Get a top-rated Mini-MBA Certificate for $199 $59 (till 15th Mar)

F1 visa rejection after MBA admission with scholarship

Most assume that it’ll be smooth sailing once they get an admit. But the F1 visa process cannot be taken for granted. Here’s Abhijit’s (name changed) F1 visa rejection story that tells us – It ain’t over till it’s over.

He had excellent corporate brands on his resume. He applied to a reputed MBA program. He got in with a scholarship. But something went wrong towards the end.

My F1 (US Student Visa) rejection story

by Abhijit

I graduated with Bachelors Degree in Technology from College of Engineering Roorkee in the year 2006 and have since then worked with Bharti Airtel, TCS, Accenture, and of late with Cognizant Technology Solutions as a Business Analyst for a leading Banking and Financial Services Firm.

Over the last 6 years I have been successfully investing in a host of Asset Instruments and that kindled in me the desire to take my passion for a career in the Capital Markets to the “next level” and set up my own successful venture in Capital Markets.

In order to succeed in my endeavors, I felt it was extremely imperative for me for to have a formal Business School education from a leading Business School and it was round about in April last year when I finally decided to take the plunge.

Since I was already late for Application for the Fall intake, I looked for Business Schools whose Program starts in Winters and ended up applying at Simon Graduate School of Business (University of Rochester), Rotterdam School of Management and IE Business School.

Having been accepted at all of these Programs on a Scholarship that ranged between 25-40%, it did not take much time and effort for me to decide that Simon GSB, known for its top ranked Finance Program and stellar Finance faculty, would be the best fit for me considering the exposure that I would get studying in the US and in a City close to the Financial Capital of the World.

After I received an Admit from UoR Simon GSB in July last year with 40% Scholarship, over the next couple of months between August and September I focused all my energies in getting the Finances sorted out (which I felt was the biggest hurdle for me with the Loan Sanction taking eternity) in addition to securing all the VISA related documents.

By the end of September I was all set with all the VISA documents and had even booked my flight tickets for the Pre-MBA Program (which begins Mid October) that Simon offers. In the meantime, I began communicating with the candidates who joined the Program in Fall, sorted out an On- Campus Accommodation, and even had a formal discussion with the Dean on various career related concerns.

I was all excited about the MBA Program at Simon and about the post MBA prospects, but little did I know what lied in store ahead. I fixed an appointment with the Embassy for September end and was pretty confident about securing the F1 VISA until the moment when I was denied a valid VISA for reasons that are still incomprehensible to me to a certain extent.

Below is the Account of my Interview with the US Consular at the New Delhi Consulate

Visa Officer – So you are traveling for Masters Program?
Me – Yes, I am traveling for MBA Program at the University of Rochester

Visa Officer – Why are you traveling so late as all the students have already flown?
Me – UoR has 2 intakes for the MBA Program – one starts in Fall and the other starts in Winters. I had applied for the Winter intake and am now travelling for the Pre-MBA Program that begins Mid October.

Visa Officer – Why do you want to do an MBA now?
Me – Suggested to the Consular the reasons for attending the MBA Program

Visa Officer – What are your Post MBA Plans?
Me – I want to set up my own entrepreneurial venture in Capital Markets back here in India (Consular promptly interrupted me here)

Visa Officer – What have you done after your undergrad
Me – I have worked in Software Sector for close to 5.5 years

Visa Officer – Which firms have you worked in so far
Me – I have worked with TCS, Accenture and I am now working with Cognizant

Visa Officer – Why did you changed so many firms (This went a bit too far for me as far as the VISA Interview was concerned)
Me – Career growth et al

Visa Officer – So why entrepreneurship after 6 years of working and not before and would you even need an MBA for E’Ship?
Me – Suggested similar reasons as in the B-School Interviews

Visa Officer – OK. How would you be funding your Education?
Me – Gave a detail around how I planned to fund the entire Education

Visa Officer – Which School have to applied to in the US?
Me – Simon GSB is the only B-School that I applied to in the US as it is the only Top Business School I knew offered MBA Program starting in winters.

