11 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa:
• Non-immigrant intent: As an international student you will need to establish that you intend to return to your home country after your studies are complete. You may need to demonstrate economic, personal, social, and cultural ties to your home country. Some of the methods of doing this include:
- Providing a list of the names, addresses, ages, and occupations of close family members who remain in the home country.
- Providing documentation of financial ties to the home country, such as ownership of real estate.
- Providing evidence of job prospects in the home country, such as a letter from a potential employer.
- Providing an explanation of why equivalent educational training is not available in your home country or as suitable.
Likewise, if you have close relatives or financial interests in the United States , you may have difficulty getting a visa. If a consular officer believes that you intend to immigrate to the US , the officer must, as a matter of law, deny the visa.
• English: Practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview.
• Speak for Yourself: Do not bring parents or family members with you to the interview.
• Know The Program and How It Fits Your Career Plans: Articulate the reasons you will study in a particular program in the United States . Explain how studying in the United States relates to your future professional career when you return home.
• Be Concise: What you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success.
• Supplemental Documentation: Bring all supporting documentation with you, but lengthy written explanations cannot be read quickly or evaluated by the visa officer.
• Not All Countries Are Equal: Applicants from certain countries are more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in the United States, so be prepared.
• Employment: Your main purpose for coming to the United States should be to study, not for the chance to work. Do not count on being able to scrape up the funding after you arrive in the US . Getting a job is not an effective means of financing an education in the US . There are numerous restrictions on employment by foreign nationals, and some types of visas prohibit it entirely. Even when employment is permitted, it is usually limited to no more than 20 hours per week. Most international students are limited to on-campus employment. Your spouse will not be allowed to work. Even if you are able to find work, you will not be able to get a job that pays well enough to cover all your expenses. For further questions about employment please contact International Student Advisor.
• Dependents Remaining At Home: Be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.
• Maintain A Positive Attitude: Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.
• Sufficient Financial Resources: To get a F-1 visa approved, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to pay for the first year of study and that you have resources available to cover the rest of your educational program.
The information you provide on the I-20 form will be scrutinized very carefully by both the foreign student advisor at the school and the INS. If you don't have the resources necessary for study in the US , you will not get a visa.
You should know where your money is coming from before you jump on a plane. Several schools require proof that you have enough money for the entire course of study even for an F-1 visa, because too many international students are forced to return home after only a year of study.
If your education will be sponsored by an US citizen (e.g., a relative), the relative will need to fill out a Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support). This form requires them to pay your expenses if you can't. A Form I-134 filed by someone who isn't a relative doesn't count as much as a Form I-134 filed by a relative.