Student F-1 Visa Process

When you’re ready to apply for a non-immigrant student visa and the student has been officially been accepted to the University of Pikeville, they will receive an admission letter. The student will also receive a form I-20 from the university to present to the consular officer during the visa interview.

More information on the process is available here:

Once accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and need to complete the following:


FAQs

The consular officers in the U.S. embassies overseas have the sole responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas. Therefore, it is imperative that students be knowledgeable and well prepared to convince the officer that their stay in the U.S. will be temporary and is for the sole purpose of education.

Applicants must demonstrate the sole purpose of their travel is to pursue a program of study. This requires an I-20 form from the school that has accepted the international student, transcripts listing courses that prove the completion of 12 years of school, and any score reports required for admittance to the school.

International students have the ability and intention to be a full-time student in the U.S. – International students must exhibit appropriate knowledge of the English language to undertake a full course of study or provide documentation that special arrangements for English language studies have been made by the receiving institution.

International students possess adequate funds to cover all tuition, living and anticipated incidental expenses without taking unauthorized employment-Students must provide long-term, detailed bank statements and an employer’s statement of wages, showing your family’s financial ability to pay for your entire college expense. Working off campus is illegal without special permission from immigration.

International students have sufficiently strong social, economic, and other “ties” to compel their departure from the U.S. upon completion of the projected program of studies. “Ties” are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your country or residence such as your possessions, employment, social and family relationships. Returning home to use your education to run the family business or showing that you are the eldest child responsible for the care of your parents, are examples of cultural and family reasons for returning to your home country.

Acquire knowledge of the process. Get free, accurate information from the U.S. embassy website in your country. It will give you the specifics of what is required and what you are expected to know.

For example, students must know when to apply. Visas should be applied for no more than 90 days prior to the expected date of arrival at the school as listed on the I-20. Helpful information can be found by visiting www.travel.state.gov.

Be prepared. Take the I-20 form, all school documents, test scores, letters or e-mails from the school you will be attending, evidence of funding, business card if you work, letters of recommendation for your educational plan and any documents that you feel would help you prove intent to return home.

Answer the questions the officer asks. Avoid prepared speeches and don’t use a prepared script for the interview. Know your career plan, why you are going to the U.S., what you plan to study and why you chose the particular college you want to attend, and what you plan to do at home after graduation.

Tell the truth. If the visa officer thinks you are lying, you won’t get a visa. If you don’t know an answer, tell the officer you don’t know. They are looking for evidence that you have given serious thought to your plans.