Q1. What are the types of Student Visa available for studying in USA?
The three common visa types for USA study are the F-1 Student Visa, J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa and M-1 Student Visa.
F-1 Student Visa: Academic Study
This is one of the most common types of student visa issued to those who wish to undertake academic studies in USA at an approved school such as an accredited USA college or university, private secondary school or an approved English language program. With an F1 visa, students can undertake part-time, on-campus employment (fewer than 20 hours per week). In addition to this, students can work on optional practical training (OPT) for up to one year once they have completed their academic study.
J-1 Student Visa: Exchange Visitor Visa
A J-1 Student Visa is issued to students who wish to undertake practical training which is not available in their native nation to complete their academic program. A J-1 student status gives similar employment options as the F-1 visa, with similar restrictions, only if permission is given by the exchange visitor program sponsor.
M-1 Student Visa: Non-Academic Study
An M-1 Student Visa is issued to a student who wishes to attend a non-academic or vocational school in USA. Those holding a M-1 visa for vocational and technical programs are not permitted to work during the course of their study period. They must also demonstrate that they have enough funds to support their stay and immediately pay all tuition fees for the entire period they intend to stay.
Note that it is not up the applicants to choose a visa type to apply for study in USA. Instead the university or sponsoring organization will determine the visa type suitable for them.
Q2. What is an I-20 and how do I get it?
The Form I-20 is an official U.S. Government form, issued by a certified school, which a potential non-immigrant student must obtain to get a F-1 or M-1 visa. Form I-20 serves as a proof-of-acceptance and contains all the information necessary to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, apply for a student visa or change the status, and be admitted into USA.
The Form I-20 has the student’s SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) identification number that starts with the letter N and is followed by nine digits, mentioned on the upper right hand side immediately above the barcode.
Q3. How early should one apply for a Student Visa?
Students are encouraged to apply for their non-immigrant student visa as soon as they have their I-20. However, a student visa is generally not issued 120 days prior to the starting date as mentioned in the I-20.
Q4. What is the criteria to qualify for a F-1 visa?
To qualify for F-1 visa, you must:
- be proficient in English language, unless you are coming USA to take admission in an English language training program. In certain cases the school may make special arrangements to teach you English
- demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to complete your education in USA
- be coming to USA to attend a full course of study by a school approved by the USCIS
- have Form I-20A-B issued by your school
Q5. What are the supporting documents that an applicant needs to furnish at the time of interview?
At the time of interview, you must bring the following documents along: –
- Documents showcasing strong social, financial, and family ties to your native country which will compel you to return to your country once completion of your study in USA.
- Financial and any other documents which can serve as evidence that you have enough funds to support your study and stay expenses in USA. M-1 applicants must demonstrate their ability to pay all the tuition and living costs for the entire period of their stay.
- Bank statements photocopies with originals
- If you are being financially sponsored by another person, you need to bring proof of your relationship with the sponsor (such as your birth certificate), the sponsor’s most recent original tax forms and the sponsor’s bank books and/or fixed deposit certificates.
- Academic documents that demonstrate scholastic preparation. These documents include school transcripts (original copies) with grades, public examination certificates (A-levels and more.), standardized test scores (SAT, TOEFL, etc.), and diplomas obtained
Q6. What are the advantages of studying in the US?
Some of the advantages of undertaking study in USA are as follows: –
- Variety of educational opportunities
- Globally accepted educational diplomas/degrees/certificates
- Multicultural country where students study in an environment that merges the eastern and the western world
- State-of-the-art research and training programs
- Global industrial exposure to students
- Academic excellence
- Financial aid opportunities
- Wide internship opportunities
- Warm and welcoming campuses
Q7. I have received my Student Visa. When should I travel?
Students with any one of the three types of Student visas (F-1, J-1 and M-1) may travel within 30 days of the commencement of the course of study as stated on your I-20/DS-2019, regardless of how early your visa was issued.
Q8. How many attempts are allowed if a visa is denied?
As such there are no restrictions on the number of times you can apply for a student visa after refusal. But each time you re-apply, you will have to pay the fees, fill a fresh application form and show new evidences compared to the documents you furnished when your application was rejected. The new set of evidences must reveal changed circumstances in regard to your financial ties which shall prove that you are not an intending immigrant.
Often visas are denied in case the applicant was unable to prove that he/she is not an intending immigrant and sometimes because he/she fails to answer the question is an appropriate manner i.e. not able to deliver answers to-the-point.
Also, in case you have has two refusals in a period six months, you will have to wait in the normal queue for a visa appointment. You will not get a priority appointment to meet a university deadline if you have been refused twice.
Q9. How do I prove that I have the means to afford my study in USA?
Part 7 on the I-20 states the amount of funds you must readily have in hand to cover your first year’s expenses. The total amount includes tuition and fees, living expenses, expenses of dependents (if applicable in your case) and other expenses. You must furnish financial documents to show that you have immediate funds available to cover this amount.
If you are going to a 2 year Master’s programme, you must also show that funds are or will likely be available to cover the same amount for the second year.
Q10. How are the services offered by WWICS beneficial?
Obtaining a student visa for study in USA can be a cumbersome and complicated process. Using an expediting service like WWICS who specialize in global resettlement and immigration processes, have a team of professional consultants who can provide you accurate instructions and processing times, guide through the entire process, provide updates and handle all your problems quickly – making what is a complex issue simple.