WHAT CONSULS (Visa Officers) LOOK FOR while issuing a F1-visa (as per www.state.gov)
Evidence of Residence Abroad
The consular officer may not issue a student visa unless satisfied that the applicant:
(1) Has a residence abroad (
(2) Has no intention of abandoning that residence, and
(3) Intends to depart from the
Applicants generally establish their ties abroad by presenting
evidence of economic, social, and/or family ties in their homeland sufficient
to induce them to leave the
Evidence of English Proficiency
If the alien's Form I-20 indicates that proficiency in English is required for pursuing the selected course of study and that no arrangements have been made to overcome any English-language deficiency, the consular officer must determine whether the alien has the necessary proficiency. To this end, the officer must conduct the visa interview in English and may require the applicant to read aloud from an English-language book, periodical, or newspaper, and to restate in English in the applicant's own words what was read. The applicant may also be asked to read aloud and explain several of the conditions set forth in the Form I-20.
In the event that the applicant's language proficiency appears marginal, the officer may refer the applicant for language testing. Tests for this purpose will ordinarily be carried out by appropriate local groups, such as qualified host-country facilities. If the latter are used, the consular officer should be satisfied that the testing standards are sufficiently strict. However, if the local situation requires the consular officer to determine the language proficiency of applicants, materials such as the Test of English Language Proficiency (TEPL) may be available at the post. If not, they may be requested from the Department, through the post's Public Affairs Officer.
Determining Financial Status of F-1 Students
The phrase "sufficient funds to cover expenses" referred to in 41.61(b)(2) REGS/STATS means the applicant must establish the unlikelihood of either becoming a public charge as defined in INA 212(a)(4) or of resorting to unauthorized U.S. employment for financial support. An applicant must provide documentary evidence that sufficient funds are, or will be, available to defray all expenses during the entire period of anticipated study. This does not mean that the applicant must have cash immediately available to cover the entire period of intended study, which may last several years. The consular officer must, however, require credible documentary evidence that the applicant has enough readily available funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study. The officer also must be satisfied that, barring unforeseen circumstances, adequate funds will be available for each subsequent year of study from the same source or from one or more other specifically identified and reliable financial sources.
Funds From Source(s) Outside the
Whenever an applicant indicates financial
support from a source outside the
Affidavits of Support or Other Assurances by an Interested Party
Various factors are important in evaluating assurances of financial support by interested parties:
Financial support to a student is not a mere formality to
facilitate the applicant's entry into the
The consular officer must require documentary evidence to resolve any doubt that the financial status of the person giving the assurance is sufficient to substantiate the assertion that financial support is available to the applicant.
If the person giving the assurance is in the
The consular officer must also carefully evaluate the factors, which
would motivate a sponsor to honor a commitment of financial support. If the
sponsor is a close relative of the applicant, there may be a greater
probability that the commitment will be honored than if the sponsor is not a
relative. Regardless of the relationship, the consular officer must be
satisfied that the reasons prompting the offer of financial support make it
likely the commitment will be fulfilled.
Funds From Fellowships and Scholarships for F-1 Student
A college or university may arrange for a nonimmigrant student to engage in research projects, give lectures, or perform other academic functions as part of a fellowship, scholarship or assistantship grant, provided the institution certifies that the student will also pursue a full course of study.
Educational Qualifications for F-1Students
Consular officers are not expected to assume the role of guidance counselor to determine whether an applicant for an F-1 visa is qualified to pursue the desired course of study. The institution will satisfy itself on the student's abilities before accepting the applicant for enrollment. Consular officers should, however, be alert to three specific factors in this regard:
(1) The applicant has successfully completed a course of study equivalent to that normally required of an American student seeking enrollment at the same level.
(2) Cases in which an applicant has submitted forged or altered transcripts of previous or related study or training which the institution has accepted as valid, and,
(3) Cases in which an institution has accepted an applicant's alleged previous course of study or training as the equivalent of its normal requirements when, in fact, such is not the case.
Relationship of Education or Training Sought To
Existence of Ties Abroad
The fact that a student's proposed education or training would not appear to be useful in the homeland is not, in itself, a basis for refusing an F-1. It may, however, be a relevant factor in the overall assessment of the likelihood of the alien's return. This may be particularly true where F-1 coursework is advanced far beyond local needs.
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