While there are many different types of US visas, often times there is just one type of visa that will be suitable for your intended purpose of traveling to the United States.
For example, if you are going to be studying in the US you must get an F-1 Visa. If you are going to vocational school you will get an M1 visa. If you are a dependent or spouse of an F1 visa holder, you will apply for an F2 visa. The path is laid out for you.
Each visa type has its own set of requirements, qualifications, and processes. With that comes different numbers of people applying and different refusal rates. Let’s dive into some of the non-immigrant visas with the highest refusal rates and why.
This non-immigrant visa has the highest rate of refusals with 30% of applicants around the world getting refused (State Department Statistics 2019). At the same time, this visa type had 9,195,616 people apply, which means that roughly 2,758,793 people were refused a B1/B2 visa in 2019.
Since this visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa, the Visa Officer wants to feel confident that when you are traveling to the U.S. you will not overstay your visa. It is easier said than done to prove that, and different personal factors may influence that such as finances, previous visa history, family context, and more.
The F1 visa is also another visa type with a high rate of refusals. In 2019, 26% of applicants around the world were refused an F1 visa. The F1 visa is used for undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and English language schools.
Since this visa type is for students, in addition to proving your intent to return after your studies, it is important to show your dedication to your studies at the same time. This visa interview is traditionally very short (on average only 1-4 minutes), so it can be very difficult to showcase all that you need to in a short period of time without good preparation.
The K-1 visa is not only a visa with a high rate of refusal but it is also an extremely high stakes visa. In 2019, 20% of K1 visa applicants were refused their United States visa. With the B1/B2 visa and the F1 visa, you have the opportunity to reapply for this visa if refused (even though it is more difficult to get the visa with each refusal). But, with the K1 visa you really only have one chance to show you are a good candidate for this visa, which is why it is incredibly important to be well prepared for this visa.
Argo encourages all applicants for these visa types to prepare before your visa interview with a former Visa Officer. That way you can go into your interview more confident, even with these high rates of refusal. But also you will understand how to best present yourself and tell your story to the visa officer.
Keep in mind that these statistics are only the statistics for those refused, and more applicants get placed in 221g (Administrative Processing) indefinitely.