10 popular student visa questions asked by international students wanting to come to the USA for their education. 10 popular questions and answers about a student visa
10 popular student visa questions - Visa USA Expert
10 popular student visa questions asked by international students wanting to come to the US for their college/university studies. Hopefully the answers will help you as you go through the process of getting your student visa.When asking 10 popular student visa questions, it is important that you keep up with the current visa requirements for your home country and the US. Especially now, as our politicians are openly discussing immigration reform – which can and will affect student visa holders coming to and those already here in the US. You can keep up by following us on Facebook and Twitter.Where do I start?Where do I apply for my student visa?What type of student visa do I need?How much money do I need to be approved?How well must I be able to speak English?Can my family travel with me to the US?Can I work and earn money on my student visa?How long can I stay in the US on my student visa?How will immigration reform change my opportunities in the US?Where can I find more information?10 popular student visa questions and answers1. Where do I start?You can’t apply for a student visa of any type unless you have been officially accepted into a college/university program in the US that is recognized as an SEVP approved school. So, if you haven’t already done so you need to submit an application for the school and program you wish to study.To study in the US, you need to prove in a face-to-face interview that you have a permanent residence in your country of citizenship, that you have the funds to support your study (for at least the first year, and all relevant years finances would be ideal), and that you intend to return to your home country once you complete your schooling.Wherever you chose to study we advise that you apply for your visa as soon as possible. 2. Where do I apply for my student visa?You need to apply for your student visa in your own country. This may require that you visit an application center where you will submit your application paper work and provide any biometric information that is required. For a US Student Visa you are required to attend an interview at the embassy or consulate. 3. What type of student visa do I need?For students, there are two visa options: the F or M visa. The only reason you would need to apply for an M visa is if you are planning on attending a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program. All other programs of education require that you apply for an F visa. 4. How much money will I need?This is one of the most common questions and is a critical factor in your visa application process and being approved for your visa. Although you may have been accepted into the program of your choice and you are within 30 days of your college start date, it is still necessary for you to prove, at your F-1 student visa interview at the embassy/consulate, that you (through your sponsor) have sufficient funds to pay for the first year of your schooling (and being able to show financials for ability to pay all years is ideal). If you cannot prove you have access to these financial resources you can be denied your visa and could miss your college start date, or be denied entirely from obtaining your student visa.For details on how to prepare and ensure you pass your F-1 Student Visa Interview the 1st time, get my eBook now!To give you an idea of the cost of your education in the US, take a look at the average estimated full-time undergraduate budgets, 2012 – 2013.This graph is designed to give you an idea of the costs for your 1st year of college/university. At a minimum you must show you can pay for this year in your F-1 Student Visa Interview.If you would like to learn more about the cost of education, click for my free .pdf called Trends in College Pricing (2012). 5. How good must my English be?It makes sense that you English must be better than average if the program you have applied and been accepted into requires that you have already completed an English language certification/test such as the TOEFL. But unless you are coming to the US to enter into an English language program, your English will need to be average – to – excellent for a few reasons: 1) your program will probably require the TOEFL as a requirement, 2) your visa must be approved after a face to face interview with an American Consular Officer, in English, and 3) you must prove that you have a good understanding of English at the border crossing when entering the US. 6. Can my family travel with me?Your family can travel with you but you will have to prove your relationship to your dependent, and they will also have to apply and be approved for their own visas. Your spouse and unmarried, minor children who intend to reside with you during your study may apply for F-2 or M-2 visas. Your school of choice must issue them an individual Form I-20, which is required to apply for their own visas. You must provide a copy of your F-1 or M-1 visa and provide proof of relationship to these family members.Note: Your minor children are permitted to attend school in the United States while accompanying you. 7. Can I work on my Visa?Generally, on a student visa you are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week. However, you can only start working if you are authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT) and you have your I-20 form (from your school) endorsed for OPT, along with applying to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).This temporary employment is directly related to your area of study. Although I don’t recommend these sites because they are not well organized and you may find all of the information frustrating; to learn more about OPT, you can visit the USCIS website and the ICE International Students webpage. 8. How long can I stay?On a student visa you are allowed to stay for the duration of your college/university program, as indicated by your initial visa application and approval.If you want to extend your stay in the US, you must file a request (form I-539) before your authorized time expires. You can request to extend your stay if:You were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visaYour nonimmigrant visa status remains validYou have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible for a visaYou have not violated the conditions of your admissionYour passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of your stayYou may not apply to extend your stay if you were admitted to the United States in the following categories:Visa Waiver ProgramCrew member (D nonimmigrant visa)In transit through the United States (C nonimmigrant visa)In transit through the United States without a visa (TWOV)Fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiancé (K nonimmigrant visa)Informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime (S nonimmigrant visa)For important details on how long you can stay and the new electronic I-94 process, you can go to the CBP website. 9. Are governments trying to make it harder for international students?While it may seem that countries are trying to make it more difficult to come to the US for your college education, the changes that are being discussed and occurring right now actually protect your international education more than you may realize.As a legitimate international student, you may be surprised to learn that the aim of these immigration restrictions is to prevent fraudulent and illegal colleges from offering sub-standard education courses/programs to international students. The restrictions are designed to ensure you receive an excellent education from a recognized institution. They are also designed to provide you access to our education system but with the understanding and legal agreement that you will not try to stay in the US and thereby become a burden on our economic systems.On a side note, current immigration reform talks are discussing how our government can make it easier for international students to remain in the US after they complete their studies and obtain their green card. These talks are promising… 10. Where can I find more information?For more information on student visas Go USA Visa Center recommends the following topics on the blog:Applying for a visaF-1 student visaGeneral informationImmigration reformStudent visaSTEM fields of studyGood look with your visa application. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and if you think any of your friends will find this useful be sure to share it with them via Facebook and Twitter. Go USA!– SeanAll information presented here is from my personal research and my attempts to save you time and money when pursuing your dream of coming to the USA to study. Do not take any of this information as LEGAL advice – I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This information is gathered from a variety of sources including many U.S. Government websites and I urge you to validate this information as much as possible, just as I do when posting on this blog.