While there are many types of visa which are awarded to people, the "F" Visa is the common type of student visa issued to International students who want to pursue their education in the United States. Of this type of visa, there are 3 subtypes; namely:
- F-1 VISA: This is issued to International students who plan on entering the US for full time studies.
- F-2 VISA: This is the visa which is issued to the dependents of the F-1 visa recipients (wife, husband, children etc).
- F-3 VISA: This is issued to the students living in the regions bordering the US, who come to the United States to study (Mexico and Canada).
F-1 VISA - ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
The F-1 visa is mostly issued to students with the following criteria:
- They must have a I-20 form issued by a University of good standing (approved university which is authorized to grant I-20)
- The applicant has documents highlighting enough bank balance to support the students living and education related expenses throughout his or her education period.
- Documents that put forth the necessities of the student to return to his or her home country on completion of his course.
ALL ABOUT THE I-20 FORM:
- The I-20 form is issued by the U.S University as a confirmation of an International student's admittance into the same.
- This document is issued by SVEP (Student Visitor and Exchange Program) certified schools and includes the SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor Information System) ID which is unique for each International student.
- The visa interview can be booked only with the SEVIS ID and the I-20 form.
The Visa Process from Start to Finish:
- Once an International student is admitted into the University he will receive the I-20 form from the same.
- Using the I-20 form and the SEVIS ID, register, pay and obtain the SEVIS fee receipt.
- Through the official VFS website complete the online visa application DS-160 form using the above two documents.
- Submit, pay and obtain the receipt for the visa application fee.
- Fix up a date as early as possible to allow ample time for the visa processing.
- Ensure proper preparation to deal with the commonly asked questions in the visa interview and master the tips to show off yourself in the little time that you are provided with during the interview.
- Make sure that the necessary documents that include the I-20 form, completed DS-160 form, receipts of the visa application fee and the SEVIS fee, visa appointment letter, strong financial support documents, documents supporting your personal tie-ups with your home country ensuring your return, passport, recent photograph, birth certificate, proof of father's salary and job details, academic transcripts, SOP, resume, GRE and TOEFL score reports are ready to go.
- On the day of the interview look sharp and arrive early at the U.S Embassy with all the required documents.
- Have all the documents in order to prevent delay or sloppiness in front of the Visa officer.
- Once it's your turn, greet the officer confidently and have a smiling, pleasant face throughout the interview.
- Stay calm and composed. Answer only if asked and directly to the point.
- Take care of your body language to avoid giving a bad impression and maintain direct eye contact at all times.
- Once the interview is over be sure to thank the Officer and exit in style.
When you know what you are in for, you will be able to prepare yourself both physically and mentally. Give your best shot at the visa interview and hope for the best results.