Student Visa Bad News: New report shows student visa denial rates have increased significantly

If you are planning to study in the United States, you should be aware of the increasingly high rate of denials among F-1 and M-1 student visa applicants. If you are interested in learning more about this important topic, please keep on watching.


According to a new report released by several research institutions, the denial rates for student visas have increased dramatically in recent years. In this video, we will discuss why this has been happening and what you need to know if you are planning to study in the United States.

The report includes a statistical analysis covering a 7-year period from 2015 to 2022, which demonstrates an annual increase in the rate of denials with the greatest impact affecting F-1 student visa applicants. The regions with the highest rates of denial are reportedly Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

Africa bore the greatest share of denials, with a denial rate sitting at 54% in 2022. This figure is concerning because over half of all African student visas were denied, when compared to denial rates of just 36% for Asian students and 9% for European students. South America came in second place, with more than a 50% increase in F-1 visa denial rates when compared to a 10% denial rate in 2015 and 24% denial rate in 2022.

Such high denial rates are owed to increasing scrutiny on the part of Consular officers who are interviewing applicants at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. It has gotten more and more difficult to receive student visas because of the burden of proof that visa applicants must provide such as proof of sufficient financial resources to cover the entire period of intended study in the United States, cost of living, proof of strong ties to the country of origin, among other visa requirements.  Uncertainty regarding the applicant’s post-graduate study plans may also weigh on the Consular officer’s decision when evaluating a student visa application. Separately, the exceptionally high demand for student visas is an additional burden on Consular officers who must make quick decisions while facing limited resources.

Universities and institutions of higher education have expressed concern over these alarming statistics because of the importance of the international student population, as well as U.S. interest in retaining highly skilled immigrants graduating in the STEM fields.

The staggering number of denials has made this process more difficult. Many of these students have chosen to attend institutions of higher education in other countries, which has resulted in losses to our economy and overall competitiveness. Additionally, U.S. employers face obstacles because denials in student visa issuance means they can no longer recruit foreign-born talent through the post-graduate employment authorization program known as Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Unfortunately, this means that such denials carry widespread repercussions not just for foreign students, but for U.S. higher education and employers who rely upon such talented individuals to bring innovation to the United States.

Knowing this sad reality, what can you do as a prospective international student?

International students should be well-prepared for their visa interview and have a complete understanding of the visa requirements and what documentary evidence they need to provide to be successful at the interview. Such documentary evidence generally includes but is not limited to, proof of strong financial resources to demonstrate your ability to pay for your education and your living expenses while in the United States, proof of strong ties to your home country to show that you will eventually return to your country at the conclusion of your studies, as well as a clear plan of action regarding what you will do after graduating.

To increase your likelihood of success, you may consider obtaining the assistance of an immigration attorney who can help prepare you for your interview and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your application.

Contact us. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

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