Quick Guide To Legally Obtain A US Student Visa

US Student Visa

Are you seeking educational opportunities in the US, including attending college, high school, or a university? Nonimmigrant student visas are received by the truckload in the United States. People come here all the time to pursue educational opportunities that they might otherwise have in their country. We do, after all, have a reputation for incredible universities and learning programs. But that isn’t the only reason to consider the United States for educational opportunities. Our universities are culturally diverse, offer phenomenal support to foreign students, and generally have a more flexible way of studying.

Before you can begin your degree program or enroll in classes, you’ll apply for a student visa. The United States has different classifications for visas and nonimmigrants. The most common is the F visa. This is available to those seeking educational programs for universities, high schools, elementary schools, conservatories, or a language training program. These can provide nonimmigrants with a longer option to stay in the country and attend programs like a bachelor’s degree. You may need to apply for an M visa if you’re seeking admittance to a vocational or non-academic institution. Those that are seeking a short. For a short study in the United States, a visitor visa or B visa is needed.

When You Might Need To Apply For A Visa?

That’s an uncomplicated question. Foreigners will need a student visa. That is, if they want to attend school in the US. It doesn’t matter how long the program is; a visa is required to enter the country legally. Have questions about the application process? We highly recommend seeking legal help from an immigration attorney. Entering the country illegally could result in deportation. It could block your ability to return.

Steps For Applying

When applying for a student visa for entry into the United States, you’ll find there are quite a few hoops to jump through. However, the process for applying doesn’t need to be overly complicated. In fact, half the battle is making sure you have the correct documents in order. One of the first things you’ll need to be approved for your visa is acceptance to a SEVP school. From there, you’ll have to register with the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) and pay any applicable fees. You’ll receive forms from the school along with a confirmation from SEVIS. Remember to hold on to these documents, as you’ll need them for the application along with the required costs.

The great news for non-immigrants is that the visa application can be completed online.  Look for the form DS-160. After completing DS-160,  print it out and have it on hand for your interview. As with most visa applications, an interview is required. Though if you’re under the age of 13 or over the age of 80, an interview might not be necessary. You’ll make this appointment in the country in which you live. All visas come with an application fee, and currently, for a student visa, it is $160.

Documents You’ll Need

The visa interview will be an important one. Make sure that you have all necessary documents in hand to give to the interviewer upon request. Below we list the general documents that you need. You may also be required to show marriage certificates, divorce certificates, or birth certificates of your children if you are also getting a visa for them.

  • passport
  • visa application
  • photo
  • documents from your approved school
  • confirmation from the SEVIS

The interviewer may have questions about your stay, including when you intend to depart the United States after completing courses. They may also want to know how you plan to support yourself, including travel costs, tuition, living expenses, etc.

After you attend your visa interview, that is it! You will get the necessary documents in order to gain entry into the US. Your visa will be for a set amount of time. Generally, F visas require a departure from the United States within 60 days of a program and date.

Situations That You Can Be Denied A Visa

It can be devastating for a non-immigrant to be denied a visa. What conditions could compel a denial? The number one reason to be denied is fraud or misrepresentation. Lying on your application will definitely be a reason your application might be approved. Another common mistake individuals make when applying for a visa is not being able to show how they’ll support themselves. This is very important when applying for your student visa. If you don’t have a way to take care of yourself and support both your education and living expenses, the immigration department may deny your application as well.

You might be wondering how common it is for visas to be denied. All visas have to go through the immigration department and are subject to those laws.  In 2021, the approval rate for a US student visa was 80.16%. That means that their refusal rate was 19.84%. This is drastically lower than it had been in future years, with 2018 seeing a 34.97% refusal.

Other situations where an individual could be denied a student visa include health-related issues, a criminal background, or if the interviewer is not convinced that you intend to return to your country following the educational program.

When To Hire An Attorney

Being denied a visa can be devastating for anyone. Sadly, there isn’t an appeals process in place. Those that were denied do have the option to reapply. However, if the situation for which you were denied hasn’t been resolved, then it would be fruitless to reapply before fixing the issue.

The best time to hire a student visa attorney is before applying or reapplying for your F1 Visa. During an initial consultation with the attorney, ask all the questions you’d like. Some essential questions might include your chances of being approved and if you have all the information for the application and interview process. Should you have been denied a visa, they can also review the reasons and advise you on how to move forward.

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