To cut a long story short, the poster's visa was rejected and this is the reason the consular officer gave:
"You couldn't show strong ties like employment with your home country. After you graduate, you don't have means of support"
I purposely did not go into further argument with the visa officer fearing that he possessed the ability to cancel my status permanently.
Things to note:
1. I applied for visa very early because I received my I-20 early. Normal visa interviews are in June-July-August
2. The visa officer did not ask for my I-20 at all.
3. The etiquette I always knew was to have a good and straight posture, looking directly into the eyes and replying to whatever he says ONLY. I did everything as said.
4. Based on points 2 and 3, I did not myself willingly hand over the I-20, transcripts and many other such documents because they were not asked for.
5. The visa officer, therefore doesn’t know that I received a college grant of very high amount (45k)
Mistakes I made (probably):
1. I gave short concise answers (someone told me they have very little time allotted for each applicant), but it backfired at me. I couldn’t explain my situation assuming throughout the interview that I would be asked for the documents when necessary.
2. I did not understand the concept of ‘strong ties’ probably and was unsuccessful in this case.
3. I did not make them aware that I received grants from my college
4. I should have given all my documents to them for review before anything.
Awww., that is so sad.
The previous answer is correct. It's not about documents. The Consular Officer who interviewed me only asked for my I-20. He asked me the same questions as you, but he didn't even ask for my bank statements or anything. Maybe he was having a good day, and maybe yours was having a bad day.
I've read somewhere that if the Officer actually looks at your documents, that's a sign that they're looking for a reason to reject you. I don't believe that though.
A visa is usually rejected because of either of the following reasons:
* No strong ties to your country
This is the most common reason. If the Consular Officer thinks you’ll not return after completing your course in the USA, then you’ll not be given a student visa.
* Insufficient funds
If you don’t have enough funds or the consular thinks the money you have isn’t enough to study in USA then your F1 visa application will be rejected.
* No intention to study
If the Consular Officer feels you’re applying for a visa just to enter USA but not to study there, then you’ll be rejected a visa.
* Poor academic performance
If your previous academic performance isn't good, the Consular Officer will get the impression that you're not a good student and you might not study properly after you are in USA. So there’ll be chance of visa rejection.
So, your case doesn't make much sense to me. I guess you should have been forceful, but not too forceful and you should have overly emphasized your grant.
My school has in-state tuition for all so I emphasized that a lot. Like when he asked you, have you ever been to the U.S., you could have said something like "no, but I really like this school and the ..... program. I intend coming back and the knowledge gained will be very beneficial to my country. I also got a grant and this will make studying in the U.S. easier cos I don't have to worry about finances." or something like. Always elaborate, you will look less shady.
Also, whenever possible, show that you researched all options. Talk about the schools you applied to, why they didn't make the cut and why you chose this particular school.
Also, if you've started emailing professors, bring proof. This will show how serious and motivated and excited you are about studying. You could always ask the person you communicate with if you can have the email address of any professor in your major that you could talk to.
Also, although you should look excited. You shouldn't look desperate. Don't look/sound like you have to get the visa at all costs.
I'm sure you know this - but don't dress shabby.
Smile, do not be in a hurry.
When you reapply, make a case against the reasons of your first denial. Don't be rude, just be honest.
What's your major? Research your major in your country. What are prospects? Tell him about opening a business or something like that.
Emphasize your grant. You don't only have to answer what he asks. Always give additional information.
Most importantly, don't freak out, pray & trust in God.
Best wishes, tell us how it goes.
Additional reading: Travel.State.Gov - Visa Denials
Study in the USA, Step 5 - visa interview
Hugs & Kisses,