Visa Officer – Why have you applied to only one school in US?
Me – I planned to apply to a few Schools for the next fall – Darden, UNC Kenan Flagler, Boston University SoM – but UoR Simon offered the Program in Fall and that provided me the opportunity to begin the Program an year earlier.

Visa Officer – Did you apply to any School outside the US?
Me – I have been admitted to Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands and IE Business School, Spain

Visa Officer – Why US and why not Spain/Netherlands?
Me – Suggested length of the Program, Curriculum, etc as the major reasons I chose UoR Simon over others

Visa Officer – What was your undergrad?
Me – Engineering

Visa Officer – Do you have a relative in the US?
Me – No

And finally came the dreaded words from the Visa Officer – “Your reasons for studying in the US are not credible. Thank You!”. The walk from the Counter to the Exit seemed to be the numbest and longest that I had walked.

After ample discussions and further preparation I once again booked an appointment with the Consulate. But after being asked a couple of basic questions on the University, Course and the Funding I was denied VISA once again “based on the previous denial”.

Though I requested the Visa Officer to give me an opportunity to put forth my case and that I was ready to answer the doubts he had about my candidature for the F1 VISA, I was politely asked to leave.

In retrospect, I feel that probably I should have kept it simple about my Post MBA goals with the Consular and maybe could have allayed his fears on why I applied to only one Program in the US by a more articulate explanation.

We published another story about someone who got into Simon MBA with a scholarship. His story ended well.

So what exactly went wrong here? Why was Abhijit’s F1 visa rejected even though he had a confirmed admit, and a scholarship as well. It’s tough to really pinpoint. Was it the post-MBA plan? Was it the single school strategy? Was it the answers he gave? What could he have done to avoid this situation?

We have theories, but that’s the problem. These will only be theories.

So the next best thing to do is to read the other F1 Visa articles to form your own strategy to tackle the final hurdle that stands between you and your MBA degree. After working so hard on the MBA applications, don’t let an F1 visa rejection spoil the party.

Read these related articles:
USA Student visa requirements and step-by-step process
F1 Visa requirements in U.S. for Indian students
F1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers

Disclosure: Abhijit did not work with us for his applications, but he was kind enough to share his story on our blog so it would be beneficial to other applicants.

Mini-MBA | Start here | Success stories | Reality check | Knowledgebase | Scholarships | Services

Serious about higher ed? Follow us:


Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

11 thoughts on “F1 visa rejection after MBA admission with scholarship”

  1. The reason for his rejection are simple. He applied to a third rate B-school while is background (career/companies he has worked at, B-tech engineering) is very good. I would be suspicious myself if someone with such a good background chooses Uni. of Rochester.

  2. Simon Business School, U of Rochester is not a third rate school by any stretch of imagination. It consistently ranks in the top 40 B-Schools, and has one of the top Finance programs. I would call it a Tier – 2 school. Visa rejections for such a school seems strange. I feel it was mostly because of the timing (Winter).

  3. I, Shramona had given interview in US Consulate Mumbai. I got rejection 3 times and still I did not get its answer means why I got rejection.

    1) For University of Dayton Ohio in 2012- MS in Biomedical Engineering.
    2) University of Alabama.- MS in Biomedical Engineering.

    My GRE score: 295 out of 340 (Verbal:145, Quants: 150.)
    IELTS score: 6.

    1st interview in 2012:

    VO: Hi. How are you?
    Me: Yaah fine.
    VO: Which university accepted you?
    Me: University of Dayton Ohio.
    VO: Did you apply for other universities?
    ME: Yes. I told the names of all the universities.
    VO: Have you got the acceptance letter from any other university?
    ME: No.
    VO: Who is your father?
    ME: Retired bank manager of State Bank.
    VO: Did you have any backlogs?
    ME: Yes. But later I cleared all.
    VO: Very good.
    VO: How can you pay?
    ME: My parents are my sponsors. They saved money for my education.
    (VO was listening my answer and was signing on the rejection letter.)
    VO: I don’t think so that you are going there for study. Try to do something good in India. He had given me 214b US VISA rejection letter.

    2nd interview in 2012: The VO was a lady. I was seeing her face. So irritating face she had. I was feeling that I had committed the crime that I applied for US VISA.

