So your F-1 visa application got rejected – what’s next?

visa F-1 rejected
It feels disheartening but you can still make it to that dreamy US campus. Source: Denise Lett/Shutterstock.

Firstly, don’t panic!

It may feel like it now but your F-1 visa being rejected is not the end of the world. Your dreams of studying in the United States are unlikely to be dead and gone.

There is still hope so just follow these steps and stay calm…

Find out what went wrong

Something stopped you from getting that visa and, if you were wise, you will have asked your interviewer what that was. If not, never fear, whatever it was it has almost definitely happened to someone else…

Here are common reasons people are rejected for student visas:

  • The interviewer did not think you would be able to financially support yourself and your education costs
  • Missing or faulty documents
  • Poor English language skills
  • The interviewer did not think you had enough proof to show you will return to your home country after graduation
  • Poor behavior at interview
  • Failed background check
  • You were unable to convince the interviewer why you chose your university or what you wanted to do with your degree
  • You were panicking and came across unconvincing or were unable to give suitable answers

The good news is most of these problems can be fixed so learn from your mistakes and ensure you have everything in place for round two.

Gather all the correct documents, ensure you know the answers to all questions surrounding your application but be careful not to sound scripted, and just stay as calm as you can.

Just apply again

Now you have taken a little time to figure out what could have been the problem, there is nothing stopping you from putting in your application again.

Your information should be updated on the system with a rejection within 24 hours and, after that, the ball is back in your court.

If you were rejected under 214(b) of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), you must provide proof you have made adjustments to your application since your last attempt.

If this is what you really want and you are willing to work for it, pick yourself up and put that application in one more time.

Don’t lose hope

You don’t just get one chance to prove you are ready in all aspects of your life for your education adventure in the US. The internet is full of stories of people facing multiple rejections before finally securing their visa – it does happen so don’t give up straight away.

There is no limit to how many times you can apply for an F-1 visa – although it is probably not wise to apply again and again without modifying what went wrong.

If you learn from your previous mistakes, gather the necessary evidence and go in confident then there is little reason you will not get your visa. Keep at it: hang on to that dream.

Remember you have other options

Sometimes things just don’t work out. If the above fails and you can’t keep trying – financially or emotionally – to gain your visa then don’t forget the US isn’t the only place you can study.

There are fantastic institutions all over the world – from Australia to Germany, the UK to Canada – that have much more relaxed visa application processes and equally as good universities. Just because you had your heart set on the US doesn’t mean your study abroad dreams have to end when your F-1 visa is rejected.

The fun begins again when you start researching other countries and universities to study in. There is a whole world out there – go discover what it holds.

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