If you wish to study in the U.S. and need to apply for a U.S. student visa, you should be aware that obtaining a student visa (an F or M visa) is much harder and more challenging than before, especially for students from certain countries. Student visas used to be issued much more quickly and easily. Unfortunately, the numbers show that the U.S. government is issuing a lot less student visas than before.
In 2014, the United States issued 627,704 F Student Visas. In contrast, in 2018, only 389,579 F Student Visas were issued. In other words, F Student Visa issuance is down to 62% compared to 2014.
The numbers for M visas (vocational students) are not much better. In 2014, the United States issued 12,210 M Student Visas. In contrast, in 2018, only 9,683 M Student Visas were issued. This is down to 79% compared to 2014.
For more details on these numbers, click on the following government link: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/AnnualReports/FY2018AnnualReport/FY18AnnualReport%20-%20TableXVIA.pdf.
What Should I Do If I Want a Student Visa:
There are numerous reasons why a visa applicant may be denied for a U.S. student visa. An applicant may be denied for security reasons. An applicant may also be denied for failing to prove that he or she has sufficient financial support. But the most common reason for a denial is under INA 214(b), for failing to prove that the student intends to depart the United States at the conclusion of his or her studies or Optional Practical Training.
The numbers undoubtedly indicate that a lot less student visas are being issued, partly and likely due to more student visa applications being denied. Unfortunately, there is no appeal process from an INA 214(b) student visa denial. The only real solution is to re-apply for the student visa. The U.S. Consulate/Embassy will even inform the denied visa applicant that they are free to re-apply. However, once a student visa applicant has been denied under INA 214(b) for failing to prove that he or she will depart the U.S. at the end of the allotted U.S. stay, it is extremely difficult to convince the Consular Officer in the second visa application that the applicant will depart the U.S. when required. In other words, the first student visa application is extremely important. And hiring a competent U.S. immigration lawyer to properly advise and prepare the student throughout the entire process (including, choosing the right school and program, submitting the proper supporting documentation, and preparing the applicant for his or her consular interview) is now vital.
What If I’ve Already Been Denied for a Student Visa:
If you have already been denied for a student visa but still wish to study in the U.S., you should first consult with a U.S.-licensed lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law before applying a second time. A competent U.S. immigration lawyer will review your case and determine if there are alternative strategies that may be used in a second application. A competent U.S. immigration lawyer, after reviewing your case details, may tell you that your chances of approval for a student visa are very slim and that it is probably not worth your time and money to apply for a second student visa. It may not be the answer you are looking for, but it may be your reality. Nonetheless, a competent U.S. immigration lawyer may have other U.S. immigration options for you.
If you have any questions or require the U.S. immigration services of U.S. Consultancy Group, LLC, please contact us.