F1 Visa advice please

Old May 2nd 2018, 4:19 pm
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Default F1 Visa advice please

Hi all

I'm resident in the UK and in a position to take a sabbatical from my day job. I'm considering doing a one-year certificate associate degree in the US on my year off.

I understand the steps to apply for the F1 Visa are as follows:
  • get accepted into a collage
  • pay a fee and the collage will provide a I-20 form
  • complete the F1 Visa application
  • attend an F1 Visa interview in London

If approved by the consulate in London you have to enter the US on the F1 Visa 30 days before your course start date.

As part of the F1 Visa application I'll need to prove:
a) I have sufficient funds to cover my expenses and accommodation in the US for a year.
b) proof of my intent to depart the U.S. after the course is complete.

I've worked in computer software in the UK for the last 17 years (contracting). The degree would be in a number of related software development disciplines that would extend my current skill set.

I would like to do the degree in Houston, TX. I have visited Houston 14 times in the last 3 years on the VWP to visit a woman I'm in a long term relationship with. Have never had any issues going thru passport control. (always stay in the UK longer than I visit the US).

Also I own a home with a mortgage in the UK at the moment but this would have been sold by the time the Visa is due to start.

Given my history of travelling to Houston, no home to return to in the UK and the fact that I'm in a relationship with a US citizen in that city, am I right in thinking there would be a good chance of rejection when applying for the Visa?


Thanks.

Charlie

Last edited by KingwoodBrit; May 2nd 2018 at 4:34 pm.
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Old May 3rd 2018, 10:19 am
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

I understand being in a very privileged position to be able to take a year out and go to collage in the town where my partner lives should not be a way to get around the usual 90 day limit on visiting the US and that this is likely how it will be perceived.

I very much doubt I will be going after this option. And will instead be looking at marriage Visa's.

Thanks
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Old May 3rd 2018, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

I don't know how it would work for a one year course, but if they can supply I-20's and are in the SEVIS database, it'd work.

I actually did the same as you, to be in the same city as my girlfriend for a couple of years. Our plan was I'd get my masters (which I wanted anyway, so this route sort of made sense as we were both in a financial situation where it'd be fine) whilst she finished up her PhD, then she'd move to England for her postdoc with me upon completion.

Our plans changed of course about half a year in when she started attending career conferences and finding out her post doc options are better here in the US, but it would have been a possible route for you to take.

Good luck on the marriage visa route however!
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Old May 3rd 2018, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Good to know. Thanks, Maste!
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Old May 4th 2018, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Originally Posted by KingwoodBrit View Post
Also I own a home with a mortgage in the UK at the moment but this would have been sold by the time the Visa is due to start.
Hi,

F-1 students are generally required to prove the existence of an unrelinquished foreign domicile to which they intend to return upon the conclusion of their temporary purpose in the United States. So dumping the foreign residence is a problem.

Good luck
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Old May 4th 2018, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Thanks for the feedback, crg.
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Old May 4th 2018, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Where will you live when you go home?
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Old May 4th 2018, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

It's a good question. Thanks, Boiler.

My current house has just gone on the market. I expect it'll take a minimum of 4 months to turn around the sale. So I could list my existing address on the F1 Visa application. Then when the equity is freed I plan to purchase a small 2 bed investment property and rent it out.

Is that a potential question when applying for an F1 Visa? The status of your property (is it for sale) and if so are you able to update your UK residence address to show there is a new active mortgage and I would be returning there after a year?
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Old May 4th 2018, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

The F1 visa is very easy. You'll need some evidence of ties to the UK, but then again they didn't ask me for anything. If I were you I'd keep me mouth shut about your girlfriend. If they ask why there are frequent trips to TX just state you've friends there and love an excuse to visit the warm weather. We all know what is likely to happen so if you want to stay, you'd need to adjust your status when in the US. Would suggest doing so closer to the end of the 1 year (Your visa will be valid for 5) so to avoid looking like you entered with intent to adjust.

You can attend any school within the SEVIS database.
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Old May 4th 2018, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Good stuff. Thanks, notaclue.
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Old May 4th 2018, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Originally Posted by KingwoodBrit View Post
Good stuff. Thanks, notaclue.
With an F-1 application from a non-traditional student with 14 visits to Houston in 3 years, the "visiting friends" claim will work perfectly... if the Consular Officer was hired through some new job opportunity for the developmentally disabled.

I'm not a fan of the sneaky advice that some sneaky people like to offer. It may have worked fine for them, but can sometimes backfire with serious consequences. The "helpful" people don't experience the consequences of their advice so they don't care. I also wouldn't characterize a non-traditional students path to an F-1 to be the same as a traditional student.
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Old May 4th 2018, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

As a general rule, F-1 visas are issued for "academic" courses of study. The description of what OP is seeking does not strike me as fitting within that category.

Do note that there as some pretty flaky "universities" and "colleges" out there that somehow got I-20 issuing authority.

Good luck.
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Old May 4th 2018, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Originally Posted by crg View Post
With an F-1 application from a non-traditional student with 14 visits to Houston in 3 years, the "visiting friends" claim will work perfectly... if the Consular Officer was hired through some new job opportunity for the developmentally disabled.
Are you suggesting not all advice on public forums is on the up and up?
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Old May 4th 2018, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
As a general rule, F-1 visas are issued for "academic" courses of study. The description of what OP is seeking does not strike me as fitting within that category.

Do note that there as some pretty flaky "universities" and "colleges" out there that somehow got I-20 issuing authority.

Good luck.
Thanks, S Folinsky.

The collage I was considering seemed to have some good caliber lecturers, according to their LinkedIn profiles. And the info the collage advisor provided was comprehensive. Working thru it now.

Is there any impact on a marriage Visa application if you are rejected for a F1 Visa?
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Old May 4th 2018, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: F1 Visa advice please

Originally Posted by KingwoodBrit View Post
Is there any impact on a marriage Visa application if you are rejected for a F1 Visa?
No, unless there was fraud/misrepresentation in the attempt.....
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