Please plan ample time for the processing of your visa as this is the most important part of ensuring your experience. Visas can take up to 2 months to be processed, so submit your school acceptance form and I-20 as soon as you receive it. Make your travel reservations to arrive in the United States 2-3 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/.
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:
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.
Dress in neat business attire. This will help give the visa inspection officer a positive impression of you.
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.