Miller Mayer immigration attorney Steve Yale-Loehr was quoted by Inside Higher Ed in “A Dream Denied”:

Commenting on what’s known in immigration law as “nonimmigrant intent,” which is a common reason why prospective students are denied visas to come to the United States, Mr. Yale-Loehr noted,

“It’s hard because it is subjective. It’s really up to the individual consular officer to determine whether they think the individual will go back to their home country after they finish their studies. For some countries it is harder than others: it’s a lot easier to show nonimmigrant intent if you’re from a Western European country than if you’re from a West African country. It’s always been the case, and this is just the latest example of that. There’s no magic bullet or document that will necessarily satisfy a consular officer. The more evidence that an individual has, such as a job offer or owning land or being married to someone who is staying behind in the home country, the better the chances that someone will satisfy that ‘nonimmigrant intent’ requirement. But for many students, they’re not married, they don’t own land and if they’re the first one in their family to be going to college, it can be hard to prove that they really do intend to return home after they finish their studies.”