In 2012, more than 500,000 F-1 student visas were issued to citizens of foreign countries wishing to study in the United States. Any foreign citizen wishing to enroll in a private elementary school, high school, college or university, or a seminary, conservatory, or other academic institution will need to apply for a student visa. Once you are accepted to an educational program recognized by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, you can complete the rest of the application process at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
Following your acceptance to a U.S. educational institution, you will have to complete the online nonimmigrant visa application, pay the non-refundable application fee, and provide a current photo. If you are between the ages of 14 and 79, you will most likely be required to attend an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country of residence. You will need to assemble the following documentation prior to your visa interview:
- Passport, valid for at least six months past your intended period of stay in the U.S.
- Non-Immigrant Visa Application with proof of payment (Form DS-160)
- Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status (Form I-20)
You may also be required to provide proof of your academic qualifications, your intent to leave the U.S. following completion of your studies, and proof of income sufficient to support yourself in the U.S. during your studies. Once your visa is approved, you may have to pay a visa issuance fee, depending on your country of citizenship.
Following your acceptance into an approved educational program, it is crucial to act quickly to file for your student visa as there are varying wait times in each interviewing consulate and embassy based on visa categories and other factors. Contact the immigration attorneys at BK Lawyers LLC for your free initial consultation on your student visa immigration matter.