I have a rather complicated question and would appreciate any help. (I will bolden the important and relevant parts to make it easier to follow.) I'm an international student currently studying at a PhD program in Canada (2nd year). Due to the low quality of the current department, in the past few months I have been preparing to apply to some top US/UK programs this year, which I will know about the results by March or so. But some time ago I also had applied to another PhD program at an Australian university that is a good program but pales to the top US/UK programs in my field, and I just received an offer from there and will have to make a decision about the offer in a few weeks.

My question: if I go to Australia and within a few months get an offer from a US/UK university, would it be feasible to get a US/UK visa? It would be a back-to-back student visa applications: Canada (two for two years), then Australia (for a few months), then US/UK. Would the US/UK visa agents be suspicious of this pattern? Would this make getting a US/UK visa more difficult or even impossible? (Please ignore the moral profile of the thought, aka., ditching one program after another; I'm just thinking about the visa challenges at this stage.)

To make things even more complicated, I should add that I have Iranian citizenship, and already struggled to get my Canadian visa; getting a US/UK visa is statistically more difficult for people of my nationality.

NB: I'm not asking for advice on whether or not I should do as above, but rather whether or not this pattern can make getting a visa hard or impossible.

Please do let me know if anything is unclear or if I should make adjustments to my post.


1 Answer 1


From a visa approval point of view, it's totally fine. There's nothing "suspicious" about studying overseas in multiple universities/countries, and as long as you're accepted by a legitimate university, are making progress towards your degree(s) and have your finances in order, you would generally be fine.

Your Iranian citizenship does complicate things for the US in particular, so one thing to beware of is logistics: if your passport is stuck at one embassy (and US embassies are notorious for slow processing times, which have been made even worse by COVID), you obviously can't apply for visas anywhere else while you wait, and there's even been stories of people missing flights because they couldn't get their passport back in time. This won't be an issue for Australia though, since all Australian visas are now electronic.

  • 1
    This is especially true for graduate studies where starting a semester in one place and continuning elsewhere does not really exist.
    – chx
    Nov 23, 2020 at 7:48
  • 2
    Is the OP making progress towards their degree? So far nothing I read indicates so. What I see is hopping around changing countries. From a US perspective it could easily be a reason for refusal.
    – user 56513
    Nov 23, 2020 at 10:38
  • @user56513 They're two years into their current program. On what basis would they refuse the visa? Nov 23, 2020 at 11:46
  • 2
    @lambshaanxy I think you are missing the point. They are applying for a students visa, not a visitors visa. A students visa to go and restart the program in a different country. So it is not going to be a step forward. It looks like hopping around.
    – user 56513
    Nov 23, 2020 at 16:54
  • 2
    Frequent ‘hopping around’ might lead visa-issuing authorities to conclude that the applicant is not a genuine student, but just looking for an ostensibly credible means of entry
    – Traveller
    Apr 19, 2022 at 7:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.