You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

In the table below, we’ve mentioned the various reasons for denial along with some next steps to take.* Please keep in mind that we are not attorneys and this should not be considered legal advice.

Reason for DenialContextNext Steps
214(b) Immigrant IntentYou did not sufficiently prove that you have nonimmigrant intentThis is a temporary ineligibility, and you should gather more evidence as stated earlier and apply
212(a)(4) Public ChargeYou did not sufficiently prove that you have the funds required to support yourself, and will become a public charge in the futureThis is a temporary ineligibility, and you should gather more evidence as stated earlier and apply again
221(g) Incomplete ApplicationYou did not provide all the documents required and requested forProvide the requested additional information as soon as possible
212(a)(9)(B)(i) Unlawful PresenceYou had previously entered the U.S. and illegally stayed beyond your visa expiration dateThis is a temporary ineligibility depending on your previous misconduct, and you should contact a lawyer
212(a)(6)(C)(i) Fraud and MisrepresentationYou had willfully misrepresented a material fact or committed fraudThis is a permanent ineligibility (unlike all reasons above) and you should contact a lawyer

danger We have witnessed cases before where students approached education consulting firms to assist them with a complex case, only to receive bad advice and make the situation worse. If your current situation seems complex, please reach out to a lawyer right away!

Just one final point. Until now, if you’ve been following the book closely, you know the theme “anticipate difficulty and prepare early” well. The topic of visas is no exception.

Now that you’ve (hopefully) gotten your F1 visa, begin exploring the other categories out there, aside from the H1B. When you enter the U.S., or any foreign country, you should not enter with the intent of becoming an immigrant. However, that should not stop you from understanding the requirements to eventually get there, and aligning your career accordingly.

Hear what Saiman Shetty, an EB1A Einstein Visa recipient who pursued his master’s in the U.S.*, has to say:

In my opinion, the U.S. has always been open to people who demonstrate extraordinary abilities in their own fields. The O1A and EB1A visas allow for that. There is a high bar of excellence to qualify for them, rightfully so. However, I believe that consistent original contributions in your field, publishing papers, obtaining patents, being a part of elite associations, getting featured in the press, and earning the admiration of already established people in your field will make you stand a good chance. Adopt a well-defined, personalized strategy from the beginning.

So, anticipate difficulty, and start early!

Final Thoughts on Getting Your Visa

Are you nervous about your upcoming interview? You should be. However, know that if you follow the guidelines we laid out in this chapter, take all the required documents, and answer the questions confidently, there’s no reason why you won’t walk away with an approval!

First, know that a visa is a promise of intended activity by a foreign national upon a host nation’s soil. It is to make sure you, as a visitor, remain in the country only for as long as specified. Visas are of two types: immigrant and nonimmigrant. The visa that we focused on in this chapter is the F1 nonimmigrant visa. On an F1 visa, you can study in the U.S., work on-campus, and after one academic year, work off-campus through CPT and OPT. If you are pursuing a STEM major, you can get a 24-month STEM OPT extension.

Once you get your I-20 from your university, go ahead and book your interview and prepare the documents required. We’ve provided a list, but make sure you check the official website to get the latest version. It is a two-step process to get your visa: first, they take your biometrics and then there’s the interview. They screen for certain things during the interview, so make sure you understand them and especially provide sufficient proof to show nonimmigrant intent and financial stability. Use the table we gave (and other resources) to practice the answers a few times.

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