f1 visa denied after 221g wait time
F1 Visa

F1 Visa Refused After 9 Months on 221(g). What happened Next is MIND BLOWING!

We often hear students attending F1 Visa multiple times after rejections. You will be amazed to see 6 to 7 F1 Visa rejections in a span of 6 months.

Most of the applicants don’t realize that they have to make major changes to their profile. If the student’s academic profile is weak with low scores and backlogs, they would have to overcome such weakness. Many are unwilling to spend the time to make those changes and unwilling to move-on with their life. There’s no point in trying for visa without any changes to the profile.

Among such students, we tend to see student’s who move-on with their life and try to study in the USA when the chance permits. Today’s story is one such example – A 3 Year Journey.

Following post was shared by Suneeta Agarwal shared her son’s journey from India to UK to India to UK to USA.

My Son’s Journey to USA

Dear all, I have been reading all of the posts from Happy Schools and the comments for the last 2 years.

Mostly about F1 Visa interviews. Some of the comments and blogs are informative and some just want to share their desperation with others who are in the same boat.

Here I’m writing my son’s story. Here’s his timeline of events:

  • 2010 – Completed Bachelors in IIT
  • May 2010 – Attened F1 Visa Interview – 221(g)
  • Oct 2010 – Applied to UK Visa to Study in UK
  • Jan 2011 – Started Masters in the UK
  • Feb 2011 – F1 Visa Refused
  • Jan 2012 – Completed Masters in the UK and started working in the UK
  • April 2012 – REceived
  • June 2012 – Applied for USA Visa from UK – 221(g) again
  • Dec 2012 – Traveled to India for Holiday
  • Jan 2013 – F1 Approved for PhD in UK

My son is a graduate of IIT Mumbai (2010 batch). In march 2010 he had confirmed admission to the Masters in 3 Universities in the USA. We decided on the Purdue University as our first choice and asked for the necessary documents from the International student office.

The I-20 was delivered in Mid-May. He enthusiastically filed for his F1 visa at end May and got an interview date. Now comes the hiccup, he was put in administrative processing 221(g).

We waited and waited no response came except a very polite statement saying that the procedure can take up to 6 months so ask for admission deferment with your university.

My son got the deferred date till Spring. We had never heard of anyone being held up for so long and he started applying to UK and other European Universities.

In October, he got offered a Masters by Research MSR at Cranfield University. He asked for his passport back from the U.S. Consulate and applied for the UK visa.

There he joined in Jan of the following year and completed his degree 12 months (Next Janurayr). Meanwhile, we had received a refusal from US embassy in Feb 2011 under section 212(g). That’s after 9 months.

I am saying all this because, I want all of you kids to keep options open. Do not get stuck on USA and get depressed.

While he was doing his Masters in the UK, my son published 2 research papers in the International Journals. He also applied for PhD in various US universities again. He was offered full tuition fee waiver with Fellowship from 2 universities in April 2012. Around this time he was on a post study, work visa in the UK.

He got a job with a multinational company as Software developer and started working there in May 2012. He now applied for US visa from UK after getting I-20 in July 2012.

Now the visa issue raised its head again. He was interviewed twice for 40 minutes each on the same day. His documents checked, rechecked and again put under Administrative processing!

F1 Visa did not come for Fall semester.

He asked for another I-20 for Spring semester. New I-20 was submitted in early November with the new Itinerary and we waited. No reply and no updates.

My son then decided this visa is never going to come and traveled to India for Christmas holidays. On 5th Jan he just checked his F1 visa status by chance and lord and behold. Send Passport was written on 3rd of January.

Now this guy is in Delhi and passport needs to go to London. He flew out of India immediately and couriered his passport to the US embassy on 8th.

With great pleasure I want to share with you all that he has received his passport with F1 visa today and later he will be flying to the US.

I am writing so as to reassure one and all that administrative processing does occur. I had started thinking that it was just an easier way to say NO to visa. Please do not say things like I want to die as my visa got rejected twice (F1 Rejected Twice –  I’vet No Options Other Than To Die). That shook me up.

As a parent, we want the best for our kids, but not at the cost of their mental or physical health. Also remember a refusal is not the end of the world. My son is a better and more mature person now. Every setback can also be a learning experience!

Enjoy the ride and there are many destinations in life.  God Bless you All.


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  1. my visa was rejected twice. I want to do MBA at 40 from the USA. I am a single lady. My younger brother is in the US. My major selection of MBA is different than my master of Microbiology.
    How can I convince that I am interested in management skills (lost interest in the technical field after 17 yrs of work and want carrier growth) and will come back to India?
    And is it ok to say that I will join the pharmaceutical industry in India especially export?

  2. @Sourav I got stuck in Paris due to 221g. Now problem is my schengen visa is also about to expire in 2 weeks. During the interview consular officer told me that I would get my passport within 5 days, but I haven’t received yet. Now my question is, Can I take my passport back form the consulate without affecting administrative processing and how much time it will take to get it back ?

    Kindly respond. I’m in a problem now.

