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About Visa

Whats the basic fact that one should know about Visa?
The most important fact is, that a visa is a privilege and not ones right. The Consular Officer at the respective consulate / embassy decides whether one can be granted the visa or not after an objective analysis of your profile.

What is the basic criterion for securing a student visa?
The consular officer will objectively take into consideration your entire profile. The profile compromises: a)Academic Qualifications b)Financial Capabilities and c)Ones intentionsIf the consular officer is convinced about all three, only then he may grant you the visa.

What sort of financial support is expected?
If and only if need be, the consular officer may call for evidences supporting your a)Ability to meet the expenses (Bank Loan sanction letter, Bank savings either SB or FD balances proof and other cash assets), b)Proof that additional funds are available to the family, c)Proof of annual income and /or d)Other documents as the consular officer may deem fit.

Are bank loans accepted?
Yes, Bank loans are accepted as sources of funds for your study abroad purposes. However, the same to be in accordance to the annual income of the sponsor.

Who all can be my sponsors?
Generally parents are considered to be the natural sponsors of a student. Grandparents being part and parcel of the Indian family system can also sponsor a student. If one has enough work experience, then the company with that has employed the applicant can also sponsor.

Can my relative, friend or close associate sponsor me?
Parents being the natural sponsors, it is generally advised that they should sponsor you. However if any of the above is sponsoring, you may have to provide strong evidences in favor of them.

Is it all right, if a company sponsors me?
Yes. A Company can rightfully sponsor you for further studies provided it is permitted to do so by its Memorandum or Articles of association. Such sponsorship is deemed to be meaningful, only if one has gained enough work experience. The company on its part will have to provide documents about its financials and the reason behind sponsoring the student.

Does academic performance and test scores matter?
Yes. As the consular officer is going to evaluate your potential for further studies, through your academic background, it may influence the officers decision to a large extent. Likewise the test scores are also viewed quite seriously as they are supposed to demonstrate your ability to successfully pursue higher studies.

If my academic records/test scores are bad, will my visa application be refused?
Although the academic records and test scores do play an important role in the visa process, the officer at the consulate may still look at your application holistically and may review your profile, due to which you may be granted the visa.

Does the university I am going to important?
Generally the consulate officers are not biased on the universities. However, the consulate officer may want to know the reasons behind your choice of universities. Hence as long as you can convincingly defend your choice it should not be a problem.

Do I need to have a specific career objective?
Yes, you need to have made plans about your long-term career prospects. Only when you now what you want, you would be able to convince the visa officer about your intentions to return and that its a worthwhile investment for you.

Does my program of choice affect my visa prospects?
The program you have opted for should be in accordance with what you have studied and also enhance your career prospects here. You may have to be prepared to convince them, as to how will this program benefit you & the career prospects here.After Sept 11, certain programs are under the alert list warranting a background check. Hence if you have not applied well ahead, your visa application may not be cleared by the time your semester starts.

Can I file my visa application with any consulate in India?
No, for student visa you must either be a permanent resident of the area governed by the consulate where you are applying or should have been a resident of that area at least for the past one year. Currently, the US embassy allows residents of certain consulate offices to apply at other designated consulates/embassy, if getting an appointment in the respective territory is a problem. However one is advised to cross verify on the same, as the rules are subject to change.

How can I convince the VISA officer about my intentions to return to India?
Frankly speaking, theres no pre-defined methods / documents / profiles for success. Your strong communication skills should be oriented towards presenting the true picture about your career prospects, your intentions and the ties to your country, such that the same convinces the consulate officer.

Do I need to have liquid cash for the entire period of study?
No. Liquid assets for the first year of study and access to funds for the rest of your study period would be sufficient. Also kindly remember that the educational loan you would have availed is accepted as sources of funds

Does the source of funding affect my visa?
The Consulate officer may want to know the quantum of money at your disposal for higher studies and hence any source rightfully accumulated should be fine. However one may have to be prepared to explain the same in detail, if queried, and convince the consulate officer.

Would a scholarship help me in the visa process?
To a very large extent, scholarships are considered to be an asset as it demonstrates your worth as a highly qualified applicant. If you have been admitted with a scholarship / financial aid, you need to provide evidence that you have secured the same.

What is the most common ground on which student visas may be refused?
Even though there is no specific reason as to why ones application may be refused, over the years we have observed that when an applicant fails to communicate confidently either about the purpose of studying abroad or the intentions of returning to the home country, the consulate officer may not consider the application favorably.

What does refusal under sec 214(B) indicate?
If ones application for student visa is refused under the above clause, then it could mean that the student was not able to convince the consulate officer on the following: a)that the student intends to return home after the completion of the program b)that the student has sufficient funds to meet his expenses and/or c)the travel is for legitimate purposes.

What does refusal under sec 221(g) indicate?
A refusal for student visa under this category, commonly means that the student did not provide sufficient documents to convince the visa officer or that certain procedure will have to be completed before the consulate officer can take the final decision.

Can I reapply, if my student visa application is refused?
If your application for the student visa is refused, you can definitely reapply, after the elapse of the minimum number of days as prescribed by the consulate office at which you applied.
However, kindly note that, if theres no substantial change in your profile, a reapplication is generally advised.

How many number of times, can I appear for a personal interview?
It depends on which consulate office you have applied to. Certain consulates allow you to appear any number of times and certain consulates restrict the same. Please visit the web site of that particular consulate or check with us personally for details about the same.

If I am granted a visa, does it guarantee entry into the USA?
No. The Directorate of Border and Transportation security has the authority to deny admission to you at the port of entry, if he decides so.Also the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security officials initially determines the period for which you are authorized to remain in the US. The Form 1-94 issued to you at the port of entry notes the length of stay permitted.

I came to know lately, that fewer students are granted visa? Is it due to the change in the immigration rules?
It is not true, in fact visa issuance have gone up. According to an annual report on International students in US (open Doors Report 2003 (IIE). About 74,603 Indian students accounted for 13 percent of the total of 586,323 international students. China was second with 64,757 students.

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