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GettingYour Student Visa
If you wish to study in the USA, you will need to get a student visa. You should apply for a student visa as soon as you receive your school acceptance packet and Form I-20. The time needed to get your student visa will vary according to the time of year you are applying, the number of other students who are also applying for visas, and other factors. The waiting time for a visa interview can range between 2 weeks and 2 months, so apply to school as early as possible so that you will have enough time to get your visa, make your travel reservations and arrive in the United States at least a couple of days before your school orientation and testing dates.
Here is how the student visa process works:
STEP 1: Receive your Form I-20 from the school you have been accepted to.
STEP 2: Make an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to your home. For a list of worldwide U.S. Embassies and Consulates and information about the required forms and procedure for applying for a visa in your local area, go to: http://travel.state.gov/. The visa application fes is currently US$140.
STEP 3: Register with the SEVIS system online at: www.fmjfee.com . You will need to enter your SEVIS number that is listed at the top right hand corner of your Form I-20. You will also need to pay the SEVIS fee with a credit card.
What to do on the day of your visa interview:
1. Make sure that you have all of the required original school and supporting documents you will need to show to the visa inspection officer. Make sure they are neat and in good order.
2. Dress in neat business attire. This will help give the visa inspection officer a positive impression of you.
3. During the interview, try to stay relaxed and be yourself. Be ready to tell the visa inspection officer about your education plans in the USA, why you selected the school you will be attending, how you will be paying for your school and living expenses and why you feel it is important to study in the USA rather than your own country. Also be ready to demonstrate to the visa officer that you intend to return to your home country after you finish your education program.
Most visa applications that are in good order are approved. If your visa application is denied, however, you may be able to reapply to reverse the decision. Talk with a local overseas education advisor, your UPP placement advisor or the admissions office of the school you are planning for more information about applying for your student visa.