  3. How did your son get his passport back to fly to India while it was still under administrative processing ???

      1. Ashish, please email USA embassy to return your passport. Try to get a hold of them on the phone, they cannot hold the passport if you need to travel. I speak from experience because I did the same. This post was actually shared by my mother a long time ago 🙂

  4. I do agree with Sreekumar Menon as well. There is a lot of pioneering research going on in other British Universities besides Oxford and Cambridge. Infact, other universities that belong to Russell Group (and other research groups) are putting in far more funds into research. An example of this would be University of Sheffield:
    On a side note, as someone that is considering the UK as an education destination, I’d like to see more posts on study on the UK.

  5. I have doubt if this story is true. With an IIT Mumbai qualification and a non-Muslim name (just keepin it real), chance of denial is very, very low.

    Also, I doubt if an IIT student will be ready to study in Cranfield University. I have never heard of it.

    1. Hi AB, this story is true. I’m Saurav Agarwal, my mom had posted this story.

      No one would make a huge effort to create such an elaborate story only to create a lie 🙂

      Here is a link to my linkedin profile:


      Here’s a link to my prof’s research page and you can see my name listed as a PhD student:


      Sometimes, you have to take a step down to go two steps up. That’s what I had to do. I’m currently

  6. I have got my F1 Visa approved for Fall 2010 but due to some emergency i was unable to go to US for Fall. I again reapply for admission AT SAME UNIVERSITY and got admit for spring 2013. University send me a new i-20 with the same SEVIS number as earlier. My F1 Visa was issued on 20.July 2010 and i intend to fly to US on 5.feb.2013 But i am very worried about if anything goes wrong on port of entry. Should i go for a new VISA interview? Please reply soon and please send me some authenticate document about the same as i have very less time in hands to attend the spring session. Thanks

  7. Hello Everybody,
    Congrats Uncle for your son.Finally he won the battle & has got the visa.One more thing i would like to add is that it also depends upon your fortune whether your dana pani (food & water) is written in USA in your destiny by the god & if it written then no matter what the circumstances may be you will reach there or god will definately throw you there by any means like:
    1 you get married to US Woman
    2 you go & try from some foreign country.
    3 may after your study you can go on work permit
    4 may be any IT company you join may post you at USA
    So reason for analyzing all these points is that if your destiny is written then no one can stop you even visa officers taking your interview can not stop you to get into USA because the LORD Ruling the universe is only one
    All you need is the blessings of the Almighty GOD along with your parents as the place of Parents is always equivalent to GOD.
    So always have patience because some better is coming which will again force you to live the life to the fullest.
    Bye to Everyone .
    All the best to all those who wish to go to USA .
    Regards Daljit Singh Chhatwal

    1. Yeah, praying to god is the best idea. I would really appreciate if you would kindly not increase the length of the queue in front of the visa office and sit at your home or the nearest temple and pray.

  8. i am pretty surprised after reading your son’s ordeal. historically, the americans were always receptive about getting an iit guy. nasa, silicon valley, you just name it – everything was built by the iitians and also by competent graduates like raghu from other desi colleges.

    well, i must finish with a voice of caution here. there are just two good universities in uk which you can trust – oxford and cambridge. so, please do not make any hasty decision , and it could be just an isolated incident that her son gets a plum job after going to some non-descript uk university. it does not have any world ranking / not in world top 50, afaik.

    it is so sad to say that we indians easily forget everything. the british government once again started their colonialism – this time very discreetly through their universities. they have stopped the post study work visa. they are only after the blood and hard-earned money of indians. also, keep in mind that their degree is not recognised in india, not even in private sector. to reiterate, if it is oxford or cambridge, fly instead of leap; otherwise look before you leap. read more about the disparity here :


    1. Cranfield is a highly regarded University with an excellent reputation in its aerospace engineering and Business studies (MBA and PhD) programs . It began as an aeronautical engineering college in 1946 and subsequently developed into a full public university (meaning government owned and funded). Copied below is the ranking and evaluation section from Wikipedia entry on Cranfield.

      “Ranking and evaluation
      As the university is postgraduate, direct comparison with undergraduate institutions is difficult. Some key facts and figures are:
      Cranfield’s staff:student ratio is second among UK universities.[8]
      Cranfield is the only university in the UK to have its own airfield.
      Cranfield’s commercial clients include airports, airlines, Formula 1 teams, banks, financial institutions, commercial and not-for-profit organisations. They have strategic relationships Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Boeing, Shell and Nissan.
      Cranfield School of Management was ranked 3rd best European Business School within the UK and 13th within Europe in 2008.[12]
      Cranfield’s MBA is ranked 18th in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (2009).[13] The Financial Times ranked Cranfield’s MBA 26th best in the world in 2010.[14]
      54% of all aerospace engineering postgraduates and 25% of all agricultural and environmental sciences postgraduates in the UK graduate at Cranfield.[8]
      over 10% of the UK’s engineering and sciences PhDs are awarded by Cranfield.[8]
      Cranfield has received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize three times: in 2005 for Further and Higher Education for the Fellowship in Manufacturing Management (FMM) programme; in 2007 for its role in humanitarian demining;[15] and in 2011 for contribution to aviation safety through research and training in accident investigation.[16]
      Students on Cranfield’s Global Security programme were awarded the Imbert Prize in 2006,[17] 2008[18] and 2009[19] for the development of ideas for the advancement of risk and security management in the UK”

