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lucybelle

Helping a friend with student visa

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Hello all! A friend of the family was accepted into a US university for undergrad with an athletic scholarship and is supposed to start in one month. I was only just informed that she was denied a visa during her interview. I have (unfortunately) very little information about her application. I've done the whole CR1 and citizenship thing, but know very little about the student visa process.

 

After some quick research I think it's the F1 she has applied for. She was denied, I believe, because of lack of finances. She lives in Ecuador and her family has about $1500 to their name. Her extended family decided to get everyone together to deposit more money into their account, which I said would not work, i mean they're not the first people who thought of that. 

 

I have asked for the I-20 application and the denial letter to better understand what is going on. What should I look for? I believe I read there is a section that states expected costs minus scholarships and gives how much cash money should be in the bank. Is there anything that can be done? My parents have considered sponsoring her, but I told them that was a huge financial investment (which it is for CR1, I'm not sure the commitments for student visa?) and you have to claim her as a dependent on taxes.

 

Thanks in advance to this wonderful community who helped me through my process!!


N-400 May 2017 Google Doc

Full timeline- 

 

Filed from abroad- Costa Rica

NOA1- NOA2: 316 days

Jan 12, 2013: Married!!
Mar 19, 2013: NOA1

Jan 28, 2014: I-130 approved

NVC- Green Card in Hand: 189 days

Feb 3, 2014: TSC sends case to NVC
April 14: Real checklist for AOS (saying tax number was incorrect when it wasn't)
April 30: Another AOS checklist, for proof of employment (which was already sent)
May 1: Checklist for IV- certified marriage certificate (even though I sent a certified one originally)
July 1: INTERVIEW!!! - APPROVED!
July 16: POE through Miami
July 22: SSN card in the mail
August 30, 2014: Green card arrives in the mail!!!
 
ROC: 366 days
April 27, 2016: Sent 300 page ROC packet to VSC via overnight mail
May 16: Check shown as charged online, received NOA 1 dated April 29
June 20, 2016- Biometrics
April 28, 2017: Approval
May 4, 2017: Approval letter arrived
May 15, 2017: GC arrives in mail
 
N-400: 190 days
May 8: Sent packet to Dallas Lockbox
May 12: NOA 1, Credit card charged
June 7: Biometrics
June 16: "In line"
Oct 2: Interview letter arrives (online status still says ''in line'')
Oct 31: Interview- Approved!
Nov 13: Oath ceremony!  Applied for passport & registered to vote on site.
Nov 22: Passport arrives (paid for expedited service and overnight delivery)
 
Journey complete! A total of 1701 days or 4 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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I realize this won't sound very promising to you or your friend but there's really nothing to do. Her student visa application was denied and there is no appeal process nor is it very likely she would be successful if she applied again. My wife and I know of this from personal experience. Long before we decided to get married, my wife, who is from Colombia which neighbors Ecuador, applied for and was accepted by a US university. She applied for an F1 visa and was denied. Since I lived near the Canadian border, she then applied to a Canadian university and was also accepted. She applied for a Canadian student visa and was denied. Again, no appeal process and every bit of advice we received recommended not to waste further time and money attempting to apply again. Hopefully your friend can receive a good university education somewhere in South America. Best of luck to her.


Marriage: 2014-02-23 - Colombia    ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
CR1 started : 2014-06-06           N400 started: 2018-04-24
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13     N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
ROC started : 2017-04-14 CSC     Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 – Santa Fe

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So the extended family will pay for her education or this was just for show?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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6 minutes ago, Russ&Caro said:

I realize this won't sound very promising to you or your friend but there's really nothing to do. Her student visa application was denied and there is no appeal process nor is it very likely she would be successful if she applied again. My wife and I know of this from personal experience. Long before we decided to get married, my wife, who is from Colombia which neighbors Ecuador, applied for and was accepted by a US university. She applied for an F1 visa and was denied. Since I lived near the Canadian border, she then applied to a Canadian university and was also accepted. She applied for a Canadian student visa and was denied. Again, no appeal process and every bit of advice we received recommended not to waste further time and money attempting to apply again. Hopefully your friend can receive a good university education somewhere in South America. Best of luck to her.

 

Evidently she she has another interview next week? But yeah, I told her there might not be anything that can be done.

 

4 minutes ago, Boiler said:

So the extended family will pay for her education or this was just for show?

