InternationalStudent.com InternationalStudent.com
Sign in to Your Account Done
Forgot account info?

Don't have an Account?

Register Now!

Done USA School Search
Study In:

The International Student Blog

Tips for Getting an F1 Visa Approved

Posted on October 30th, 2014 by Bryanna Davis

f1 visaBefore you can become an international student there are certain things that must be done. Perhaps the most important task: getting your F1 visa approved. An F1 visa is what most international students who study at a college or university obtain when they come to the United States.

Getting an F1 visa can be a stressful process- especially since having this request denied means you can’t study in the US. Last week I hosted a live hangout on secrets to getting your F1 visa approved. If you missed this hangout and will soon be going through the F1 visa approval process you must take a few moments to watch the live hangout or keep reading to see what you missed.

The steps you need to take during the process of getting your F1 visa approved are everywhere, you can even find it on our site here. Because of this, I covered three requirements for qualification. Requirements for qualification are items that during the F1 visa interview process the consulate will be trying to confirm that you meet. It’s important to know what they expect of you in order to become an international student, that way you are as well positioned as possible to pass your F1 visa interview.

Foreign Residence and Ties to Home

The first requirement that you will need to meet is confirm that you have foreign residence. You might be wondering how you can prove that you do have ties in your home country, here are just a few ways:

1. Job offer letter
2. Proof of assets
3. Bank account information
4. Family

Along with showing proof of ties, keep in mind that it’s OK to get personal and give the consulate as much information as possible on your ties to home. This means let them know why you want to become to an international student and exactly what you will do once you return to your home country. Although graduation is years away and it might be difficult to nail down exactly what you want to do once you have your degree- you must have an answer to this question which means you need to make the decision as early as possible.

Foreign Residence and Ties to Home Sample Questions:

  • Where do you want to work once you graduate?
  • How often will you visit home during your studies?
  • Do you have any relatives inside the US?
  • Do you have a significant other located in the US?
  • You’re currently employed, why do you want to leave your job?

Eligible Sponsoring Institution

Before you’re issued your F1 visa, you must be given an I-20 by your host school. This might seem like a simple task, but an I-20 can’t be issued by every school- it must be an eligible institution.

If you’re not able to find your school on the list of eligible schools you can contact your school for confirmation on if they are approved to issue an I-20. Your school’s Designated School Official (DSO) will also be able to assist you with any questions you have on the process of coming to the US as an international student. Your DSO is recognized by USCIS and the US State Department, they can assist you with any pressing matters you might have during your transition. If you still need to find a school in the US to attend you can start your search here.

Eligible Sponsoring Institution Sample Questions:

  • What school will you be attending?
  • Why do you want to attend this school- name specific reasons.
  • What degree are you pursuing?
  • Why did you choose to study in the US vs. any other country?
  • Do you know about the city in which your school is located- share details if so.

Financial Support

Being able to show that you have financial support for your entire educational inside the US is difficult for many international students. Turning to international student loans are sometimes a must when there isn’t another source of funding. While loans are good to fill the remaining gaps (after family funds and scholarships have been utilized), they can still sometimes be difficult to use as proof of funds. This can be a tough situation since you must be enrolled in a school in order to finalize the loan, but you must often show proof of funds to receive your I-20. Our tip that might just work when you’re caught in this sticky situation: use your initial loan approval as proof of funds- if your school will allow you to.

Possible Financial Support Interview Questions:

  • What is the occupation and monthly income of your parents?
  • Do you have any loans?
  • What is the annual cost of your school?
  • How will you pay for each year of school?
  • Can we see your bank statements?

Remember to be as prepared as possible, be polite and never become rude or angry toward the consulate. Good luck!

Written by Bryanna Davis

Bryanna joined EIC in 2011 after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.

Other posts by

45 Responses to “Tips for Getting an F1 Visa Approved”

  1. sibobugingo Says:

    hello my name is sibobugingo annanie i live in rwanda iam student at university in geography in level two so i wish to continue my study in USA so i have no financial aids so how can i get chance to get my study and visa card some of financial aid help me to apply i have no capacity to pay school fees my numbr is +250786389339

  2. JT Hizon Says:

    Getting a visa approved I guess takes a lot of steps before getting there. I think one should complete certain requirements before getting to the point wherein your visa will be approved or not. If ever a person needs help, they can always try going to a visa consulting firms. Philippines has many firms offering these kind of services.