      I also do not agree with Mr. Ray’s observation that Oxford and Cambridge are the only universities you can trust in U.K. There are a number of U. K. institutions with world wide reputation depending on the field of study, the most obvious being the London School of Economics. There are others like SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), the University College of London, Warwick (for many fields), University of Manchester (for Development Studies), the University of Sussex (Social Sciences), East Anglia (for creative writing), Cardiff (Journalism) and so on. As is mentioned in the Telegraph article that Mr. Ray refers to, U.K. Master’s degrees are recognized by U.S., Australia, and New Zealand as well as the countries of the European Union. The UGC’s and Education Ministry’s concern about standards is a bit of a political game they play and will eventually be resolved. (If the UGC and Mr. Sibal are worried about the quality of education, they should do something about the abysmal education they have provided to generations of Indian students. According to a July 2012 NASSCOM report 75% of Indian engineering graduates are unemployable; in February 2012 a Rediff report based on a study by Aspiring Minds put the figure at over 82%. This is what they should attend to instead of denying students a chance to get a decent education elsewhere because they can’t get it here.) After all it is Kapil Sibal who has been anxious to invite foreign universities to set up operations in India; and I can assure you that U.K. universities are more interested and more likely to take him up on his invitation than American ones. Anyway, the experience of the young Bombay IIT-an with a Cranfield Degree, post study work opportunity in U.K. and subsequent acceptance into a PhD program in the U.S. should be enough to dispel the anxieties expressed by Mr. Ray in his post. His contention that one-year U.K. Master’s degrees are not recognized by the private sector in India is also not true. My nephew got an MBA from Dundee in Scotland and worked for IBM for several years before joining an IT start-up in Bangalore about a year ago.

    2. It is a unique case. So far, I have not seen any IIT grad being refused F1 visa by US consulate. Can you kindly share further details regarding your son’s case?

      On a general note: I know that there are a lot of work opportunities in US after completing study. But when you are given a F1 visa, you enter into an agreement with the US govt. that you intend to spend your time in US to study and not to work. As US faces a lot of immigration influx(not to mention the illegal ones) they screen the F1 candidates rigorously. If they get any whiff about you trying to work/settle in US after study during the F1 interview, they will NOT issue you a visa. Candidates must remember this while they go for the visa interview.

  9. Dear Ms Agarwal, I have copied below a link to an article on a new immigration bill being drafted by Senator Charles Shumer (Democrat, NY) to encourage qualified and talented science and technology candidates with Master’s and PhDs to apply for Green Cards and stay on to work in the U.S. When the Senate is contemplating such measures to retain talent in the U.S. it seems strange that the U.S. Embassies and Consulates are doing everything possible to deny obviously talented candidates like your son an opportunity to pursue graduate studies in America. From reading these blog posts it seems the visa granting process is left to the individual whimsies of Visa Officers. Universities like Purdue and Stanford and Berkeley don’t just hand out admissions and financial aid without checking the qualifications of their applicants. I would have thought that an admission to such a university guaranteed you a visa. This does not seem to be the case. I hope you will send the text of your blog post to Sen. Shumer. It should be easy to find the address of his office in New York and Washington D.C. from the Net. Please alert U.S. lawmakers to what low level functionaries in the Consulates and Embassies are doing. They seem to be acting contrary to the policy initiatives of elected representatives. You will be doing countless deserving students a favor by sending this to the Senator. I wish your son good luck.
    My own son is applying to top universities for graduate study and I am anxious to make this process both smooth and rational for students worldwide who want to get a good education.


  10. One more question:

    what was the department of your son in IITB? I’m asking because in some departments like Aerospace it is difficult to get a US vis.

    1. Could you explain why it is difficult to get a visa for graduate study in Aerospace Engineering? Is this a policy of the U.S. Government or are there quotas for particular disciplines?

  11. Two questions.

    1. When your son’s visa was rejected for Purdue, initially, did he have a scholarship or funding from the university?

    2. is 221G rejected due to health reasons?

  12. It’s exciting and delightful to have parents actively involved in the career of their children. I’m happy for you and your son. This seems like a tag team experience.

    Keeping options open is important ‘cos life is full of detours sometimes.


  13. I am really touched and encouraged by your kind words,though I’m Nigerian. This blog and all participants have been really helpful to me.
    I am currently preparing for gre,I already got an admission at cranfield but no finances and the scholarships are over. Right now,I’m apply to the top 50 engineering schools in the world, Japan,Sweden,UK,USA,France all except the ones that require application fee. So thank you sir again and I’m happy for you son.

  14. I feel happay for the Parents and the boy, meanwhile im preparing for GRE, tell you what I am not like other genus Kids, I tell you GRE sucks the Life out of You
    but probably im stressing too much, Also im amazed to hear that an IIT graduate going for UK, so UK is not that bad ummm, and lastly every one should have options great advise,

    N.E.D University graduate

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