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Visa Matters

Tips on how to get your F1 student visa!

When you are just inches away from your dreams of studying abroad, the last mile visa preps can throw you off your game.

“If you felt like a maze runner while applying for various universities abroad, wait till you reach the stage of visa applications,” says Priya, an aspiring sophomore from Idduki, Kerala. If you are travelling for the first time like Priya, the visa application process may seem complex and intimidating.

We at Writers Qi believe that clarity is power. Read through our primer on the Visa application process, and you will be able to navigate the maze like a champ.

Which Visa Should You Apply For?

An F1 student visa is the most common and applicable to most of the undergraduate and graduate programs. Then there is a J1 exchange visitor visa for those going abroad for a short term course or under any student exchange program. Also, there is one more category of M1 visas meant for vocational and technical training. Here we will discuss the most popular category i.e. F1 student visa.

Documents that you should carry to the visa interview:\

● A valid passport: Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you plan to stay.

● A copy of the DS-160 barcode page: DS-160 is an online nonimmigrant visa (such as F1) application form which is submitted online for obtaining a visa.

● A copy of form I-20: It is a multipurpose document issued by the university (govt. approved) as proof of your admission.

● Visa fee payment receipts: It includes the SEVIS fee (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) which is 350USD and visa application fee which is currently 160 USD.

● Bank Statement of the last 3 years (self or parent/guardian) as a proof of availability of funds to bear the expenses.

● Payslips, if applicable.

● Original mark sheets of your school and applicable scorecards (TOEFL, GRE/GMAT, etc.)

● Acceptance letter to the college that you wish to go to.

Preparing for the Visa Interview:

Be relaxed, visa officers are trained to pick up signs of nervousness or people who lie in their interviews. Below are few tips to keep in mind while preparing for a visa interview:

● Double-check and carry all the necessary documents with you.

● Practice for probable questions, to stay calm and confident.

● Think before answering the questions.

Always tell the truth and never try to cover/hide facts or exaggerate anything.

Suhana, a student applying from Siliguri, wasn’t fully aware of the F1 visa application. And hers was rejected due to insufficient financial proof. Many students travel to Delhi or Mumbai to get the student visas. Make sure you have everything before you reach the visa office.

Other known causes for rejection of visa include false or inadequate documents, failed background information checks, inappropriate answers or suspicious behaviour during the interview. Always be polite and courteous to the Consulate staff and visa officers. A rude applicant is jeopardizing his own chances.

While it’s important not to stress while applying for the student visa, preparation is the key.

Here are some questions that we feel you should prep. Remember, be honest.

What do you plan to do in the US?

Which degree are you hoping to get?

What will be your major?

Where did you complete your schooling?

Why can’t you finish your studies in India?

Do you have any relatives in the US? (If you do, please say yes!)

Do you plan to return to India after completing your degree?

Do you plan to work in the US after your studies?

Have you ever been caught for drinking or taking drugs?

Take note of all the stages of the visa process along with its details and requirements. Prepare yourself so that you’re not disappointed with a visa rejection!

We’ve Got You Covered

Don’t want to sweat the small stuff? We can connect you to visa experts, call Writers Qi to find out more. With expert guidance and support, get ready to give final touches to your scholar dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing Corona Pandemic, expect some delays in the visa process. Make sure you get all your documents together. Most US universities are being very pro-active in providing documentation from their end.

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