U.S. Student Visa
Visas are generally required for any kind of entry on certain countries you’re travelling to — may it be for work, business, tourism or even studying. This is how the government regulates immigrants and nonimmigrants alike to make sure they follow the existing laws and policies in order to prevent illegal or undocumented immigration and criminal activities. There are visa-free countries depending on what your home country is (for a limited number of days) such as Hong Kong, Colombia, Morocco and then there are not, like United States of America. We all know that U.S is one of the super countries in the world so it is not a surprise that they require one for every individual who wishes to visit.
APPLYING FOR A U.S STUDENT VISA
The process of obtaining a U.S student visa could be tedious especially if the applicant has a history of law offenses which is considered as a major deterrent to grant any kind of visa. There are other qualifications that an applicant must be eligible of as well and must comply all the necessary requirements. A student visa falls under nonimmigrant visa, meaning it only allows temporary residence and that the bearer should go back to his or her home country upon the completion of the bearer’s study or when the visa expires. Below is a step-by-step process to apply for a student visa:
- Apply for a student admission on a SEVP-Approved School (Student and Exchange Visitor Program)
- Accomplish the online nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160. Click here
- Print the application form with your attached photo
- Schedule for an interview at the U.S Embassy or Consulate
- Wait for your appointment interview
- Pay for the application fee
The applicant must also secure the following requirements before the interview:
- Valid passport
- Nonimmigrant visa application form (as mentioned previously)
- Receipt of application fee payment
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1/M-1) Student Status, Form I-20
- Transcript of records, certificates of the schools you previously attended *
- Standardized test scores required by the U.S school you enrolled to *
- Intent to leave U.S after completing your study or program *
- Proof of financial source to pay for expenses during your stay in U.S *
Requirements in asterisks are considered supplementary or additional documents.
GROUNDS FOR STUDENT VISA DENIAL AND HOW TO AVOID IT
After a time-consuming and thorough visa processing, getting denied is an applicant’s worst nightmare and this could be due to common reasons and factors.
- Failure to complete the visa application form and requirements
The applicant must make sure that he or she has filled out all the applicable and or necessary fields in the application form and that the category applied for is correct. F-1 is for academic and language students while M-1 is for vocational and nonacademic. Review the form before printing it out and the required documents you need to gather so if you miss one or two, you can still process and obtain it beforehand.
- Proof of permanent residence in your home country and the intent to leave U.S after graduating
During the interview, an applicant will have to answer intimidating questions from a visa officer, such as your residence. It would be wise to present any proof of your permanent residence on your home country while giving brief yet concise description of it. Proof can be any valid document or certification and current bills under that address. You should also assure the visa officer that you have no plans on staying any longer after graduating because this is what the U.S bureaucracy prevents the most — illegal immigration.
- Proof of financial source to cover for your expenses during your stay in U.S
Before even applying and be accepted on a SEVP-approved school, the applicant should prepare active and sufficient bank savings and enough cash (has to be a liquid asset) to fund travel, tuition and personal expenses. The high cost of living in U.S may cause problems for international students that might result to undocumented immigration and or other illegal activities which is again a red flag for the U.S government. Now visa officers won’t require and expect you to show a liquid asset for the whole duration of your stay but an estimated cash or sufficient bank savings will do that will cover all the costs for at least the first academic year.
- English proficiency
It is important that you have the basic command and understanding of English language. The program you applied to may require you to have an English certificate of which you must secure.
This includes security and health-related concerns such as communicable diseases, history of law offenses (drugs and other criminal convictions) and U.S immigration law violations. Like what was said earlier, this is a major deterrent to granting any kind of entry or even visa application because why would a country accept you if you are deemed as a “threat” to them? So, make sure your records are clean to avoid getting denied or delayed. If studying in the United States is your dream: you will need an experienced Immigration team to help make your dream come through. Contact us for a free case evaluation.