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The International Student Blog

Top Tips on Getting Your F1 Visa

Posted on October 26th, 2018 by Jacqueline Schultz

If you are a prospective international student, you are more than likely familiar with the F1 visa process. The F1 visa is most common for international students and is issued by the United States Citizens and Immigration Services. You are most likely interested in any and all top tips on getting your F1 visa if you are a prospective international student. All visa types have requirements, but to be approved for an F1 visa you must be able show the following:

  • Foreign Residence
  • Sponsoring Institution
  • Financial Support
  • Ties to Home Country

As many of you probably know, the visa process can be both stressful and confusing. In order to make the process smoother, be sure to consider our top tips on getting your F1 visa!

Stay Organized

This initial top tip on getting your F1 visa may seem obvious. However, staying organized can really make a world of difference during the visa process. Once you decide that you would like to pursue a college education in the U.S., you should create and follow a timeline to set goals. The simple act of scheduling can often make a world of difference and motivate you before and during the process.

Another key aspect of staying organized is understanding each part of the F1 visa application and the interview process. Writing down any deadlines in a calendar or having a separate folder for your college documents can be useful during the visa process. You can also create a checklist as a way to organize your thoughts. Studying in the U.S. as an international student may be expensive, so it will also be beneficial to create a budget spreadsheet to organize your finances. Once you have a system in place, you can then move forward with obtaining your F1 visa!

Prepare for the Interview

Once you submit your application for your F1 visa, you will need to schedule an interview. Even though the interview process may be intimidating, it is important to stay relaxed and confident. The interview is your opportunity to show why you would like to attend a U.S. college and show off your interview skills. You should be sure to dress nicely, act professional and prepare in advance.

You can also anticipate the types of interview questions that you will asked. Interviewers will most likely ask questions about what you plan to study, how you decided where to attend school and your post-graduation plans. You will also need to display your academic capability and address your financial status.

Preparing for and completing any kind of interview can be challenging. Even the most confident public speakers may feel intimidated when it comes time to sit down for an interview. It is important to remember that even though you should understand the scope of the interview, you are in no way required to have your entire life (or even your 4 years studying in the U.S.) completely figured out.

Having excellent interview skills is also going to be important later on when you apply for jobs, internships and possibly graduate school. Grab a friend, family member or teacher and ask them to practice mock interviews with you! Having several different individuals practice the interview with you can only help work out any jitters.

Have Supporting Documents

Let’s face it. Paperwork can be tedious. You may find yourself constantly signing page after page and overworking your printer. However, it is important to complete paperwork as it comes in so that your visa process is as smooth as possible. In addition to completing paperwork, you will also be required to gather documents to present at your visa appointment. One document that you should bring is your admissions decision letter. These documents will show that you have an acceptance to a U.S. college or university. This is important because your school will sponsor your visa. 

Part of the process of receiving an F1 visa is indicating that you have the financial means to cover your tuition, books and living expenses. Keep in mind that living expenses can include more than just your basic housing and meal plan. Showing proof that you have international student health insurance coverage in the event of an accident or illness may also show that you are financially prepared to study in the U.S. You may need to bring documents like bank statements, scholarship letters and your parent’s pay stubs. 

During your F1 visa interview, you will show ties to your home country. This is because the F1 visa is ultimately designed to be a short-term visa, allowing you to stay in the U.S. for your education. Documents like a letter indicating a job offer, certain assets (like property), bank accounts and family is considered sufficient to show ties to your home country. The collection of documents will prove that you plan on returning to your home country. Additionally, the these supporting documents will also help show why you want to study in the U.S.

As exciting as studying in the U.S. is, there can be a lot to do of before you leave. The F1 visa process can be quite extensive and stressful. However, by implementing our top tips on getting your F1 visa, the process should be more efficient!

Written by Jacqueline Schultz

Jacqueline joined the EIC team in 2017. She has a BA in International Relations from Rollins College. Prior to joining EIC, she has worked in sales and the nonprofit sector. Her passion for international education led her to Envisage.

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20 Responses to “Top Tips on Getting Your F1 Visa”

  1. Tunkara Mustapha Says:

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  3. Alie.M.Kamara Says:

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  5. Bryanna Davis Says:

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  6. David Says:

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  8. Alex Rothenberg Says:

    Dear Management,
    My name is Sandor from UK. I’m planing to study in LA. When it comes to choose the school and the field what I’m going to study I’d like to know if I am NON-STEM graduate can I enroll for OPT?
    Could I aligible for OPT If my graduate is differ from STEM field?
    Your response would be apreciate.
    Thanks in advance
    Sandor

  9. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello. First you’ll want to begin by searching for schools that would be of interest to you that carry the degree you wish to earn. You can begin that search here: https://www.internationalstudent.com/

    After you choose a school you can seek scholarships that may be available to you. https://www.internationalstudent.com/scholarships/

    Thank you for writing and we wish you the best.

  10. mouna mohamed lemine Says:

    I want to study medecine in USA and i want to get F1 visa to be able to travel and achieve my study in USA .

  11. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello. First you’ll want to begin by searching for schools that would be of interest to you that carry the degree you wish to earn. You can begin that search here: https://www.internationalstudent.com/

    Then you can visit our Visa and Immigration Center for your F1 questions: https://www.internationalstudent.com/immigration/

    Thank you for writing and we wish you the best.

  12. Soma Says:

    Hi, I recently applied for an f1 visa and I have all my documents and I’m fully prepared and I’m also being sponsored by my dad but my only worry is that I’ve never been to the US and I’m wondering if it’ll be an hindrance to me getting the visa.

  13. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! Many visa applicants have never visited the US and have a successful interview and process. Don’t worry! Congratulations on your accomplishments this far.

  14. Abraham Quansah Says:

    please Can I change my statement for the plans after school for my second f1 visa interview OR it will have effect on not securing my visa again

  15. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! It is best to be honest during your interview and you should state your plans honestly. For more information please contact your visa office or local embassy.

  16. Boateng Yeboah Nottheng Says:

    Please help me in need some

  17. Boateng Yeboah Nottheng Says:

    Please help me in really need the visa

  18. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! For resources about student visas, you can visit our page here: https://www.internationalstudent.com/immigration/

  19. ALEX MILES Says:

    Hello Boateng,kindly contact me :0249381316.
    Am in Ghana

  20. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello, Boateng! We are not able to call you, but are more than happy to answer your questions here or on our social media. How can we help you?

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