Studying in the U.S. and pursuing a quality education at top-tier U.S. schools with F-1 visas is a dream for thousands of students all around the world. Attending U.S. colleges offers you a quality education and often leads to a long-lasting stay in America. The journey started as a student could continue with post-graduation non-immigrant employment visas, green card options, and eventually naturalization!
However, applying for an F-1 Student Visa can be exhausting and confusing. The student immigration process entails ensuring a U.S. visa and pre-requiring that applicants must be accepted into a qualifying school. This piece aims to make the application for an F-1 visa clear by explaining every step you will need to take throughout the process after being accepted into a U.S. institution!
If you are not familiar with U.S. student visas, you may find our blog writing called Student Visa Options in the U.S. helpful!
F-1 Visa Eligibility Rules
Being Accepted into SEVP-Approved Schools
To be eligible for an F-1 visa, you must be accepted as a full-time student at the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools. There are many accredited schools by SEVP, including colleges, high schools, private elementary schools, etc. To learn whether the school(s) you plan to apply to is/are SEVP-certified, you can use this school search engine prepared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Enrollment as a Full-Time Student at an Institution
After enrolling at a SEVP-certified school, you will become a full-time student. You are going to be listed in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). It is an online system that oversees the status and manages the students' inquiries. Admission into SEVIS comes with a fee. I-901 SEVIS fee is designed to fund Student and Exchange Visitors Program. It is not included in visa fees and school SEVIS admission fees. The price is currently $350. After paying the fee for the I-901, your school will issue you the essential student immigration document called Form I-20. On this form, your school notes which type of visa you can obtain for your studies. This document is significant through your studies in the U.S. because it is the proof of your status as an international student in the U.S.
English is the primary language of the U.S. institutions. As part of the admission process, majority of SEVP-Approved schools requires to submit an English proficiency document. For example, IELTS or TOEFL scores are mandatory for the application because you should prove that you are able to attend and follow the classes in English language. As SEVP-Approved Schools acceptance is the first step to apply for F-1 Student Visa, the English language proficiency is one of the eligibility rules for the application. However, if you are applying for language-training programs, you are not required to submit evidence of English proficiency.
Proof of financial support funds
For your F-1 Student Visa, you must prove that you have adequate funding to cover your tuition fees and cost of livings in the U.S. In order to pursue your full-time education without working is essential for the visa application. Therefore, you must have enough money and the documents to prove it.
Strong Ties with Home-Country
F-1 Student Visa is a non-immigrant visa. When you apply for a visa, it is crucial to prove that you are planning to return to your country after you complete your studies. Therefore, you must provide the necessary documents to prove your strong ties with your home country. Financial documents and strong relations with family and friends are some examples to prove your intent to return to your country.
Getting Started with the Online Application
Now that you are eligible for an F-1 visa, you can start your online application process. To initiate the process, you must fill in and submit an online DS-160 Form (Nonimmigrant Visa Application). The DS-160 Form is for temporary travel to the United States. The information you fill in on this form is used by the consular officer to use in your visa application process and personal interview. Furthermore, you are asked to provide certain personal information and a detailed background history. After you complete and submit Form DS-160, you will schedule an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy of your home country.
In order to access the online DS-160 Form, follow this link.
Prepare for Your Interview
Before coming to your visa interview, you need to make several documents ready to bring with you, and they are as follows:
- The confirmation page of your DS-160 online application.
- A good photograph of yourself was taken according to the photo requirements.
- Form I-20 issued by your school.
- A passport valid for at least six months following your entry into the U.S.
- DS-160 application fee payment receipt.
You should also have evidence of the following:
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended.
- Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school.
- Proof of ties to your home country, as well as proof of funds to support you and pay for your studies while you are in the United States.
GRAPE LAW IS HERE TO EASE YOUR BURDEN DURING THE VISA PROCESS
Studying in the U.S. is not a farfetched dream. Whether you are an elementary-level, high school, or college student, you can be eligible for an F-1 visa if you are accepted into SEVP-certified schools. Furthermore, as your school will act as your sponsor and facilitate your immigration, the likelihood that you will be issued a visa is very high!
You have come a long way to achieving your dreams by receiving an acceptance letter from a U.S. university. Yet, the visa application process can be tedious and confusing for you. We understand this and believe that our experienced and cutting-edge attorneys can help you achieve your dreams faster by offering the best client service.
Please feel free to contact us, and we are looking forward to hearing from you!