Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Student Visa Application Process
Consular officers look at many things when reviewing an application for a student visa. These include:
The consular officer will not issue a student visa unless satisfied that you:
· have a residence abroad,
· have no intention of abandoning that residence, and
· intend to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study.
You may establish your ties abroad by presenting evidence of economic, social, and/or family ties in your homeland, which are sufficient to cause you to leave the United States when you complete your studies.
Your Form I-20 will indicate whether English skills are required for pursuing your selected course of study and whether arrangements have been made to overcome any English-language deficiency. The consular officer must determine whether you have the necessary proficiency in speaking English. To determine your ability to speak English, the officer will conduct the visa interview in English. The officer may also require you to read aloud from an English-language book, periodical, or newspaper, and to restate in English in your own words what you read. You may also be asked to read aloud and explain several of the conditions set forth in the Form I-20.
If your language proficiency appears marginal, the officer may refer you for language testing. Tests for this purpose will ordinarily be carried out by appropriate local groups, such as qualified host-country facilities. You may also be asked to take the Test of English Language Proficiency (TEPL) at the consulate or through the post’s Public Affairs Officer.
You must have “sufficient funds to cover expenses.” This means that you must establish that you will not likely have to rely on government benefits or unauthorized U.S. employment for financial support. You must provide evidence that sufficient funds are, or will be, available to pay all expenses during the entire period of your anticipated study. You do not have to show that you have cash immediately available to cover the entire period of intended study, which may last several years. The consular officer must, however, require credible evidence that you have enough readily available funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study. The officer also must be satisfied that, barring unforeseen circumstances, adequate funds will be available for each subsequent year of study from the specifically identified and reliable financial sources.
As an applicant for an M-1 visa, you must present evidence that you have funds immediately available or assurances of support necessary to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of intended stay. Additionally, consular officers are authorized, at their discretion, to require evidence of payment of round trip transportation in advance of your travel to the United States.
Funds From Source(s) Outside the United States
If you indicate that you will be getting financial support from a source outside the United States (for example, from parents living in your home country), the consular officer must determine whether there are restrictions on the transfer of funds from the country concerned. If so, the consular officer must require acceptable evidence that these restrictions will not prevent the funds from being made available during the period of your projected stay in the United States.
Affidavits of Support or Other Assurances by an Interested Party
Various factors are important in evaluating assurances of financial support by interested parties:
Your college or university may arrange for you to engage in research projects, give lectures, or perform other academic functions as part of a fellowship, scholarship or assistantship grant, provided the institution certifies that you will also pursue a full course of study.
Consular officers are not expected to determine whether you are qualified to pursue the desired course of study. Your institution would have reviewed your credentials before accepting you for enrollment. Consular officers will be looking at the following factors in reviewing your student visa application:
The fact that your proposed education or training would not appear to be useful in your home country is not, in itself, a basis for refusing an F-1 or M-1 visa. It may, however, be a relevant factor in assessing the likelihood of your return. This may be particularly true where F-1 coursework is advanced far beyond local needs or in certain M-1 cases. If you are applying for training as an M-1 student that does not or likely will not exist in your home country, it is less likely that you can show you would voluntarily depart from the United States unless you can show your intention to work elsewhere abroad following the training.