Some Important Faq's on F-1 Visa, which every student should
go through: These are from US consulates and other good sites.
Q. Should we carry original documents or photocopies?
A. The applicant
should carry the original and one photocopy of all documents.
Q. Do students need any special documents?
A. You must present
current documentary evidence that sufficient liquid funds are available from
a specifically designated and reliable financial resource to pay all travel,
living and school expenses. If the support is from the educational
institution in the form of a scholarship or assistantship, it should be noted
on the Form I-20. If the support is from a sponsor (normally a very close
relative), you must present a notarized Form I-134 Affidavit of Support
available free of charge at any office of the US Immigration and
Naturalization Service in the USA or can be downloaded from the link
Stating willingness to finance your education expenses, along with copies of
the sponsor's most recent income tax return and bank statements for the past
An F-1 applicant must have evidence of sufficient and readily
available funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study, and that
barring unforeseen circumstances adequate funds will be available for each
subsequent year of study as mentioned on I-20 form. The number of years
required to complete the course of study will be determined by the school and
noted on the I-20.
Q. Do I have to pay the first year tuition in advance?
A. No -- paying the
tuition expenses in advance is one of several ways to show proof of funds,
but it is NOT a requirement to pay in advance.
Q. What if the university will not accept the tuition fees
A. It is the university's decision to accept or not accept the fees in
advance. The Consulate has no influence over universities' policies regarding
this. Students should consult with prospective universities regarding their
policies well in advance of applying for a student visa.
Q. What documents should I show to prove that I could pay
for my education?
A. There are no
specific documents that prove a student is able to pay for his/her education.
Bank account statements, chartered accountant statements, employment letters,
and property documents are the most common documents used to show proof of
Q. What if my university does not require that the TOEFL or
A. Students whose
prospective university does not require that they take the TOEFL or GRE
should provide a letter from the university stating the same. However, the
Consulate recommends that all student visa applicants provide standardized
Q. Is it required that I apply by Drop Box?
A. Only returning
Student applicants may use the drop-box
First time Student visa applicants applying for four-year
undergraduate programs or graduate programs leading a master or doctoral
degree must make an appointment and be interviewed. Please be aware that
after reviewing your case a Consular Officer may require a personal interview
before a final decision is made.
Q. How do I prove that I can afford to attend school in the United States?
A. An I-20 shows the amount of funding you must have available to cover the
first year's expenses. The total amount includes tuition and fees, living
expenses, expenses of dependents (if applicable), and other expenses (as
applicable). You must prove that you have immediate funds available to cover
this amount. If you are going to a two-years
Master's program, then you must also show that funds are or will likely be
available to cover the same amount for the second year.
Q. What if I have not yet received my degree certificate?
A. Yes - you may still
apply, but please be sure to include your Individual and consolidated mark
Sheets and provisional certificate along with Course Completion Certificate
duly signed and stamped with college seal by principal
Q. How soon after getting my I-20 may I apply for the visa?
A. You may apply for
the visa no earlier than 90 days before the first day of school as indicated
on the I-20 form.
Q. What if I have received a full tuition waiver from my
You must prove that funds are immediately available to cover the first year's
costs, and show evidence that funds will be available for all subsequent
years. Any financial documentation you provide should be in support of this.
This applies to ALL student visa applicants.
Q. Does having a relative in the US affect visa application
Q. What about a foreign sponsor?
A. The motive has to be established clearly. Sixty per cent of the students,
who go to the US for education, do so on some sort of
aid. Education in the US is a costly proposition. So, if
someone is funding you, then the US Consul would want to know why, and
under what terms.
Q. For a student visa with sponsorship, is it for or
against one's case if the sponsor is (a) a US citizen, (b) an Indian citizen?
A. There is no regulation for or against the nature of citizenship of the
sponsor for US visa.
Q. Is there a specific number or quota annually for
A. There is no ceiling on student visas according to US immigration law.
Q. I am a
student going to US for PhD. My I-20 says that my
funding is for one year, after which it will be reviewed. Will I have to show
funds for the rest of the three-four years of study?
