How Do I Obtain a Student Visa in the United States?
One of the primary reasons a foreigner may wish to come to the United States is for the opportunity to receive an education. In order for a foreign individual to enter the country legally, they must obtain a visa. Student visas allow individuals to study within the country. Like any visa holder, those seeking a student visa must go through a process to be approved.
Types of Student Visas
There are different types of student visas that vary depending on the type of school a student wishes to go to as well as their course of study. Visas available to students include:
- F Visa: For students who wish to attend a university, college, high school, seminary, conservatory, or private elementary school
- M Visa: For students who wish to attend a vocational or nonacademic institution
Am I Eligible?
In order to be eligible for a student visa, the individual must apply and be accepted into a school that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Once this is done, they can apply for an M or F visa by completing a form called “I-20.” The application for a student visa must go through an embassy or consulate. It can also be done online. After the application is submitted, the individual must schedule an interview.
Preparing for the Interview
The requirements for an interview may vary depending on the age of the student in question. Typically, applicants under the age of 13 or over the age of 80 are not interviewed. These decisions are made based on a consular officer’s judgment. If an interview does take place, certain documents are required:
- A passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after the period of stay is over)
- A nonimmigrant visa application (Form DS-160)
- An application fee receipt
- A photo
- The certificate of eligibility for an F or M visa
- Form I-20
In preparation for the interview, the individual being interviewed may be asked to provide academic documents. This may include transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates. This may also include proof of any standardized test scores that may be required by the school the student wishes to attend.
During the interview, the consular office will work to determine if the applicant should be issued a visa. They will also determine which type of visa is appropriate for them, should they be granted one. This will require the applicant to prove how they meet the requirements for a student visa. They may also have to acknowledge their intent to leave the country when school is over as well as how they plan to pay for all expenses involved (travel, schooling, housing, etc.). It is possible for a fingerprint scan to be taken during the interview. If the applicant is approved, they must pay the fees for the visa and wait for it to arrive.
Contact our Firm
If you are looking to apply for a student visa and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC. today.
Our firm understands how much is on the line when clients face matters related to immigration. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance. Our firm is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.