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Applying for a visa to the USA


Specific details

Student visa in the United States allows citizens of another country to study in schools, colleges and universities or to strengthen their knowledge of English. But before applying for a student visa in the US, you need to get an official invitation from the school and have an official paper to confirm the purpose of the trip to America.

The law does not allow citizens of other countries to study in primary schools, from pre-school institutions and up to 8 years, and in those schools that are funded by the state, and, accordingly, the US visa (F-1) is not issued in this case.

In order to study in accredited secondary school with a period of study in the USA for 12 months (9th-12th grade), you need to have a special I-20 form from school, which says that the student has covered all non-eligible costs, and indicates their amount.

To obtain the status of a student, and, accordingly, a student visa in the United States, you need to have enough financial resources, attend all classes without a truencies, and have a complete absence of double intentions. This ensures that the student will only study in the country without seeking additional earnings and after completing the curriculum will return to his country - this is a must for getting student visa in America.

Immigration officers consider any applicant as a potential immigrant, regardless of what visa he or she applies for, even if a student visa is issued. Therefore, at the interview applicants should clearly explain to the officer why the ediaucational program is chosen in this country, and also immediately collect the necessary package of documents confirming financial obligations and family ties in the homeland that, after graduation, will force the applicant to return home, as required by the student visa F-1 in the US.

For students who are enroled in a private school, college or university of the United States, a student visa F-1 is designed. And if the students are going to go for professional or non-academic education, then they need an M-1 type visa. Tourists who want to study intensively, up to 18 hours a week, apply for the B2 form.

Since foreign students go through all the programs in the daytime departments of the university, they are not allowed to seek additional work, except work in the campus. This requires references that ensure that the applicant has enough financial ability not to work for a year.

In cases when the current USA student visa has not yet expired, it has not been revoked or damaged, it is allowed to go to the territory of the country if both passports (old and new) are available on the condition that the purpose of the trip corresponds to the type of nonimmigrant category, according the passport. All personal data in both documents must coincide (except for the change in the surname of women after marriage). Both passports also must be issued by the authorities of one state, and be of the same type (for example, two ordinary passport or two diplomatic passport).

Student category F-1

To obtain a student visa in the US (meaning a US visa for F-1), it is necessary:

1. Fill in the electronic form of the form DS-160.

2. Pay a consular fee of $ 160, that can be changed.

3. Sign up for an interview with an immigration officer, which will require:

- number of the passport;

- bar code from the confirmation page, which has a ten-digit number;

- the number of the document or receipt confirming the payment of the consular fee.

4. To arrive in advance to the embassy or consulate of the United States.

If an applicant applies for a M or F visa (for example, a US visa for F-1 is required), he must collect the following documents:

- application for the issue of DS-160 (not an immigration category) in electronic form;

- a foreign passport, which is valid for 6 months after the end of the stay in the United States. If other persons are entered in the applicant's passport, who also want to obtain a student visa in the United States, they must file applications separately;

- copies of all completed pages of the national passport;

- if there are old passports, photocopies of all the completed pages.

5.Colour photo in one copy, measuring 5cm x 5cm.

6. Special form I-20, which was approved by the administrator of the curriculum or educational institution.

7. Receipt for the payment of Form I-901 (SEVIS collection).

Supporting documents

One of the many factors that are taken into account when reviewing an application on an interview is the supporting documents. Employees of the US Consulate are individually suited to each applicant, taking into account cultural, social and professional factors when making a decision. They can take into account the applicant's intentions, prospects, family situation, as well as long-term plans that connect him with the country of residence.

Important! Do not try to provide fake documents to the consulate. Such a situation may lead to a ban on issuing a visa to the United States on a permanent basis.

Copies of statements and certificates from the bank are accepted only together with the originals of savings books or bank statements.

