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Student Visa


Foreign students coming to the USA to study should get a visa. A student visa is easy to get if an applicant is already enrolled into an establishment conforming to all requirements and provides all necessary documents to prove his or her identity and intent. 

In general, the U.S. schools are welcoming toward international students and hundreds of them open their doors to foreigners yearly. With thousands of young students coming to the country every year, the government has no other option but to allow them to become a part of the educational system. 

What Is a Student Visa? 

Each student has to get a visa, even if they come only for a short course or exchange program. Getting one is easier than most people think. In addition, the country doesn’t have strict rules and requirements and getting a student visa is just as easy as getting a tourist one. 

As with any other official procedure, there are certain requirements an applicant has to meet in order to get a visa. The main of them is being accepted by a U.S. educational establishment that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visit Program (SEVP). The official list of such schools can be found on the Homeland Security page in the Study in the State category. Visitors are free to either download the whole list or use the search tool to find a certain establishment. 

In addition, an applicant has to complete an I-20 form. It has the most important legibility issues a student must face before completing the application. Firstly, they have to prove the ability to financially cover their tuition. Secondly, a person has to show their ability to follow the curriculum by providing their test scores, diplomas, and academic transcripts. 

In some cases, people have to bring the documents of any proof that their stay is temporary and they have no plans of migrating to the country, especially when applying for a student work visa. 

All these details will be checked during the meeting at an embassy. 

Types of Student Visas

All students coming to the U.S. should know that there are several types of visas they can get. 

The most widespread one is an F visa. This type has three options: F1 – for full-time students, F2 – for dependents of F1 student visa holders, F3 – border commuters including but not limited to Mexican and Canadian students. You rarely face F2 and F3 students in the country as most students come here from South America and Europe for a semester or two to become full-time students and they apply for F1. Intense English language courses also come into this category. They are one of the main reasons why so many people visit the country for academic purposes. 

The second type of visas is for those who come for a non-academic study or vocational training, M visas. They also have 3 subdivisions that are divided according to the same pattern as the F type. M1 – are for regular vocational and non-academic studies, M2- for dependents, M3 – for border commuters. 

Both F and M visas allow students to remain in the country during a fixed period of their studies plus a bit of time after graduation, usually a couple of months. 

Exchange students also have their own type of visa, J. Many US programs promote cultural exchange and those students who come to the county temporarily for an exchange program, have only two options to choose from: J1 – exchange students, J2 – dependents of J1 students. 

How to Get a Student Visa

Applying for a student visa isn’t the hardest task on Earth and it’s certainly not the hardest country to a get a student visa in. It is as simple as completing a form and sending it to an Embassy alongside certain papers. 

Depending on the type of student visa a person applies to, they have to complete different forms. The most widespread of them is Form I-20 for the future holders of an F visa. 

Those who apply for a J1 visa should fill in the DS visa. The spelling of a student name should be carefully checked to be exactly the same as in the passport. 

Then, to apply for a student visa, applicants have to gather a set of documents that would prove their legibility. There are three main factors that determine an applicant’s worth of coming to study in the U.S.

• Academic eligibility can be proved by academic transcripts, test scores, and diplomas from the previous educational establishments. Students should also meet the requirement of a certain U.S. school. 

• Financial stability is proved by the account information from a bank. 

• Health insurance is also a must in the country, especially when you are a foreign student. 

Then, an applicant has to schedule an appointment with an embassy official and answer a few simple questions there. In addition, to apply for a student visa, a form DS-160 for non-immigrants also should be completed which can be done online. 

Basically, that is all. After an interview with an official, it is time to wait for the decision. 

It should be noted that the whole application process has to start early due to possible delays in the processing of any stage of the application. How long does it take to get a student visa? Nobody can tell for sure.  It is recommended to start gathering the papers up to three months before the start of studies. 

Studying in the States

Living in the USA while studying may be a hard task when you have trouble with funding studies and accommodation, plus a variety of other school-related expenses, not to mention personal needs. While American immigration rules and officials are very strict and don’t allow students to work, even at part-time jobs, there are a few options to beef up one’s financial situation.

A teaching or research assistantship place is a great option for additional income while studying in another county. Also, the holders of an F international student visa have a few perks. They can work on campus but no more than 20 hours per week which stands for a good part-time job. There are plenty of positions around the campus of any school and plenty of jobs to inquire about before the start of studies.