Monday, March 26, 2012

The Visa Fiasco

If you are planning to apply for a course at an American University, before you spend a lot of precious money on the admission process, confirm whether the university where you are applying for your course helps you in obtaining a visa to travel to the United States.

My nightmare began when I applied for a course at the Minnesota State University, Mankato. I was thrilled when after sending my mark sheets and other relevant documents to the university, I got admission in the Graduate Certificate Course in Technical Writing. This course was to last for two years, so after obtaining the I-20 and several other documents confirming my admission, I applied for a visa to travel to Mankato, Minnesota, USA.

 When I went for my visa interview, I was issued a blue letter by the consul officer stating that the I-20 issued to me was incomplete. She stated that the I-20 didn’t clearly specify the course duration. I went home and called up the immigration officer at the Minnesota State University. I requested her to issue a fresh I-20, clearly specifying the course duration. Within the next 10 days I got a new I-20, clearly specifying the term of my course as two years. I went to the consulate with a fresh I-20. But my visa was rejected without the consul officer clearly specifying the reason for the rejection. Completely dejected I went home.

 After consulting family and friends I decided to make a fresh visa application. This time round I consulted a travel agent, prepared for the interview and requested my sponsor to give me a letter clearly specifying that he would pay for my study and stay while I was in Mankato, Minnesota USA. This time round I was positive I would get the visa. However, this application too was rejected.

I was shocked and blank and didn’t know what to do now. I decided to apply a third time and this time round brought more documents to confirm that my financial status was sound and I could for my study and stay in the USA. My interview went well and the consul officer said, “very well based on what you say I approve your application. I couldn’t believe my ears, but suddenly, he said, “wait you applied earlier too and your application was rejected and suddenly he changed his mind and rejected the application. This time I decided to give up.

I however have a couple of questions for the American Consulate; first, why do they advertise and give admissions to students if they are going to reject the application at the last moment? Does it occur to the consulate that people spend a considerable sum of money when the admission documents are processed by the university and later the consulate charges Rs.7000 as the visa application fees? Are the advertisements to study in the USA just to make students spend money on the admission process? I think the concerned universities should guarantee the visa before admitting a student as this would save the student from considerable financial loss and resulting mental stress.