Before 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
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.
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!