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My gf applied for Tourist visa in 2018 and got denied twice (in a span of 1 month) with 214b (insufficient ties) first time and for no significant change in the second attempt. [We realized that this was a mistake to re-apply without significant change]

Since then, She got married to me. She has gotten admits to good universities (5) in her field of study for Fall 21, And has been working in a stable job (Accenture) for over 3 years now. Travelled to Singapore.

I am still in US on my OPT, employed and financially stable.

  • Does she have enough "significant changes" in her profile for showing strong ties?

  • Also, does it help her chances if she mentions that we plan to return back to India once my OPT is finished (as that aligns with her Master's end date).

  • Would it raise suspicion if she chose a University that is in the same city as where I am employed? although it is very good University for the program she's going into.

  • She has a gap of 10 years after Bachelors, all covered with Work experience though. Does this sound bad for her chances?

  • Should she go for a bank loan for showing strong ties? Despite the fact that I can sponsor her fully?

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  • Does she have enough "significant changes" in her profile for showing strong ties?

Her application does not demonstrate strong ties. Strong ties are things that would require or encourage her to leave the US after her visa term and return to India. Strong ties are typically demonstrated by having an established life in the home country, evidenced by some or all of: a long-term good job to which the applicant will return, family (spouse, children, parents, cousins), and assets (owning a home, etc) in the home country. These are all relationships and things that would draw a person back. So far, none of these appear.

On the contrary, most of the items you raise would support or encourage her to not return to her home country.

Point by point:

  • Does it help her chances if she mentions that we plan to return back to India once my OPT is finished (as that aligns with her Master's end date).

No, this cuts the other way. It demonstrates that she's connected to you and you're established in the US, even temporarily. The visa examiner is required by US law to presume that applicants to visit the US have immigrant intent. With a significant other (even unmarried) already in the US, the presumption of immigrant intent will not be dispelled.

  • Would it raise suspicion if she chose a University that is in the same city as where I am employed? although it is very good University for the program she's going into.

Yes. This reinforces the idea that she's coming to the US to join you. This will remind the visa examiner yet again that she's interested in you...and you're already in the US. Being connected to you does not demonstrate that either of you will return to India.

  • She has a gap of 10 years after Bachelors, all covered with Work experience though. Does this sound bad for her chances?

There's not enough information to know. If she now works, is her current job an attractive one, and will her current employer say her absence is OK and she'd be rehired immediately when she's back in India? Further, if the job she's in now would be unsuitable or too basic for her after the educational program she wishes to take in the US, then it would be clear that she won't go back to that job. In that case, the job and her work history will provide no tie to India at all.

  • Should she go for a bank loan for showing strong ties? Despite the fact that I can sponsor her fully?

This sounds like a bad idea. Taking on debt is not the sort of thing that draws one to return to a home country. It could as easily be seen as her gathering a "stake" before she sets out for a new life. Further, she could easily earn more in the US and perhaps or likely even escape this debt entirely were she to stay. The visa examiner will wonder why she borrowed money just before leaving the country. On balance, I believe borrowing money will be seen as negative.

Perhaps there are other factors you've not mentioned in your question. But on these facts, I believe her visa application has not been significantly changed. The issuance of a visa seems very unlikely.

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  • I really appreciate you giving time for this. I would definitely upvote your answer as it answers my queries point to point. (I still need 15 rep points before I can do that). Here is my response to certain open questions: Strong ties: Her family is in India (Brother, Father & Mother), She is married so her in-laws are in India (My Father & Mother). With education loan, my point was specific to the fact that Indian banks need a collateral (Property) for issuing loans, I was hoping the VO would go in that direction, but you are right considering other factors I mentioned. – pshay91 Jan 21 at 3:23
  • Cont... For choosing university, it sounds to me that choosing a university Further away from me supports her case, although that may not be the best option for her studies. Also, I am sure the question "Who is sponsoring you?" would show up. If its me, then the focus would be "me settled in US" again. If it's a bank loan then "Do you have any family in the US" would bring it back to me. At this point I am really worried that me being in US is going to affect her plans to study! – pshay91 Jan 21 at 3:30
  • @pshay91 Where did your wife study first time around? A gap of 10 years after her Masters and now a plan to study in the US where you just happen to be based, sounds very much like the main objective is to join you. – Traveller Jan 21 at 8:42
  • @Traveller She studied in India only first time. 10 year gap is all with experience with known companies. So I am gonna recommend her to go for the second best college she got admitted to. – pshay91 Jan 21 at 13:09

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