U.S. Law Center

Reviewing the student visa application process

Every year, foreign students come to the United States to attend college. However, it is absolutely imperative for prospective students to ensure that they approach the student visa application process properly. Whether they plan on living in Corona, California, or anywhere else in the country, foreign students should thoroughly prepare their petition and carefully organize all of the documents they will need.

Sometimes, applying for a student visa can feel overwhelming, especially for those who are unsure of which steps to take or are already dealing with a considerable amount of stress. Unfortunately, when people make a mistake on their application, their student visas are sometimes delayed or even denied. As a result, students should do everything they can to secure their visa.

According to the U.S. Department of State, an SEVP approved school must accept students before they can apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa. In order to avoid immigration issues, it is smart to closely review the ins and outs of each step. Once accepted, students are required to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System fee. Next, students must fill out Form DS-160 online, upload their photo and print the form to bring to their visa interview, which is required for those between the ages of 14 and 79. During the interview, students have to pay a non-refundable visa application fee and provide all of the required documentation.

On their website, the Department of Homeland Security helps foreign students prepare for their trip to the U.S. and recommends always carrying original documents (not putting them in checked baggage). Furthermore, the DHS suggests making copies of all required important documents (visa, passport and Form I-20) to leave behind with relatives in case any immigration issues  arise or the documents are lost.

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