  3. SarahWyatt Says:

    I have a very specific question. My mom and my first cousin are co sponsoring me. My cousin has lived in the USA for many years and is a permanent resident married to an American woman and has 3 children with her. Unfortunately, he has been charge with some misdemeanors for DUI possession of controlled substance and shoplifting. He was not indicated for a felony regarding prescription pad forgery. With these charges in his background could he still be a good co sponsor for my F! visa with my mom who has no charges and lives in Colombia. Also, I have never done anything in my life and never had any legal problems. I need to know if should use him as honestly I do not have anyone else but I do not want to get rejected because of his legal problems. Help me please? I am wanting to enroll in one of the best dance schools in NYC. Thanks you for your help.
    Location: Colobmia

  4. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    The main responsibility of a sponsor will be to support you financially. Since your cousin has had a few charges against him, it could have an impact on getting approved. Unfortunately the only way to know for sure would be to apply. However, if you have another individual you can ask to be your sponsor that might be a good option, or, if you’re able to prove you have the funds through scholarships or loans. Good luck!

  5. OussamaAssouka Says:

    Hi,
    I’m from morocco and I’m applying to an US college for spring 2016. I was wondering if i get a full financial aid (knowing that the college that i’m applying to gives financial aid to international students ), CAN this affect my chance to get the visa ? Especiely that i dont have a suffisant money to support m’y studies.
    Thanks for your help.

  6. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Oussama,

    Whether your funds come from family, your own savings or scholarships and loans- you will need to show proof of funds. Ensure that you have solid proof of funds to show. Good luck!

  7. Kevin Says:

    Hi Bryanna, nice spelling! I wanted to contact you regarding possible coordination of efforts in the future. I am also working to help students obtain their F1 Visa. I don’t want to post anything inappropriate here but would like to encourage you to contact me to determine of there are possible ways we can help each other:)

    Regarding some questions posted here, I work in SE Asia. Many of my students can get 10-15k scholarships deducted from a retail rate. With preparation visa success rate is high, whereas without it is almost zero. I have a few who get full scholarships but they are very hardworking, take the IELTS and SAT many times, and target some specific schools. Is this similar to what you are experiencing?

    Hope to speak with you soon,
    Kevin

  8. Randy Sr Says:

    Student health insurance is necessary when you want to study abroad as F1 Visa Holder

  9. Prisca Says:

    My sponsor is my sister who is a US citizen. More I have my mother and my young sister who are permanent us resident.
    How can I show solid ties in my country and get this famous F1 visa

  10. Shruti Says:

    Hi,
    I am an international student, planning to aid my studies by the means of private loan with the help of my co-signer who is a US citizen. My question is, is it possible to get the loan sanctioned before I apply for my F1 visa and show the sanction letter to the visa officer as my funding source? Or is F1 visa the mandatory requirement to be eligible for the loan..?
    Thanks.

  11. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Shruti,

    Some students are able to use loan approval as proof of funds, but its not easy and its up to the school and consular officer if they’ll accept a loan approval as proper funds. You would need to apply for the loan now, list the school you plan to attend, get initially approved based on the credit of your co-signer, then use that initial approval to complete your acceptance to the school. See what loans are available here. Good luck!

  12. Afreen Bhumgara Says:

    Hi,

    I’m an international student from India. My parents are receiving a top-up loan on their current housing loan. The money from this loan can be used for any expenses, and fulfills the entire I-20 required amount.

    Is that okay? Or is it absolutely necessary to have an educational loan only? Please help.

    Thanks,
    Afreen

  13. olaskills Says:

    Hi, my name is ola from nigeria have been denied visa twice in 2015 for M1 status and the third interview is comining up in august 2016 which is an F1 visa. The F1 status was approved by the school in the US,what is my possible chances of geting my visa

  14. Sultan Aliyi Muda Says:

    Hi…every body…I am sultan Aliyi muda which from Africa, Ethiopia.. I had been my first degree by medical public health.. which mostly related with medicine.. so now I needs to attend medicine at Medical college of Georgia Augusta public university… how I can apply it..please help me every body with great excuse…my email address is “aliyisultan@yahoo.com” or my phone number is +251911043098.

