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I am an F-1 student, how can I show ties to my home country?

By August 10, 2022Immigration
A student doing work in a library

If you are applying for an F-1 student visa at a Consulate abroad, or if you are changing status to F-1 status in the U.S., you may be wondering how you can prove that as a student, you have ties to your home country.

This issue usually comes up when applying for an F-1 visa at a Consulate abroad, and if you are changing status, USCIS may sometimes issue a Request for Evidence and ask for evidence showing ties to your home country.

It may be especially hard to submit documentation if you just finished high school and you want to go study in the U.S. for a Bachelor’s, or if you finished a Bachelor’s degree in your home country and you want to further study in the U.S. for a Master’s.

When applying for a B visa, the B visa applicants are often asked to submit documents such as proof of property ownership, mortgage statements, rent agreement, proof of business ownership, or proof of financial ties to show that they have ties to their home country and so they will come back after their visit to the U.S. Most B visa applicants, especially the ones that are already working in their home country have no problem submitting at least some of these documents. However, most young aspiring F-1 students would have a hard time submitting this documentation.

Luckily, the Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”) does address this issue and acknowledges that the residence requirement is different for F-1 students and B visa visitors.

The FAM indicates that “It is natural that the student does not possess ties of property, employment, and continuity of life typical of B visa applicants.  These ties are typically weakly held by student applicants, as the student is often single, unemployed, without property, and is at the stage in life of deciding and developing their plans for the future.

The FAM also indicates that “the residence abroad requirement for student applicants should be considered in the context of the usual limited ties that a student would have, and their immediate intent.”

The regulations also indicate, that as many students still reside with their parents in their home country, as long as they intend to return to their home country to reside with their parent, they should be considered to maintain their residence.

Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the standard of showing ties to the home country for F-1 students is much lower than showing ties for B visa visitors.

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