How To: Apply for a Student Visa

Going to the States for education may sound like a great experience, great destination, and great idea for those in other countries. In fact, it’s been popularized by culture in television shows and movies, such as the character of Fez from That’s 70s Show, and even an independent film entitled, Like Crazy. However, as of current for you, it is just an idea. Although you are serious about the idea, you’re not exactly sure how to go about it. That’s why this article is being written.

A Student Visa interview may seem scarier than it really is. (photo by THE THAILAND PROJECT)

A Student Visa interview may seem scarier than it really is. (photo by THE THAILAND PROJECT)

For one, applicants are encouraged to apply for a student visa long before they wish to travel. According to, not less than three weeks during normal travel, and at least six weeks in advanced travel should a person apply. Applicants should therefore not make plans to travel until receiving their visa for fear that they will not be able to travel – wasting their personal money and time.

So, to apply, one must go through a long process. One must follow these steps in order to obtain a student visa, as according to nytimes:

  • Receive either a Form I-20 or a Form DS-2019. You accordingly receive them when either being admitted to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or providing clear evidence that you meet all costs of the desired result.
  • Of course, with any process, there is a financial aspect to it. Currently, one has to pay a fee of two hundred dollars to the Student and Exchange Information System, better known as a S.E.V.I.S. fee.
  • Schedule your Student Visa appointment with the nearest US Embassy. You may not receive your visa for up to four months, so be prepared to apply in advance. You can set up an appointment via internet or phone.

So now your appointment is made – what do you need to do to ensure that your visa will not be delayed? Check out this list of top ten mistakes that people generally make at visa interviews. What the article does not say is that a mistake that people tend to make is asking the interviewer questions. Do not ask them to, say, look at your certifications and whatnot for they might become irritable that you would tell them to do their job. How you act with the interviewer can determine if you are denied or accepted to receive a student visa.

You will want to research frequently asked questions, provide complete and truthful information, pay the correct fees, work on communication skills, as well as be confident. Just like a job interview can wrack someone’s nerves, as can a student visa. The worst that can happen is that they deny your request and you can reapply. Do not let nerves overtake you! Often it is the job of the interviewer to be rude and difficult. Work past that, be patient, and surely a student visa will be accessible to you.

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