Extended family will not pay, it will just be for show. Which is why I said it wouldn't work. She got about 80% of costs covered through scholarships. I guess the plan was for her to get a work study job (not even sure if that's possible on her visa type) and my mom would help out a little financially as well.

 

sorry vague info, I don't have very much and it seems like my friend and her family were woefully underprepared for this whole process.


N-400 May 2017 Google Doc

Full timeline- 

 

Filed from abroad- Costa Rica

NOA1- NOA2: 316 days

Jan 12, 2013: Married!!
Mar 19, 2013: NOA1

Jan 28, 2014: I-130 approved

NVC- Green Card in Hand: 189 days

Feb 3, 2014: TSC sends case to NVC
April 14: Real checklist for AOS (saying tax number was incorrect when it wasn't)
April 30: Another AOS checklist, for proof of employment (which was already sent)
May 1: Checklist for IV- certified marriage certificate (even though I sent a certified one originally)
July 1: INTERVIEW!!! - APPROVED!
July 16: POE through Miami
July 22: SSN card in the mail
August 30, 2014: Green card arrives in the mail!!!
 
ROC: 366 days
April 27, 2016: Sent 300 page ROC packet to VSC via overnight mail
May 16: Check shown as charged online, received NOA 1 dated April 29
June 20, 2016- Biometrics
April 28, 2017: Approval
May 4, 2017: Approval letter arrived
May 15, 2017: GC arrives in mail
 
N-400: 190 days
May 8: Sent packet to Dallas Lockbox
May 12: NOA 1, Credit card charged
June 7: Biometrics
June 16: "In line"
Oct 2: Interview letter arrives (online status still says ''in line'')
Oct 31: Interview- Approved!
Nov 13: Oath ceremony!  Applied for passport & registered to vote on site.
Nov 22: Passport arrives (paid for expedited service and overnight delivery)
 
Journey complete! A total of 1701 days or 4 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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Well certainly not having the money to cover the costs would be a show stopper.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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10 minutes ago, Boiler said:

Well certainly not having the money to cover the costs would be a show stopper.

Okay i just got some more information. The amount difference between the scholarship and costs is about $5000. The dad has $2000. Evidently the mom (parents are divorced) has money and the girl herself has money. Those three together will cover the $5000 and some. Would showing bank statements for those three accounts work? Since it is parents and the actual student? Or does it all need to be in one account? Does she need to show finances for just one year, or for all four years?

 

thanks for your help!!!!


N-400 May 2017 Google Doc

Full timeline- 

 

Filed from abroad- Costa Rica

NOA1- NOA2: 316 days

Jan 12, 2013: Married!!
Mar 19, 2013: NOA1

Jan 28, 2014: I-130 approved

NVC- Green Card in Hand: 189 days

Feb 3, 2014: TSC sends case to NVC
April 14: Real checklist for AOS (saying tax number was incorrect when it wasn't)
April 30: Another AOS checklist, for proof of employment (which was already sent)
May 1: Checklist for IV- certified marriage certificate (even though I sent a certified one originally)
July 1: INTERVIEW!!! - APPROVED!
July 16: POE through Miami
July 22: SSN card in the mail
August 30, 2014: Green card arrives in the mail!!!
 
ROC: 366 days
April 27, 2016: Sent 300 page ROC packet to VSC via overnight mail
May 16: Check shown as charged online, received NOA 1 dated April 29
June 20, 2016- Biometrics
April 28, 2017: Approval
May 4, 2017: Approval letter arrived
May 15, 2017: GC arrives in mail
 
N-400: 190 days
May 8: Sent packet to Dallas Lockbox
May 12: NOA 1, Credit card charged
June 7: Biometrics
June 16: "In line"
Oct 2: Interview letter arrives (online status still says ''in line'')
Oct 31: Interview- Approved!
Nov 13: Oath ceremony!  Applied for passport & registered to vote on site.
Nov 22: Passport arrives (paid for expedited service and overnight delivery)
 
Journey complete! A total of 1701 days or 4 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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So they would need to show their total assets just to cover one year gap in tuition?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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3 minutes ago, Boiler said:

So they would need to show their total assets just to cover one year gap in tuition?

Yes, seems like total cash in bank would cover one year tuition. Evidently dad has additional assets in land, houses and such.


