Anyone who plans to stay in the United States for an extended period of time will need to obtain a visa. For example, if you are a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to study in the United States, you will need an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa. An F-1 visa is needed to attend an American University, college, high school, private elementary school, conservatory, seminary or other academic institution. Those seeking vocational or other non-academic institution training will need an M-1 visa.
Anyone considering studying in the United States would be well advised to seek out legal guidance during the complicated student visa application process.
Through the help of the Texas F-1 visa lawyers at Peek Toland & Castañeda PLLC, you can protect your rights and pursue the education you need for a successful future. To learn more through a consultation on your case and legal options, call (512) 474-4445.
Before You Apply
Before even applying for a student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, you will need to be accepted by an approved school. The Department of State Education USA lists all of the educational opportunities that are covered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once you are accepted, you will need to pay a fee to enroll in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. The school will then provide you with a Form I-20 to bring to the consular officer at your visa interview.
The Application Process
Applying for a student visa can be a complicated process. The first step for many prospective students is applying to the approved schools of their choice. If accepted, they will have to complete an online visa application. Students will then need to bring a printed out version of the DS-160 non-immigrant visa application with a photo to their interview. Applicants must also prove that they have a foreign residence and have no intention of abandoning it. They must show that they are entering the U.S. as a student temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a course of study at an established/accredited institution.
The Student Visa Interview
For students 13 and younger or for those who are 80 and older, an interview is generally not required. Students between the ages of 14 and 79, however, are typically required to schedule an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where they live. You can schedule an interview 120 days in advance of start date of your class, but you will not be allowed into the United States ahead of 30 days before your start date.
For your interview, you will need:
- Payment for your visa application fee.
- A passport that is valid for travel to the United States for at least six months beyond how long you plan on staying.
- A completed non-immigrant visa application.
- An up-to-date photo uploaded when you complete the online form.
- Certificate of eligibility from the school to which you were accepted.
- Evidence of your academic preparation, you intention to depart the United States after you are done at school, and proof of how you will pay for your education.
Applying for a student visa can be a complex and confusing process. If you are looking to obtain a visa to pursue an education in the United States, an experienced Austin F-1 visa attorney can help you better understand your options and guide you through the process.
Attorneys Dedicated to Your Education and Wellbeing
If you or a loved one is pursuing an F-1 visa or is experiencing complications regarding your rights as an immigrant student, call Peek Toland & Castañeda PLLC at (512) 474-4445. Starting with a consultation on your case, you can better understand your rights and have an attorney that will help you find success in your case and properly protect your rights for years to come.