Much before the Tri-Valley University scam that affected many Indians was exposed in the US, the American consulate in Mumbai had expressed concern over the steep jump in less qualified student visa applications, a leaked US diplomatic cable has said.
The cable, dated December 29, 2009, says over the past year, Mumbai noted a marked rise in the number of less qualified student visa applicants, many of whom tended to apply to the same universities.
A study of students visa found that 40% of transfers were to a lower level degree programme. “In a second random sample of applicants issued only for study at universities identified by adjudicators as attracting a higher number of unqualified applicants, the completion rate was lower, rate of terminations higher, and the number of transfers down was greater,” it said.
Of the 18,682 F1 applications received in calendar year 2007, Mumbai’s adjusted refusal rate for individuals was 21%, the cable said. An extraordinary number of repeat refusals inflates the refusal rate per application to 33%.
“Unqualified F1 visa applicants appear for third, fourth, and sometimes seventh interviews hoping for a different decision,” it said.