N-400 May 2017 Google Doc

Full timeline- 

 

Filed from abroad- Costa Rica

NOA1- NOA2: 316 days

Jan 12, 2013: Married!!
Mar 19, 2013: NOA1

Jan 28, 2014: I-130 approved

NVC- Green Card in Hand: 189 days

Feb 3, 2014: TSC sends case to NVC
April 14: Real checklist for AOS (saying tax number was incorrect when it wasn't)
April 30: Another AOS checklist, for proof of employment (which was already sent)
May 1: Checklist for IV- certified marriage certificate (even though I sent a certified one originally)
July 1: INTERVIEW!!! - APPROVED!
July 16: POE through Miami
July 22: SSN card in the mail
August 30, 2014: Green card arrives in the mail!!!
 
ROC: 366 days
April 27, 2016: Sent 300 page ROC packet to VSC via overnight mail
May 16: Check shown as charged online, received NOA 1 dated April 29
June 20, 2016- Biometrics
April 28, 2017: Approval
May 4, 2017: Approval letter arrived
May 15, 2017: GC arrives in mail
 
N-400: 190 days
May 8: Sent packet to Dallas Lockbox
May 12: NOA 1, Credit card charged
June 7: Biometrics
June 16: "In line"
Oct 2: Interview letter arrives (online status still says ''in line'')
Oct 31: Interview- Approved!
Nov 13: Oath ceremony!  Applied for passport & registered to vote on site.
Nov 22: Passport arrives (paid for expedited service and overnight delivery)
 
Journey complete! A total of 1701 days or 4 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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Maybe once he has sold his assets try again?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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5 minutes ago, Boiler said:

Maybe once he has sold his assets try again?

They already gave her another interview for next week. So I'm taking that as a good sign?


N-400 May 2017 Google Doc

Full timeline- 

 

Filed from abroad- Costa Rica

NOA1- NOA2: 316 days

Jan 12, 2013: Married!!
Mar 19, 2013: NOA1

Jan 28, 2014: I-130 approved

NVC- Green Card in Hand: 189 days

Feb 3, 2014: TSC sends case to NVC
April 14: Real checklist for AOS (saying tax number was incorrect when it wasn't)
April 30: Another AOS checklist, for proof of employment (which was already sent)
May 1: Checklist for IV- certified marriage certificate (even though I sent a certified one originally)
July 1: INTERVIEW!!! - APPROVED!
July 16: POE through Miami
July 22: SSN card in the mail
August 30, 2014: Green card arrives in the mail!!!
 
ROC: 366 days
April 27, 2016: Sent 300 page ROC packet to VSC via overnight mail
May 16: Check shown as charged online, received NOA 1 dated April 29
June 20, 2016- Biometrics
April 28, 2017: Approval
May 4, 2017: Approval letter arrived
May 15, 2017: GC arrives in mail
 
N-400: 190 days
May 8: Sent packet to Dallas Lockbox
May 12: NOA 1, Credit card charged
June 7: Biometrics
June 16: "In line"
Oct 2: Interview letter arrives (online status still says ''in line'')
Oct 31: Interview- Approved!
Nov 13: Oath ceremony!  Applied for passport & registered to vote on site.
Nov 22: Passport arrives (paid for expedited service and overnight delivery)
 
Journey complete! A total of 1701 days or 4 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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1 minute ago, lucybelle said:

They already gave her another interview for next week. So I'm taking that as a good sign?

Begs the question how they could have refused her an interview, she paid she gets an interview.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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4 minutes ago, Boiler said:

Begs the question how they could have refused her an interview, she paid she gets an interview.

Her first interview was today. She was denied. They gave her a second interview next week.


N-400 May 2017 Google Doc

Full timeline- 

 

Filed from abroad- Costa Rica

NOA1- NOA2: 316 days

Jan 12, 2013: Married!!
Mar 19, 2013: NOA1

Jan 28, 2014: I-130 approved

NVC- Green Card in Hand: 189 days

Feb 3, 2014: TSC sends case to NVC
April 14: Real checklist for AOS (saying tax number was incorrect when it wasn't)
April 30: Another AOS checklist, for proof of employment (which was already sent)
May 1: Checklist for IV- certified marriage certificate (even though I sent a certified one originally)
July 1: INTERVIEW!!! - APPROVED!
July 16: POE through Miami
July 22: SSN card in the mail
August 30, 2014: Green card arrives in the mail!!!
 
