Denied F-1 visa? Don’t give up yet. Here is another way to approach it
So supposedly you are in the most frequently denied category of F-1 visa applicants:
- Late 20s early 30s
- From a developing country
- No strong ties to home country
And you applied for a full degree program in America, such as an undergraduate degree or even an associates degree from a community college, chances are you would be rejected by the USCIS during your visa interview. The reason is simple: someone of your age isn’t likely to start over with a full degree program which takes alot of time and effort. You may be willing to put in the sacrifices and study hard because you genuinely want to study that particular field or subject, however the immigration officer would not think so. The officer would view your application as your attempt to get into America and then either try to get a green card via marriage or simply over stay and work illegally without really ever going to school.
Here is another way
What should you do? Do you just give up and forget any dreams of coming to America and staying? No, not just yet! Have you ever considered language school? Yes, America has numerous schools that offer intensive English language courses designed to help people improve and learn English. In fact, some of these programs even allow B1/B2 tourist visa holders to attend. Learning a foreign language, especially English, is welcomed by America as it helps America extend its influence in world dominance. Chances are you were required to learn English in your home country simply because it is the de facto universal language in our world today. English is the language of today’s science, business and commerce and therefore it is not suspicious for anyone of at any point in their lives to want to enrich and improve their knowledge of English, especially in a country like America. Applying to language schools are super easy compared to any degree program because there would be no standardized tests to take, there are no transcripts to submit, and most of all the programs are always short term and considerably cheaper (because they are by weeks not years) than full degree programs. And the utmost incentive? You do get a full, bona fide F-1 visa stamp in your passport if you are successful.
So what does this involve?
Now before you think you found the ultimate loophole in getting into America using a F-1 visa, you have to make some necessary preparations at home before you undertake this method. I am assuming that you intend on continuing your studies in America in obtaining a degree. I am not here to advocate illegal immigration methods. I just know that, despite your true intentions, immigration visa officers sometimes follow a set formula and guideline which may put you in the reject pile. So, after you have found the right language school to apply to and received an I-20, here is what you should prepare before coming to America:
- finances to document you can support yourself for a full degree program. This is still needed to get the I-20 from the school you intend on going to.
- prepare for TOEFL (which might be something the language school will help you prepare and you may take it as a part of your language training)
- prepare for any standardized tests such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT. You need the scores to apply to the school you intend on going to.
- prepare and obtain high school transcripts, college transcripts if you have any, and graduate transcripts if you have any. These are needed for the school you intend on going to.
- seek out individuals in your home country that can write letters of recommendation for you when you apply to schools. They just need to be willing to write one when time comes.
F-1 visa validity – Transfer soon!
Because the F-1 visa that you will be given might only be valid for a few months (some countries get 5 year F-1 visas for language schools, if this is you then you don’t have to read this next part), you need to act quickly. Assuming your visa is only valid for 6 months, you should prepare yourself to apply and be accepted to a school before the expiration. Therefore it is important that your language school dates line up with application deadlines and admission dates for the school you intend on attending. You can only stay on an expired F-1 visa IF you were already in a degree program with an active I-20 prior to the expiration. If your F-1 visa expires before you transfer, you will not be able to stay in America to study. If your visa is valid for longer periods, you can easily enter another session of your language school to maintain active F-1 status with an active I-20 while you prepare for standardized tests and also make money while working on-campus. You can also transfer to a community college to take courses in college as long as you have a valid F-1 visa, work on-campus to save money, take tests, and then apply to your final school of choice.
Don’t give up
Chasing your dreams require perseverance and persistence. Don’t let the first failure discourage you from becoming a student immigrant. Make sure you read the pointers on showing strong ties to your home country during the interview and the guide to becoming a student immigrant. Try language schools, try short term programs and as long as you get the F-1 visa stamp in your passport, you are free to transfer and move about the country of United States of America.