How To Get A Student Visa

By Published On: June 27th, 2018

Written by Eric Chambers from our Las Vegas, NV location. Call us today if you need any guidance with this process.

Fax: 702-586-3232
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Las Vegas, NV 89121

How To Get A Student Visa

Applying for a student visa is a process that has requirements that need to be fulfilled throughout each step. In order for an application to be successful, it is important to complete each step and ensure that all the necessary requirements are met.

Step 1 – School Acceptance

Before applying for a student visa, you must have a SEVIS letter of acceptance from an approved ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) school through their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). It is important to ensure that it is an approved educational facility as acceptance at any school is not sufficient.

Most commonly, these are tertiary education institutions such as colleges or universities. You can find a list of approved schools on the ICE website.

Step 2 – Payment

The required application fee is payable before the submission of required forms and documents. It is very important to keep the receipt for payment safe as it will be required upon submission of documents at the interview.

Step 3 – Documentation

You will need to collect the following documentation and complete the necessary forms:

– You will need to complete Form DS-160. It is very important that each section of the form be completed in full.
– Form 1-20 which is a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status which will be provided by the SEVP or SEVIS school after acceptance.
– A copy of a valid passport from a country other than the United States. A valid passport must not have expired and have sufficient pages for visa entry and exit stamps.
– The F-1 visa application fee receipt of payment.
– One passport photograph.
– Proof of prior academic achievements or qualifications such as a certificate, diploma or degree.
– Proof that you will be able to support yourself financially while you are studying. This can be in the form of bank statements or other documents that prove that you are receiving financial support from a third party such as a parent, financial institution, scholarship or other type of program.
– Evidence that you plan to return to your home country after completing your studies. For example, proof that a wife or parents are awaiting your return.

Once you have compiled all the documentation, you can schedule an interview with the U.S, embassy or consulate in your country. Take all the required documentation with you for your interview.

Step 4 – Interview

The interview is where the final decision will be made to grant or deny a F-1 Visa application. It is entirely up to the discretion of the consular to grant or deny a visa. It is important to be properly prepared for the interview and ensure that all the required documents are available.

If at any time or for any reason, the consular suspects that you intend to work while in the United States, don’t intend to leave immediately after completing your studies or for any other reason, they can deny the visa. It may be a good idea to meet with an immigration lawyer to assist you in preparing for the interview process.

If your visa is denied, you will be provided with a reason for the denial. You may file for a waiver of ineligibility stating the reasons for the waiver. Alternatively, you will have to start the application process from scratch. If your visa has been denied, it is recommended to get advice and assistance from an immigration lawyer before reapplying.

If your visa is approved, you will have to hand in your passport in order for the visa to be recorded. You will also have your fingerprints scanned and you may be required to pay an issuance fee. Your passport can either be collected in a few days or mailed to you.

You can begin the F-1 Visa application process up to 3 months prior to the start of your course or program. It is recommended to make application as soon as possible.

The visa allows for arrivals up to 30 days prior to the start of the student program to which you have been accepted. This allows you time to make any necessary arrangements for accommodation or even work if this is permitted as part of the F-1 visa that has been approved and issued to you.


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