to an applicant for a US visa, he could be accused of having engaged in alien smuggling, another grounds of inadmissibility requiring a nonimmigrant waiver.

  1. US-based “Significant Other” Sponsor – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

The finances discussion above addresses the commitment of the financial sponsor. If the student visa applicant and sponsor in the US have a romantic relationship, this may raise questions about the applicant’s and sponsor’s motives: is the student visa being used as a pretext to move to the US? The consul will take a much closer look at the ties and intentions of the applicant and may consider that a fiancée visa is the more appropriate visa.

  1. Dependents Staying at Home while Breadwinner Goes to the States to Study. 

While it may seem counterintuitive to view this as a negative — after all, the applicant is much more likely to return home if his family remains at home — the consul may wonder: “If the applicant leaves his job and will not be earning a salary in the US, who will support the family financially?” The applicant is going to the US to study, not work, so how will the family be supported in his absence?

  1. Dependents Applying Separately from the F-1 Student.

 Although the consul is supposed to deny the dependents “rarely” in a situation after the F-1 receives a visa, if the consul feels that the applicants tried to game the system by applying separately, she may deny the family members.

  1. Social Media – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

If the applicant’s social media shows drug use or a “party animal” or “spoiled rich kid” persona, the consul may question the seriousness of the student.

  1. Questionable Contact Persons Listed in DS-160. 

For students, the DS-160 requests two contacts. If a contact listed is on an embassy “black list” or was previously denied a US visa, the negative association effect may rear its head.

  1. Discrepancies or Illogicalities, Something is Odd or Does Not Make Sense. 

Consuls are creatures of habit, and so when something does not seem right, the student visa applicant starts out in a hole. If the applicant indicates that she previously studied in Germany but her passport does not show entry to Germany, the consul may question whether the applicant had actually studied in Germany. Similarly, the consul may be suspicious of the backstory of an ESL applicant and his employer if the applicant has only worked for a company for a few months and is now being sent to the US for a 3-month English course.

  1. Applying in Third Country – Reasons For Student VISA Denials. 

While not a “discrepancy”, a consul may view a recent immigrant/resident with added suspicion. For example, if she legally moved to the UK from Nigeria last year and now wants to study in the US, the consul may take the approach: “Come back and apply again when you are more settled in.”

  1. “Eternal Student” Problem. 

A student visa applicant who seems to show more interest in collecting diplomas or the college “experience” than working or a career may test the patience of the consul. This is particularly true where the applicant seems directionless — perhaps working on a 3rd Ph. D. or in the 6th or 7th year of a 4 year program.

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