How do I choose a university?

There are thousands of universities and educational institution across the United States, offering many majors and fields of study to international students. It is best to always choose a university, based on your personal criteria, such as location, educational background, and requirements, financial and other criteria. You Should always evaluate all your options and pick a university or college that best fits you and your situation.

What is an I-20 and how do I obtain one?

In order to apply for a U.S. student visa (F-1), you must first obtain an I-20 form. The Form I-20 is an official U.S. Government form, issued by a certified school, university or college, that you are applying to enroll in. Form I-20 acts as proof-of-acceptance and contains the information necessary to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. The Form I-20 has the student’s SEVIS identification number, which starts with the letter N and is followed by nine digits, on the upper right-hand side directly above the bar code.

Can F-1 students work in the United States?

International students on F visas may seek on-campus employment not to exceed 20 hours per week. Depending on your courses and major, you may be eligible to apply for a work authorization card from USCIS and work of campus. Please consult with your student advisor for more information.

What is the SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a nationwide, Internet-based system that the U.S. government uses to maintain accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). It also requires schools and exchange programs to verify the enrollment status of all new and continuing foreign students and exchange visitors. Student visa applicants are required to pay a SEVIS fee before a visa can be issued.

How early can I apply for my student visa?

We encourage you to apply for your non-immigrant student visa as soon as you have your I-20. To ensure you get an early and timely date you may apply at any time. However, a student visa may be issued no more than 365 days prior to the start date of your courses which is mentioned in your I-20 form

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an optional employment opportunity for F-1 students where the training must be considered to be relevant to curriculum or academic program. According to the immigration regulations, this employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree which defined in the course catalog or for which academic credit is awarded.

What is OPT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization that gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply and gain work experience. You may use some or all of the available 12 months of practical training during your course of study or save the full twelve months to use after you complete your studies. Authorization for optional practical training is granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and can take at 90 to 120 days to be approved.

When should I have my visa interview?

You can apply to have your interview as soon as you can. Your visa can be issued 120 days before the date of enrollment that is stated in your I-20 form.

Can I transfer my university/school when I am in the U.S.?

The answer is both yes and no. This depends on your university as well as timing of the transfer you may change your school should your circumstances change. You will need to inform United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and transfer/update your SEVIS records.

Should I have all my documents translated?

Yes, you will need to have your documents such as your university/school transcripts officially translated.

Do I need to provide a bank statement showing funds available for the university or the U.S. consulate?

Both. You will need to provide proof of your finances both to the school/university and at the time of your interview at the U.S. consulate

Do I need to have TOEFL or IELTS?

While many universities require international students to have an English proficiency test such as TOELF or IELTS, many can provide admission for international students without IELTS or TOEFL, which is referred to as Conditional Admission. Conditional Admission is not an admission in English, rather and admission in intended major with the condition that you upon coming to the United States, you will first complete the English classes required, and once completed with satisfactory scores, you may continue to continue your studies of your intended major. It is important to note that Conditional Admissions are only for Bachelor and master’s degree.

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