What is non-immigrant intent?
To qualify for a student visa, an applicant must meet the requirements of sections 101(a)(15)(B), (F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department of State (DOS) will not issue a visa to those who do not meet the requirements. The most frequent basis for such a refusal concerns the requirement that the prospective student possess a residence abroad he/she has no intention of abandoning. One common way that applicants can prove the existence of such a residence is by demonstrating that they have ties abroad that would compel them to leave the United States at the end of the temporary stay. The law places this burden of proof on the applicant.
Ties are the various aspects of a non-immigrant’s life – possessions, employment, social and family relationships that bind the non-immigrant to his or her country of residence. Some examples of relevant ties in foreign countries are a job, a house, social and family relationships, or a bank account. Consular officers are aware that ties differ from person to person.
During the visa interview, officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors. For younger applicants (such as students) who may not have had an opportunity to form many ties, consular officers may look at the applicant’s specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.
For more information on qualifying for non-immigrant visas, see the DOS website.