ROC: 366 days
April 27, 2016: Sent 300 page ROC packet to VSC via overnight mail
May 16: Check shown as charged online, received NOA 1 dated April 29
June 20, 2016- Biometrics
April 28, 2017: Approval
May 4, 2017: Approval letter arrived
May 15, 2017: GC arrives in mail
 
N-400: 190 days
May 8: Sent packet to Dallas Lockbox
May 12: NOA 1, Credit card charged
June 7: Biometrics
June 16: "In line"
Oct 2: Interview letter arrives (online status still says ''in line'')
Oct 31: Interview- Approved!
Nov 13: Oath ceremony!  Applied for passport & registered to vote on site.
Nov 22: Passport arrives (paid for expedited service and overnight delivery)
 
Journey complete! A total of 1701 days or 4 years, 7 months and 26 days.

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Posted (edited)

It's been a hot sec since I applied for my student visa so I don't remember the process 100% and apologies if the information is outdated. However, you are correct that she needs to provide evidence of the assets in the bank account. I remember that my family asked the bank to provide a written letter stating the balance in the account and indicating that that is enough to cover whatever costs my scholarship did not. A bank account statement would likely do the same. I assume that she would need a statement for every bank account that she would use to pay for her costs (her dad's, mom's and her own). Given how tight cash seems to be, I would also suggest providing land titles for whatever property the dad has that also states how much the property is worth. Was all of this financial information not provided at the first interview? That is a major part of the interview process..

 

On another note, I would definitely caution against family members adding their own cash "just for show," both because that is legally dubious and because the last thing you want is to have her come to the US only to realize that she does not have enough cash to cover everything here. Speaking from experience, even if all your costs are covered, life in the US can be expensive and unexpected costs do come up so it's in her best interest to really consider whether her and her family are financially prepared to make that commitment.

 

Working on an F1 can be done but it's hard. On campus jobs usually first go to USC students who have been awarded federal work study programs and then to everyone else. Adding any potential language barriers, international students tend to fall low on the priority list for on campus hiring. Off campus jobs have to be very specific to meet the appropriate work authorization requirements and can require some paperwork on the part of the employer. Although the paperwork is admittedly minimal many employers are not familiar with it / don't want to deal with it. Just my 2 cents, good luck!

Edited by AOSFairfax

Concurrent filing of I-130, I-485, I-765, and I-131 (USC spouse)

Adjusting From: F1 

Local USCIS office: Washington, DC

Service center: NBC

 

AOS Timeline

03/07/2019: FedEx delivery

03/07/2019: Priority / Received date

03/22/2019: Notice of action (Biometrics appointment)

04/01/2019: Completed biometrics 

04/08/2019: Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview

07/05/2019: EAD Card in Production (67 days after expediting)

 

EAD Expedite Timeline: 

04/29/2019: Submitted expedite over the phone based on financial loss to company and myself

05/02/2019: Received email from USCIS requesting evidence in support

05/03/2019: Faxed evidence to USCIS

05/13/2019: Contacted congressman to expedite EAD and provided them evidence in support of request

05/24/2019: Contacted senator to expedite EAD

05/26/2019: Senator requested evidence in support, which I provided on the same day

06/03/2019: Received email from congressman that the case was expedited

06/05/ 2019: Received email from senator that the case was expedited

07/02/2019: Faxed original evidence again along with additional documents to USCIS

07/05/2019: NEW CARD IS BEING PRODUCED!!! (67 days after original expedite request)

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my family has had 3 exchange students / one of which returned to study at Cornell

the process for visa was long even thought money was not an issue for her family

she first applied

was accepted (for the following year not the new current semester)

the college had to be on the list of SEVP appoved colleges as stated below:

Then she sent all infromation to the college's lawyer who works on the student visa as there is a lot of work to do for the student visa

she applied in the year 2007 and came as a student August 2009

 

 

Before you can apply for an F, J, or M student visa, you must first apply and be accepted by a U.S. institution of higher education that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

Even when an institution is SEVP-certified and able to issue I-20 and DS-2019 forms for use in visa applications, it may not hold national or regional accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation databases list accreditation status for all U.S. institutions.

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18 minutes ago, lucybelle said:

Her first interview was today. She was denied. They gave her a second interview next week.

Why was she given a second interview?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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