  15. Douandji Franck Mathaus Says:

    Good afternoon madame.
    I m Douandji a Cameroonian.
    I sincerely wish to appreciate you guys for this great sacrifice in bringing assistance to student/visitor visa applicants.
    I wish to know if I can take a loan to support my educational financies alongside the sponsorship from my parents?
    While waiting for a favorable response, I wish you all the best.

  16. Douandji Franck Mathaus Says:

    Oh, sorry. It is good evening.

  17. Pascal Says:

    Am pascal I just philosophy here in Nigeria my school decieded that I will go and further my masters abroad I have also gotten admission and also attended embassy interview but they denied me saying that I have no tie here in Nigeria that will bring me back but I explained to them that after my studies that I will come back to Nigeria for my ordination,

    so pls I need ur advice because I also want to try again and will not like to be denied again

    Thanks
    +2347062509509,

  18. Leena Says:

    Hello Bryanna

    Your video is so enlightening and upto the mark we are carrying out a international student short term program and i am facing a lot of visa issues for students.
    We applied for B1-B2 those got rejected.
    Now we are looking for a sponsor college or university to work with so that students can get some exposure in short time and leave.This program is more of the educational tour nature.
    for 20 days.
    IF u have any suggestions then please share.
    Regards

  19. Mushfik Says:

    I’m a business student aiming to do business in my home country after getting my studies done in the US. How do i convince the visa officer?

  20. Ngowo Ikome Frida Says:

    I intend to obtain an undergraduate degree in Elementary education in the United States, I’ll be going to the embassy for the second time and I need to know what to do or say to fully convince the consular officer??

  21. Seth Dogbey Says:

    Hello, I am Seth from Ghana and currently has been admitted for masters in the USA. Want to know if application for students loan can be convincing enough to the consular at the US embassy? If so, how do I prove it during the interview?
    Thanks

  22. Nelson Mandela Says:

    Hello, I am Nelson from Nigeria and i have been denied F1 visa twice this year. The last time i was denied,the consular asked me who is sponsoring my studies in the USA and i told him my mother and he asked what does my mother do for a living and i replied that my mother is a senior civil servant in the state ministry of Education, immediately he said sorry i can not grant you visa today. Please kindly help me with the proper answer i will feed in when i am ask again because i am preparing for the third interview by November end . I am still going for a pathway program in Engineering.
    +2347036369291

  23. Joy Says:

    Hi Im joy from Philippines I like to study in USA my Bf is my sponsor who is Us citizen.. so its a big opportunity this for me So I really want to pass and get the f1 visa.Can you give me a tips on how to pass the interview..

  24. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Joy,

    You can follow the link to the video where you can find a number of tips and some great information on this topic. Good luck to you!

  25. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Joy,

    For more information on how to pass your F1 visa interview you’re able to visit our visa section. Good luck to you!

  26. soraya Says:

    Hi there,
    I am interested in getting my nephew here from Holland to live with us and get an F-1 visa but for high school not university. Are the requirements different. What is the best way to handle as i hear you can also do with high school and much easier so he can attend high school here in calfornia.

  27. Sheikh N. Sanneh Says:

    Dear Bryanna Davis

    My name is Sheikh Sanneh, I live in Gambia. I have a sponsor who is a CEO and own a company in Gambia, he wants to issue me with a sponsor letter from his company and a bank Statement as a proof of funds. I also have a relative in the US who declared to give a helping hand to my cost of study and stay in the US, he will send his employment letter and a Bank statement in the USA. I am also employed and my company approves my study leave request for 4 years with pay. Management will issue me with a recomendation letter, leave with pay acceptance letter, and my Salary’s current account statement. I have a Documented Land, and have a wife too. I can proof all that because I have authentic documents. Do I have a good chance getting an F1 Visa?

