U.S. Law Center

4 steps to getting a student visa

You may want to attend school in the U.S. to get your best education. With immigration issues blazing headlines every day, you do not know if obtaining permission to do so is an option anymore.

The government is still granting student visas to those who qualify. Take a look at four things you need to know about obtaining and keeping a student visa.

1. Get your school to acknowledge acceptance

The college you plan to attend needs to send you an acceptance letter. They will send a form I-20 which is the application for the student visa. Ensure the spelling of your name and all your information is correct on the form before signing it and sending it back. The government will run a background check on all candidates. This step can take a few weeks.

2. Set an appointment for an interview

Next, make an appointment for a visa interview. Your student visa may issue 120 days before the start date for school listed on the I-20. Therefore, the sooner the meeting occurs, the better. You will also have to pay the $160 application fee as well as a service fee of either $180 or $200.

3. Complete a new form D-160 and upload a photo

There is a new form D-160 that needs filling out. You can do this online. At this time, you also need to upload a recent photo of yourself. If you cannot get your photo to upload, you must bring it to the visa interview.

4. The visa interview

The last step is the interview. You should prepare for this by knowing the following:

  • Your academic course of study
  • Your future work aspirations
  • Your reasons for choosing this particular school
  • Your plan to pay for school and housing in the U.S.

Remember to dress your best and answer all questions openly and honestly.

Getting a college education in the U.S. is a hefty proposition, but one you can accomplish if you apply for a student visa. Start the application early enough so that you will have plenty of time to get all the required steps in before school starts.

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