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JimJim69

Need some advice regarding a denied F-1 Visa (214b)

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I've got a Russian friend that's been looking for study at a foreign English school, and she's chosen the US. She's spent the last few months planning everything out; she got all the required paper work, got an invitation from the school, booked an apartment, got a bank statement ready, as well as other proof of ties to her country (She's got a car, attends a masters program part time, and even has an apartment given to her by her parents). The language course starts mid-June.

 

She went for the interview at the Moscow Embassy and was rejected outright. The immigration officer asked her a few generic questions in broken Russian, asked for the invitation from the school, as well as her passport, and rejected her without even asking for her bank statement or anything else (even after my friend offered to show her). Is this typical?

 

She had hired an agent of some sort to help with the visa process, and her whole office is very surprised at the rejection. They aren't really sure what to make of it, and the only advice she offered is to try again. My friend had also mentioned that it seemed from the pile of passports that this immigration officer had less than half the accepted applicants than the one next door. I don't know what to make of it all. It seems likes she was rejected outright based off looks, or even the region she was born in.

I recognize that she has a few things that could be going against her. She's young (early 20s), and isn't currently working. She's from a fairly well-off family and is having this entire trip paid for by her parents. But these hardly seem like reasons for a denial. Now with a denial on her record, it will make things even harder.

 

All the proof she brought with her of ties to her home country weren't even looked at. Has anyone else had anything like this happen, and if so, how did you go about correcting it?

 

 

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And this friend is your love interest you haven’t met in person yet? 


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Sounds like the CO wasn't convinced she'd return home after her studies. F1 requires non-immigrant intent, and your friend failed to demonstrate that to the CO. 

 

Reputation of the school also plays a part. 


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11 minutes ago, WeGuyGal said:

 

Reputation of the school also plays a part. 

Yup, I think they are cracking down on schools that seem to exist mainly to get student visas. No way of knowing if OP’s friend’s school is one of these. But I think in general the idea of traveling all the way to the US for a short English course is probably being viewed skeptically as a genuine reason for F1. 

 

OP, also curious as to the reason your friend is studying her degree part time if she isn’t working (and apparently doesn’t need to from what you described). Just wondering if all this played into the decision, as perhaps did any mention of you? 

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Another couple of possibilities come to mind:

- the agent she used was dodgy - I don’t know about agents in Russia - in some countries agents are very useful but in others they are basically scams 

- length of the English course vs ties in Russia. For F1 it needs to be full time? While she is doing a masters back in Russia? This may have seemed contradictory to the interviewing officer. Was she planning on doing the course during college vacation ? Or does her masters finish before the language course perhaps?

Edited by SusieQQQ

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16 hours ago, milimelo said:

And this friend is your love interest you haven’t met in person yet? 

OP, if she was asked if she had any friends in the US and she mentioned you, that could have played a part in the F-1 denial.

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There are many good English language schools in Russia.   


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14 hours ago, SusieQQQ said:

Another couple of possibilities come to mind:

- the agent she used was dodgy - I don’t know about agents in Russia - in some countries agents are very useful but in others they are basically scams 

- length of the English course vs ties in Russia. For F1 it needs to be full time? While she is doing a masters back in Russia? This may have seemed contradictory to the interviewing officer. Was she planning on doing the course during college vacation ? Or does her masters finish before the language course perhaps?

I don't know too much about the agent used. But I know she's switched to a new one. I can't speak to how sketchy they are, but apparently they've had a lot of success in getting people visas. She's done with this semester in May, which is why she planned on attending the language school from June-Oct, right before her courses start again. She's probably gonna get a part-time job soon, so maybe that will help when she re-applies in a couple months.

 

The planned duration was four months. It seems to me that that would be long enough to warrant a student visa? It's a fairly long duration for a language course.

 

5 hours ago, carmel34 said:

OP, if she was asked if she had any friends in the US and she mentioned you, that could have played a part in the F-1 denial.

Nope. The consular officer didn't even ask about friends in the US.

 

22 hours ago, milimelo said:

And this friend is your love interest you haven’t met in person yet? 

I'm just a language-exchange pen-pal. I've corresponded with a few other people who have come here to visit, and I've always tried to help where I can. They were all from western Europe though, so have obviously not had any problems at all in regard to visas.

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13 minutes ago, JimJim69 said:

 

 

The planned duration was four months. It seems to me that that would be long enough to warrant a student visa? It's a fairly long duration for a language course.

 

 

Precisely- the longer the course, the weaker it makes the ties to home seem.

(Btw, Wiki tells me the mid year summer vacation for Russian universities is 3 months, June- August; maybe this vs the length/dates of the language course made the CO wonder about how much of a “tie” the degree is.)

 

Edited by SusieQQQ

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Just now, SusieQQQ said:

Precisely- the longer the course, the weaker it makes the ties to home seem.

(Btw, Wiki tells me the mid year summer vacation for Russia is 3 months; maybe this vs the length of the language course made the CO wonder about how much of a “tie” the degree is.)

 

You raise a good point. I'm actually not sure why she doesn't need to be there until October. I never really inquired about it. There's probably some reason I'm not aware of. I suppose she could cut down the duration of her stay by a month for the next application if it makes it seem more legitimate. It's unfortunate you need to bend over backwards to appease your CO, even when there's no ill intent. Someone trying to follow all the rules gets punished for it, while others blatantly breaking the rules are getting in with no consequences.

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Not sure what kind of advice you want. 

It was denied. End of story. She can try again but her chances for approval are slim to none. 

 

 


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6 hours ago, JimJim69 said:

You raise a good point. I'm actually not sure why she doesn't need to be there until October. I never really inquired about it. There's probably some reason I'm not aware of. I suppose she could cut down the duration of her stay by a month for the next application if it makes it seem more legitimate. It's unfortunate you need to bend over backwards to appease your CO, even when there's no ill intent. Someone trying to follow all the rules gets punished for it, while others blatantly breaking the rules are getting in with no consequences.

That will certainly make it look like she’s desperate to get a visa, further raising suspicion. Clearly the CO saw something to make him worry about intent, which is not totally surprising tbh from what you’ve said about her background. Maybe she’ll have better luck trying to study in the UK?

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