Question: I filed my application for student visa here in the U.S. and it just got denied. How do I get my filing fees back?
Answer: Unfortunately, the USCIS rarely, if ever returns filing fees. That’s why it is so important to make sure that you qualify for an immigration benefit before you file the application and prepare the petition properly for the best chance of approval. When filing applications to change status to an F-1 Student visa in the U.S., it is very important for applicants to clearly document eligibility, for instance by making sure that the educational or language program does not start more than 30 days after their I-94 authorized stay expires, by providing bank statements to prove that funds are available for tuition and living expenses, by providing a printout of the SEVIS receipt, and importantly, a letter of explanation or evidence which proves that the student intends to return to their home country after they complete their studies. Now that your request has been denied, be sure not to remain in the U.S. past your I-94 authorized stay and if you’re I-94 has already expired, it’s a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney about your options and what your next step should be.