    VO: Which university accepted you?
    ME: University of Dayton Ohio.
    VO: Why have you chosen this university?
    ME: The curriculum of this university is quiet impressive for me. The professor had multifarious exposure in the research oriented work in Biotechnology.
    VO: How many schools did you apply for?
    VO: What are these?
    ME: I told the names of all the universities.
    VO: So why this university?
    ME: I told the same answer as mentioned above.
    VO: Don’t tell me this answer. I know that you are well prepared about this question.
    VO: Have you got the acceptance letter from any other universities?
    ME: No.
    VO: Oh. Because of this reason you have chosen this university.(said in the teasing manner)
    VO: What did you study and from where?
    ME: Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology(VIT).
    VO: How many backlogs did you have?
    ME: 13.
    VO: 13 or 30?(Asked in the teasing manner.)
    ME: 13.
    VO: How can you pay?
    ME: My parents have the sufficient amount of fund.
    VO: Show me the passbook.
    ME: I showed her. The amount was sufficient. I was 100% confident.
    VO: I am so sorry. I can’t issue a VISA for you. Try to do something good in India.
    ME: What is the reason of my rejection officer?
    VO: I don’t think so that you are going there for study.

    3rd interview in 2014:
    VO: What is the purpose of going to USA?
    ME: To study MS Biomedical Engineering in the university of Alabama.
    VO: What are you doing now?
    ME: Working as a software engineer in Info sis.
    VO: What relationship it has with Biomedical engineering?
    (That bustard knew very well that there is no relationship with Biomedical engineering. But still he asked me that question.)
    ME: No relationship. If I complete my masters from USA then after coming back in India I can get a good profile job in my relevant field.
    VO: What did you study?
    ME: Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology(VIT).
    VO: Are you married?
    ME: No.
    VO: In which year you passed out?
    ME: 2010.
    VO: Ok. Keep your right hand four fingers on the scanner.(I did it.)
    ME: Under of 214b US law you are not qualified for VISA.

    Can anybody tell me what was the rason of my VISA rejection?

    • I think they do a lot of face reading, It was clear to them that you had no prospects in India after the degree so you could only be going there to try to immigrate. This is what I would be thinking in their place. 😀 specially with that last interview.

  4. 3rd Interview: You studied bachelors in Biotechnology then worked in Software and then again planning for MS in biomedical. This doesn’t go genuine, and it gives impression to VO that you are pretty much confused about your career path.

    1st : You shouldn’t have said your father is retired. It gives impression why your retired father will sponsor when he does not have any income coming in.

    2nd : I dont know.

    NOTE: These are just my prediction, I may be incorrect.

  5. Me: hi
    Interviewer: what are you going to do at new hampshire:
    Me : to futher my education.
    Interviewer: what school.
    Me: southern new hampshire university
    Interviewer: it an online school.
    Me: they also offer in campus education.
    Interviewer: can i see you i 20. (I gave her.) and she just gave me the paper thats says i was denied under section 214(b).

    Pls can someone help me with the reason why i was denied visa as i intend to apply again after 7 days. My school starts october.

  6. I was accepted at a top 30 university with the GA position and scholarship. On top of that, I had been working in USA for the last 4 years before I went for the interview. I had resigned before I went- yeah because I was 100% confident. I have a total experience of almost 9 years. My interview experience resonates a lot with Abhijit. But I believe I did not get a visa because I am a single 30 plus Indian woman working in the States for the last four years with an awesome opportunity in hand – a potential immigrant??? I am in technology sector and have worked with good companies. The thing that surprised me all the time of late everytime I went for H1 and F1 interviews and surprisingly at the airport by the TSA agent was the kind of questions asked – what are your plans of getting married? How old are you? And a very stupid question that was asked at the airport during immigration one time – (I just have Given name on my passport with surname, so it raises many eyebrows at lot of places)- Would you add Patel or Khan if you get married to them?.. sorry for the rant but I am flabbergasted and when I came across your experience so similar to mine I just couldn’t help but share my own story. So thank you so much for sharing and I hope this experience has made you stronger.


Leave a Comment