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Convert visa interview from Vistor -> F1 ?

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  • Convert visa interview from Vistor -> F1 ?

    Hello,

    I want to join an MS program in Spring 2021 in USA (Jan2021). I hope to get an admit by Sept2020. I applied for a B1/B2 visa in May 2020 and got a confirmed visa interview date in October 2020 for B1/B2. I applied for B1/B2 because there was no clarity on MS programs or F1 visa in May + I feared that by the time I get admit for Spring2021 (say by sept2020), the interview dates may only be available after Jan 2021. I thought why not goto US on a visitor visa say in Dec 2020, visit my cousins and eventually join the program where I get an admit in Jan2021. Now I have the following questions:
    1. Is the probability of B1 visa issuance quite low for me? During the visa interview, if I say I want to go there for tourism purposes, they may not accept it because of current covid situation, correct?
    2. In B1/B2 visa interview can I say that I want to goto USA to check out universities to apply for F1 visa? Will it be ok?
    3. If I get denial for B1 in October 2020 and I appear again in Nov2020 for F1, surely my chances for an F1 approval will be reduced because of the B1 denial?
    4. Should I try to cancel my B1 visa interview and get a F1 visa interview instead?
    5. I tried to “reschedule” my B1 visa interview and system says no dates available before March2021. Does anyone know if “reschedule availability” is the same availability as a fresh booking availability for any visa classes? Since B1 reschedule is not showing anything available till March 2021, this means that no F1 students will be able to get a visa appointment date for Spring 2021 session?
    6. Does anyone know currently what consular dates are available in India for F1 students? Say someone tried for Fall2020?
    About me: Single woman in my early 30's. Have an MBA and steady job in India. Have gone to UK several times over past few years to visit close family. I do have some cousins and friends in USA and want to visit them on B2 or on F1.

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by richa2; 08-03-2020, 11:35 PM.

  • #2
    1. For B1/B2, you need to have sufficient funds and be able to demonstrate that your visit is for tourism only & that you will return. Since you want to study in the very near future, it may be best for you to file for and obtain an F1.
    2. B2 is for tourism. What do you mean by "Check out" universities ? This would raise a flag considering your timing to study.
    3. B1/B2 & F1 are two different classes of visa with different requirements. Rejection of one does not necessarily mean denial of the other.
    4. Yes, considering the timing, I would apply for F1 only
    5. F1 visas have priority and different dates / timeslots.
    6. You can only apply for an F1 visa within 120 days from the start of classes. However, you can only enter the US within 30 days of the start of classes
    Opinion only. Cannot be construed as legal advice.

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    • #3
      Many thanks R78, your suggestions have been of great value!
      1) Can I convert the *intent* of the interview from B1 -> F1 and keep the same interview date?
      2) In case q #1 is not possible, since the visa fees is non refundable, can I still keep and appear for the B2 visa interview in October and apply for a fresh F1 interview (hopefully I will get an interview in October/November)? I wonder if two visa applications so close in time would be negative?
      3) In general are chances of denail of B2 visa high considering current situation?...they might question why do you need to travel in such a situation.

      About me: Single woman in my early 30's. Have an MBA and steady job in India. Have gone to UK several times over past few years to visit close family. I do have some cousins and friends in USA and want to visit them on B2 or on F1.

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