Visa Information for student seeking admission in US universities
Re: Visa Information for student seeking admission in US universities
General information for students visa applicants
The principal requirements to obtain a student visa are:
1. Acceptance of the applicant by an institution of learning for a full course of study: Evidence in support of this requirement consists of a Form 1-20 (Certification of Eligibility) filled out by the accepting school, and signed by the applicant and presented with the visa application. The US state department has made it mandatory for consular offices to interview all visa-applicants in 16-60 age group. Further, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System has been enforced with effect from January 30, 2003 to issue of 1-20 (Student Visa Eligibility Form).
2. Evidence that the applicant has sufficient scholastic preparation and knowledge of the English language, if required by the school to undertake full course of study in the accepting institution: Proof of the required scholastic preparation is usually established by the 1-20 form the Institution involved and the entries on the form. To establish their knowledge of English, applicants are encouraged to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), available in the Delhi (USEFI, Hailey Road, New Delhi 1 10001).
3. Proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to cover the total cost of the education and the stay in the U.S. : Evidence of readily available funds to meet all expenses for the first year, and of the availability of funds for following years from reliable financial resources. To satisfy this requirement applicants may show that the funds are available from the educational institution, from their personal resources i.e. student's and histher family's social and economic situation like proof of employment, property ownership and savings, or from sponsors (normally a very close relative) who have agreed to pay for their education. If the support is from the educational institution, in the form of a scholarship, assistantship, on-campus employment, etc. it is usually noted on the 1-20.
If the support is from India, the applicant must produce bank books and statements or other documents showing a total amount in rupees equal to the dollar cost of the first year, and evidence regarding sources of funds for subsequent years. If the student is not paying his own expenses, an affidavit of support executed by the sponsor and sworn before a First Class Magistrate must also be presented, along with financial evidence indicating the ability to carry out the undertaking.
If the support is from outside India, the sponsor must provide a letter from his/ her bank indicating that the sponsor has sufficient funds to cover the costs involved, together with a current notarized Affidavit to Support stating willingness to finance the applicant's educational expenses. The sponsor should also provide evidence of current employment and income.
With regard to sponsorship, particular weight will be given to promises to support from immediate family members. Affidavits from less-than immediate relatives and family friends do not carry
the same degree of commitment as do affidavits from immediate family members and should be accompanied by a statement explaining in detail what compelling reasons the person has to carry
out the promises made on the affidavit.
It may be emphasised that the commitment contained in an Affidavit of Support is not not a mere formality. The U.S. Government regards Affidavits of Support to be binding legal documents that oblige the Sponsor to be financially responsible for the student during his/her time in the U.S.
4. Existence of permanent residence outside the United States which the applicant has no intention of abandoning: Evidence in this respect involves establishing proof of family, social, professional, financial or other ties to the applicant's home country which would convince a consular officer of the student's intent to return to India after completion of studies in the U.S. Another relevant factor would be the opportunity for utilization of the education or training sought in the U.S. in the applicant's home country on returning.
To apply for a student visa
Applicants should apply at the Consular Section of the American Embassy any working day, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8.30 and 10.00 a.m. 6. U.S. Consular Offices are located in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and New Delhi. You should apply only at the office within whose consular district you reside. A U.S. Consular Office is permitted to process only applications from its own Consular district.
Documents required are:
One passport-size photograph, black and white or color.
A Non-immigrant Visa Application (Form 156) available from the Consular Section.
Form 1-20 executed by the authorizing official of the institution concerned, signed by the applicant.
Evidence of financial ability to cover the costs of the education and maintenance involved, as noted above.
Visa fee of Rs 4600 + Rs 276 may be paid at any of the designated HDFC Bank branches and Bank receipt should be secured. Only after paying this fees a student can schedule an appointment and complete application form at vfs-visa-co.in
Be prepared to discuss your travel plans, contacts, schedule, and your reasons for returning to India after your visit.
When to apply: an applicant may apply for a student visa not earlier than 120 days before the registration date specified on the Form 1-20.
If the registration date has already passed or the applicant cannot reasonably expect to arrive at the school by the registration date, the applicant should obtain an amended 1-20 or a letter of extension from the issuing institution stating by what date the applicant may arrive.
Persons interested in learning more about selecting a college or university, jhancial aid, application procedure, admission testing and TOEFL schedules may contact the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), 12, Hailey Road, New Delhi (Ph 23328944)
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