Applicant must have sufficient ties to the home country

WHAT U.S VISA LAW STATES ABOUT “STRONG TIES” TO THE HOME COUNTRY

214(b) of the Immigration & Nationality Act & the U.S. State Department require student applicants to have “strong ties to your home country that will compel you to leave the United States at the end of your temporary stay”.

EXPLANATION OF THIS LAW:

The Department of State, which handles visa applications for residents of foreign countries, gives Visa Officials wide discretion to interpret and act on this requirement that students applying for visas demonstrate “strong ties” to their home country.

Thus, the officers are allowed to use their own judgment as to what “home ties” means. And they expect applicants will make clear what their current connections and ties are to their home country that surely they would not want to abandon.

See below the various kinds of “ties” that may be looked at by a visa officer; such as, one’s family, social connections, current or anticipated future job in the home country, property owned, or even “emotional” ties to the homeland.

Failing to demonstrate sufficiently these “home ties” during the visa interview will normally result in being denied a visa. In such cases of denial, the visa officer will give to the disappointed applicant a form which states that he/she failed based on 214-b (that is not showing sufficient “ties).

Note: For Applicants Who Have Already Been Denied Visas, But Who Wish To Apply Again: The advisory letter given to a student at the time of his denial will usually state that, “If you decide to reapply, you should be prepared to provide information that was not presented in your original application, or to demonstrate that your circumstances have changed since that application”. This means that in your second interview, if you do not bring in “new information” regarding your “ties” to your home country, nor new information that your circumstances have changed since the previous interview, you will CERTAINLY be denied again. Only upon reviewing your “new information” (which you did not present in your first interview) can the second visa officer consider other issues relating to your eligibility.

QUESTION #1 “DO YOU HAVE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE U.S.?”

REASON FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION:

If you have close relatives who live in the U.S., it is possible that your “family ties” to those relatives there are strong enough to overcome your ties to your family in your home country. Generally, having one or two siblings or cousins in the U.S. will not be a problem, but, if you have parents who are U.S. residents, or have numerous other siblings or close relatives who have come to the U.S as students or visitors and then changed their status to become U.S. residents---those ties may cause a visa officer to deny your visa due to having “immigration tendencies”.

QUESTION #2 “ARE YOU CURRENTLY A MEMBER OF A CLUB OR OTHER SOCIAL GROUP?”

REASON FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION:

If you can show how important any social group is to you, it will help a little bit in showing a significant tie to your home country that you would not want to lose forever. Even belonging, for example, to a sports organization, or book club, or religious group or friendship circle, or any other type of social group—may seem to be insignificant at first thought.

But, the regulations actually give these as examples that may be considered as “ties” that a prospective candidate going to the U.S. probably would not want to “abandon” forever. Thus, these connections can go a long way in showing significant “ties” and can help legitimize the applicant as a genuine and “bona fide” temporary student in the U.S.

QUESTION #3 ”ARE YOU CURRENTLY EMPLOYED, AND IF SO, FOR HOW LONG?”

REASON FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION:

If you have been employed for some time and if you express the possibility (or provide a letter from your current or former employer that you could get a better job at that same company when you return from the U.S., this could be a very important “tie” that the visa officer would consider.

Another reason for asking this question might be to give you the opportunity to show that the kind of employment you have had is the same (or related to) the major that you intend to study when you go to the U.S. Still another possible reason why a visa officer might ask you about your employment would be to help you demonstrate that this has been a source of some of the funding that you have (and will need to prove) in order to satisfy the Bank Statement requirements of the university and U.S. Visa regulations.

QUESTION #4 “DO YOU OWN ANY PROPERTY IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY?”

REASON FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION:

Owning any property that you would not want to “abandon” by going to the U.S. is one of the specific examples mentioned in U.S. Visa regulations as being a significant “tie” to the home country. As with the other examples mentioned in the regulations as being possible “ties”, owning a house or land is not a guarantee, by itself, that the student will get a visa. But owning property can help to satisfy the regulation’s requirements (as a part of your overall “profile”).

QUESTION #5 WHY DON’T YOU STAY HERE TO STUDY RATHER THAN GO TO THE U.S.?

REASON FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION:

This question may sometimes be used by a visa officer to see if you have too many “emotional ties” to the U.S. that could suggest that you “love America” more than your home country. An applicant who talks too much about how American education (and other parts of American culture and life) are superior to those in his/her home country may cause the visa officer to conclude that you probably would choose to stay in the U.S. to live permanently, rather than to return home. In answering this question, candidates need to be aware that some U.S. schools may be superior to schools in the home country of the candidate—but this is not universally true.

Schools all over the world may have equal or superior programs than those in the U.S. Consequently, it is not wise for students to make the claim that the general superiority of American schools is the basic reason for choosing to go to America to study.

However, it is true that the PERCEPTION of American schools being superior is often widespread among employers in various parts of the world. Consequently, sometimes a valid reason for a candidate to choose the U.S. for higher education is that, upon returning home after graduating and applying for a job—having the American degree and some U.S. work experience can often give the candidate a better chance of being selected by an employer in the home country, because of the employer’s perception that you are more qualified than other candidates (who may only have a degree from a local university) to take one of the best and highest positions available.

TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE VISA INTERVIEW:

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