For an interview in the process of issuing a visa for study in America, you need to have with you the following supporting documents:

  • Prooof of the existence of close family, social and financial ties with the country of residence, which will not allow you to stay in America after graduation. For example, copies of the rights to real estate, land or car of the applicant or his parents.
  • Various financial documents confirming the validity of issuing documents for a visa and indicating the availability of available funds, which are sufficient to cover the costs associated with staying in the US and for the first year of education. For applicants for type M-1, it is necessary to demonstrate means that cover personal expenses for the entire period of study and for payment of studies in the USA.
  • For students who need a visa for study in America, you need a certificate from the school or a copy of the student's record book (student card). For students in the school - a certificate from the school.
  • If children under the age are traveling and they need a student visa in the US, a notarized copy of the consent of both parents is required to ensure that the child travels to America for study, as well as a copy of the birth certificate.
  • If the applicant receives financial assistance from the sponsor, then it is necessary to present in the embassy the documents proving the degree of kinship with this person and the sponsor's financial documents: the original and a copy of the certificate of employment, statements of accounts, original tax returns and savings books.
  • It is advisable to have a sponsorship letter available.
  • Pensioners need a photocopy of the pension certificate.
  • The person paying the program needs an statement of the bank account.
  • A photocopy of the marriage certificate.
  • Original certificate of marriage and the birth of children, if any.
  • Students need documents confirming the level of education. It is desirable to submit a school certificate with grades (original), certificates of passing tests (TOEFL, SAT and others), certificates of passing state examinations (A-levels, USE and others) and all the diplomas that are available.
  • Students who are enrolled in US educational institutions for long-term studies and applying for a study visa in the US F-1 need an extract from the bank account, which assures that the funds are enough to cover the annual costs of living and studying in the country.

The processing time for a student visa in the United States is from 7 to 30 working days, depending on how loaded the consulate is, and also on how much verification and administrative processing of each application is needed.

If there is a break in education, which will be from 5 or more months, the student visa in the US can be suspended and you will need to design a new form M-1 or F-1, in order to continue the course. It is recommended to clarify with the official of an educational institution before leaving if activities outside of America will be relevant to education.

If you move to another educational institution or to another program, if you do not renew your visa for study in America for 5 months, the old one may be invalid.

Tourist category b1 / b2

In order to issue a tourist visa in the US, you need to have the following documents:

1. Original foreign passport, which is valid at least 6 months before leaving the country.

2. If there are old passports, they are needed together with photocopies of all the completed pages.

3. Color photo 5 cm x 5 cm in one copy + digital photo format jpeg min 600 * 600 pixels max 1200 * 1200 pixels.

4. A copy of all completed pages of a national passport.

5. Confirmation of current employment, which is also a link to the country of residence:

  • For employees: a certificate of employment, made on the company letterhead of the enterprise, where the position, salary, period of work, approval of leave and, if any, the purpose of the official trip (original and copy) are indicated.
  • for students: certificate from the place of study

6. Certificate of marriage and the birth of children.

7. For minors:

  • birth certificate
  • consent to the departure of the child (it is desirable to provide consent for the period covering the trip, but we recommend that it will be made for as long period as possible, in case of travel is caried forward or subsequent trips)

8. Statement of bank card with the availability of funds (copy, original).

9. Copies of documents confirming ownership.

10. Questionnaire DS-160, completed in electronic form (done by our company's employees)

11. Travel Details:

  • Tourism: travel plan, hotel reservation, confirmation of a prepaid deposit,
  • Study (less than 18 hours per week): a document from the school confirming payment of the course and accommodation
  • Invitation: an invitation and a document that certifies the identity of the inviter.

12. Information on convictions and criminal charges, as well as on sentences, regardless of where they were taken, even if the applicant was pardoned or served a sentence.

13. For minors, a consent from both parents.

* The presence of a visa does not guarantee the possibility of entry into the United States. It just certifies that the US consular officer has confirmed your right to apply for entry into the United States for a specific purpose. Under US law, most applicants must demonstrate to the consul that they have strong ties to the country of residence and must show that they intend to leave the US after a temporary visit.

* For the consul, your answers to questions are more important than the documents provided. Nevertheless, you can take for interview any documents confirming the purpose of the trip, your connections with the country of residence, previous business or tourist trips abroad. These can be old passports, documents of income and property, as well as business correspondence explaining your program of stay.

Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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