Citizens of other countries who are coming to the United States to study are required to obtain a student visa. This visa will be issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.
To obtain a student visa, you must demonstrate that you:
: Be prepared to tell the visa officer what you want to study, where you want to study, how you are going to finance your stay in the United States, and what you intend to do with your degree when you return to your home country. Be prepared to do this clearly and quickly.
- Have the ability and intention to pursue a course of full-time study. This can be demonstrated by official acceptance from the college or university that you wish to attend. Some visa officers will also want to see transcripts and test scores or discuss your plans further.
- Possess adequate funds to cover all of the costs listed by the university on the I-20 or IAP-66 form that they will send to you when you are accepted. These costs include tuition, fees, living expenses, and incidental expenses. As a general rule, the consular official will want to see a bank draft in the amount of the first year’s expenses and documentation showing how the money will be found for future years.
- Have sufficiently strong social, economic, and other reasons to leave the United States upon completion of the projected program of studies. Such reasons can be shown during the visa interview (if an interview is required), by such means as showing strong family ties in your home country and/or excellent employment prospects when you return home with a U.S. degree.
- Are able to articulate your reason for studying at a specific institution.
Applicants for U.S. student visas must apply for their visas no earlier than 90 days before the date when they must report to the school in the United States. You will, however, want to apply as early as possible to allow time for processing your application.
For procedures in your country, please check with the U.S.Embassy or Consulate. A listing of these offices and their web sites can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov.
For the latest updates on the visa application process, visit www.unitedstatesvisas.gov.