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What are Common Reasons for Refusal of a US Student Visa?

For students planning on studying in the United States, applying for a study visa in the United States is essential. Many students have missed out on study time due to visa refusal. Huatong Study Abroad will introduce to you the common reasons for rejection of study visas in the United States in hopes that it will help students with their visa approval process. 

What are common reasons for US student visa refusal?

1. Detection of immigration tendencies

Applications with immigration tendencies are one of the most common reasons for visa refusal. The U.S. government does not encourage people to immigrate under the guise of studying abroad. Therefore, visa officers will thoroughly examine applications for immigration intentions. In addition to preparing a reasonable study plan and post-graduation plan during the interview, the applicant must prove that they have no immigration tendencies.

2. Submitting false materials

Remember not to submit false documents when applying for a visa.

3. Insufficient study funds

Usually, when applying for a US student visa, an individual must provide financial information that guarantees they are capable of covering all the expenses during their study period and that these funds last a 12 month period. At present, a considerable proportion of visa refusal cases are due to the fact that the applicant does not meet the financial requirements.

4. Those who do not meet education requirements

Applicants who failed to obtain a high school diploma, enter a Chinese university, and obtain a degree from a university are rarely approved for a visa. Visa officials would conclude that a student who does not have the ability to enter or complete their studies at a Chinese institution of higher education will generally be unsuccessful in the United States.

5. The appointment is too late

The timing of appointments is especially important as you want to arrive in the U.S. before the start of classes at American universities. No excuse will be accepted by visa officers. 

6. Poor course selection

If you apply solely to study English in the United States, there is a great likelihood of visa refusal.  This is due to the vast opportunities to learn English in China at a lesser price point. 

7. Poor performance in interviews

For visa applications sent to the U.S. embassy by the Service Center for Study Abroad of the Ministry of Education, the visa officer will select individual applicants for interviews according to the situation. If the applicant’s answers do not satisfy the visa officer, or their English skills are poor, there is a chance of visa refusal. 

8. The motive of study abroad is unclear

Some applicants have been refused visas because they are unsure about the university they are going to attend and their major of interest. For example, someone applies to study at the University of Florida because the weather is nice there. In addition, if applicants do not have a clear study plan or post-matriculation plans, their chances of visa approval will drastically decrease. You must show the visa officer clear intentions for studying abroad.

9. Poor English skills

When applying for a student visa, applicants should make sure they are proficient in speaking English. Applicants should be prepared to be tested on their English abilities when applying for a visa.

How to deal with refusal of US student visa

1. Find out the taste of the visa officer

There is nothing more embarrassing than having all the material prepared but losing at the hands of the visa officer. Therefore, it is very necessary to conduct some careful observations on the visa officer before reapplying for a visa.

Understanding the visa officer’s thought process may guide you to answering questions accordingly. Provided that you are proficient in English, this can effectively improve the success rate of re-applications. 

2. Supplementary Letter of Appeal

Revealing a strong immigration tendency is often the main reason why visa applications are denied, especially in the context of Trump’s repressive immigration policies. At this time, a letter of representation expressing a strong desire to return to China upon matriculation is necessary. 

When reapplying, be clear about what you plan to do when you return to China and how studying in the United States will help achieve your future career goals. 

When providing a reason for returning to China, you can specify a role model, famous or non-famous, who followed a similar path to the one you plan to take. 

3. Recall the shortcomings of your own interview

Carefully recall the events of the interview from start to finish. Do not limit your reflection solely to language, but even facial expressions and gestures. Were any of these components offensive or taboo to the interviewer?  

After discovering your own problems, make targeted reinforcements. Never fall into the same hole twice, or even multiple times.

4. Recheck the application materials

Many students may be rejected because the visa officer believes that it is difficult to make a living in the United States, and there may be a risk for illegal work. 

In such a situation, you don’t have to panic. It is not necessary to make an effort to prove you will have additional funds. You can provide further proof of sufficient funding for studying abroad. This may include materials about car ownership, or work experience in a regular enterprise. Make the visa officer believe you have sufficient survivability in China following graduation. 

If the visa officer feels that this is still not enough, you can provide further supplemental materials such as a fax from an American professor or a recommendation letter from a current supervisor.  

When re-signing, the visa officer mainly looks at the newly supplemented materials to see if you have provided sufficient material. As long as you spend enough time on these materials, the chance of visa approval will increase.

Songzi Li/Managing Editor

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