  28. Md Twfiqur Says:

    Hi,
    I am from Bangladesh. I have been accepted to Economics, MA program in several Universities e.g. George Washington University and University of Missouri. I managed some funding from The George Washington University ($7000 in tuition fellowship + $7000 in global initiative fellowship) renewable for one more year. I know that GW is pretty expensive.
    I received no funding from Missouri; the university is asking for $36k worth of documentation.
    Given that both program is STEM designated, I think I can repay the loan after education. I also have a Co-signer. However, she doesn’t know mich about student loans.
    How can I approach this situation?

  29. Jessica Pahwa Says:

    Hi. I am an Indian student and am accepted for MPH program at University of Nebraska Medical Center College of public health. I need to show finances for obtaining my I-20 and F1 Visa. My uncle is a US citizen and is Willing to co-sign my loan. Are there any banks or lenders in US who can grant a loan on basis of acceptance in a school?

  30. Kasereka Kavutwa Néhémie Says:

    Hi,
    I am Kasereka Kavutwa Néhémie, a congolese (DRC). I have been a student in Kenya, Nairobi for my Master’s degree. Now I have an admission and I-20 issued by Biola University, in Los Angeles, California. Is it a must for me to fly to Kinshasa, the Capital City for my country to apply for an F1 visa or I can do it in Nairobi (though my student Pass for Kenya expired) or again do it in Kigali/ Rwanda since I live in Goma, a city next to Rwand?

    Looking forward to reading you soon.

  31. sushmita Says:

    I think now the bank statement is not required if you have full funding, please clarify.

  32. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Sushmita,

    Students who will be paying using personal funds will need to bring supporting documentation like a bank statement.

  33. suresh sharma Says:

    Nice blog!!!Thanks for sharing the excursive information with us.

  34. Michele Dunn Says:

    I am a qualified RN, Rm and RPN in South Africa. I would like to come to the USA to obtain my NCLEX and then proceed further my education by doing a BSN. I do have a brother who is an USA citizen and I would reside with him.
    Please advise further.
    Regards
    Michele Dunn.

  35. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Michele,

    You would need to apply directly through the school of your choice. You can get started in our school search. Good luck!

  36. Nutei Says:

    very informative. it must be helpful for my intending visa interview

  37. Peter Says:

    Hi. Please I want to ask questions. In a situation where u are not close to your degree certificate, but have already uploaded it before during the school online application, now u about to go for F1 interview without it, but u have very payment and documents of the school u applied. Will it have any effect on your interview?

  38. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Peter,

    It is important that you bring all of the documents they ask you to bring- this typically includes any transcripts from previous schools. Best of luck to you!

  39. Natz Says:

    Hi,
    I am an Indian citizen my fiance,who is also an Indian,has graduated from US and is now working there. We are planning for me to take admit in US for studies and work after graduating. But for finances can I show my future father in law’s bank statements as a sponsor for my education? I also need to show these financial statements to college will they accept it as I am not yet related to him on papers?

  40. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Natz,

    It is possible to show information on a sponsor, but you will receive many questions on your relationship to the sponsor, why they are backing your education costs, what other funding you will receive, etc, so you will want to be prepared to answer those and have as much supporting documentation as possible. Also, at the end of the day it will be up to the consulate and school to determine if that is sufficient enough for approval. Good luck!

  41. collins Says:

    hi please my brother lives in u.s and will be sponsoring my education will my visa be granted knowing that my brother lives in u.s and will be paying for my tuition.

  42. Emmanuel Omony Says:

    Hello,
    I’m Emmanuel from Uganda
    Uhm what particular answer can you give to this question ” why do you want to study in the US and not your home country”
    please help me out because i failed that question during my interview and i was denied as visa

  43. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Emmanuel,

    Our F1 visa interview video might help. Good luck!

  44. Pratik Says:

    Hi Bryanna,
    I have been accepted in a University in the US. Also, I have saved enough money to pay my fees for the duration of my study but I am planning to stay with my relative there who is a non-blood relative so how can I go ahead with this and explaining during the visa process also what is the amount to be shown in the account so as to be qualified to get a F-1 visa?

  45. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Pratik,

    If you have a sponsor typically you will need an official bank statement showing their funds. Keep in mind you more than likely receive many questions on the sponsor including your relationship, why they are backing you, etc. Make sure you have as much information and documentation possible, but it will ultimately be up to the consulate if they will approve you based upon the information you provide. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Get the International Student Newsletter!