A. At the visa office,
the students must show funds (academic plus living) for one year, and access
to funds for subsequent years. If your aid covers your overall expenses for
the first year, then it is OK but it's better to show funds availability to
take care of day-to-day expenses in US.
Q. I get my visa on one I-20; then I get another I-20
from another school, which I now want to join. What will I have to do?
A. You will have to
apply for another visa.
Q. How many
attempts are allowed if visa is denied?
A. Especially for Mumbai people two attempts in duration of two years,
with a gap of three working days between each attempt. There is also a mail
in facility after two attempts where you can mail the US Consulate your
documents for review. What has to be kept in mind is that, with each new attempt
some fresh documents have to be produced. Visa consuls go by the rules, and
if same papers are submitted, then the application hardly stands a chance.
But In the
consulates of New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai where one has to attend for F1-Visa
interview through www.ttsvisas.com
one can attend any number of times without restriction but with a gap of
three working days (don't include Saturdays and Sundays while counting).
Every time you need to pay the application fee and it's better to apply only
if you are able to show considerable change in your case, than your previous
Q. Does the
reputation of the college have any bearing on my visa application?
A. No. However, the reputation of the college establishes the motive. If you
are going to a reputed college, intentions are clear. But if you are going to
an institution no one has heard of, and which has not asked you to take any
standard tests, then that makes the US consul suspicious. Though, in some
cases, when students are going for some specialist courses, which are not
offered anywhere else, a marginal school would do.
Q. If I have
been chosen by more than 10 schools, does that help?
A. Yes, it establishes
that you are a superstar. There is no direct relation, though it
completes the picture for the consul, and helps them evaluate the case
better. remember the more i-20's you receive,
there's more chance for visa.
Q. What should a student wishing a Graduate (Master's)
study in the US do if he is financing his studies
A. He will have to show how he would transfer his funds from India to the US. Does he have a foreign exchange
release permit from an authorized bank or a sponsor in the US to take care of his living and education
in US dollars? Moreover, he should convince the US Consul that he has strong ties in India, which prove that he is not an
students going for further studies, what is considered as conclusive proof
that they are coming back? How much assets or liquid cash on hand should be
shown for a student visa?
A. There is no fixed
amount of assets or liquid cash specified in the US immigration law. The law that operates
is that the interviewing US Consul should be convinced that the
applicant is a bona fide student, wanting genuinely to pursue higher studies
in America and return after his education to India and apply his knowledge in India. The ties that could be shown by
students, would involve his economic attraction in India after graduation and social roots to
which he would return rather than stay in the US. Statistics in the past have shown
that 7 to 8 out of 10 students do not return and therefore the Consulates in India are very careful in granting student
Q. Is a
student visa guaranteed when an I-20 form is issued by a University?
A. A student visa is not guaranteed on the issuance of the I-20 alone as the
applicant has to convince the US Consul that he is not an intending
immigrant by showing proof of his permanent ties in India.
Q. If sufficient
funds are not available, can a loan from banks or
other institutions help in getting a student visa?
A. The US Consul will have to be convinced about the mode of repayment of the
loan by the applicant. Practically, if loans are shown, then getting a visa
Q. For a student
visa, can a student be partially sponsored by a US-based sponsor and partly
by an India-based sponsor?
A. The US Consul has to be convinced about the genuineness of the case. Prima
facie, the case cannot be rejected because two sponsors are involved.
Q. Do visas
for students get rejected if the applicants have brothers and sisters in America?
A. This is an individual situation. The decision depends on a case-by-case
basis. If the US Consul feels that the applicant is
trying to get to the US in the guise of a student with
possible support of siblings in America, he may be rejected. Likewise, if the
applicant's brother or sister had gone to the US on an NIV and adjusted status to
permanent visa, the applicant does become a "risk candidate" and it
will be then left to the judgment of the interviewing officer to decide.
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