A Guide to Getting the Student Visa U.S.

Our Student Visa Attorneys in Los Angeles Are Ready to Help

With President Donald Trump’s attempt to do away with illegal immigration into the US, immigrant visas and student visa issuance has drastically dropped from previous years. In

2019, the number of student visas issued dropped by eight percent as compared to 2018. The new immigration rules don’t mean that it’s impossible to live and study in the U.S., they just mean that you must prove legitimacy for you to get the student visa.

A student visa U.S is a visa for any foreign country citizen who wishes to study in the United States. The type of visa you require will be determined by your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend.

Before applying for a student visa, you will need to go through important steps to ensure your visa gets approved. These complicated steps include receiving permission to attend school by applying to a Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) approved school in the US, registering for the US Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and even paying some required fees. Consulting an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles will make the process easier for you. 

How to Apply for a US Student Visa

Before studying in the US, you need first to obtain a student visa U.S. The process might belong, so you have to prepare at least three to five months before commencing on your course. You'll be more prepared, and you will have to follow several steps to apply for that visa.

You might encounter different steps at each embassy or consulate. Before applying, be sure to fully consult the embassy or consulate about your intended application or have visa attorneys Los Angeles assist you.

These are the stages students have to apply for a student visa in the United States:

Step 1: Apply for Acceptance at a SEVP Approved School

First, you have to enroll in an institution accredited by the US government's Student and Exchange Program (SEVP). You'll be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Find a qualified SEVP-approved institution using the government's study on the States website, and you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee to apply.

After an institution approves your application, you will receive a Form I-20, where you are eligible for an F or M visa. Luckily, if you want your family to join you while studying in the US, they will have to enroll in SEVIS, get the Form I-20 and apply for a visa without paying the SEVIS fee.

You can have an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles to assist your family members in applying for the immigrant visas, including immediate relative and family-sponsored visas, employer-sponsored visas, or other immigrants' visas.

Also, another SEVIS-generated document is the Form DS-2019 for students eligible for a J visa. The Department of State (DoS) manages students on J visa applications while SEVP manages those in the F and M classifications.

The US government offers international students the following three non-immigrant visas:

  • F Visa – for studying at an accredited US university or college or an English language institute
  • M Visa – for non-academic or training study
  • J Visa – for exchange program students (high school and university)

Let a Los Angeles visa lawyer for non-immigrants join you through your application for a US student visa.

Step 2: Fill a US Student Visa Application

After getting your SEVIS Form and paying the required fee, you can make an appointment with a Los Angeles visa lawyer for non-immigrants to complete an online non-immigrant visa application, DS-160. You must have all the documents and information you need to fill in the application.

First, you'll answer a few security questions then fill in some personal details including name and date of birth, address and phone number, passport details, family, education and work details, and the SEVIS ID and address of the US school you plan to attend, etc. A photo is crucial according to the photograph requirements in completing the online Form DS-160.

You'll have to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee – Machine Readable Visa Fee. After completing your visa application, a confirmation page will be sent to you, which you'll need to print out and carry to your visa interview appointment.

Step 3: Schedule and Prepare for an Interview

Finally, you need to attend a visa interview in your nearest US Embassy or consulate. It may be hard to qualify for a visa if you attend an interview at another US Embassy outside the country. Also, arrange for your interview early, especially if you are a new student because you can't enter the US more than 30 days before the start date, furthermore you can only receive your visa up to 120 days before your intended date of program's start date.

With the help of a B visa lawyer in Los Angeles, you can gather and prepare some documentation like a valid passport for at least six months beyond your period of stay, non-immigrant Visa Application, photo, signed SEVIS DS-2019 or Form I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, transcripts from previous institutions attended, etc.

You can review your application instructions via the US Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply or have visa attorneys Los Angeles do it for you.

Step 4: Attend the Interview

It would be best if you were punctual for the interview to avoid rescheduling for another day. An interview is important so that a consular officer determines your qualification to receive a student visa. The consular officer may ask you some questions which will determine if your application needs further administrative processing. If it does not, then the consular officer will tell you how and when to receive your visa.

Arrival in the United States

Having a visa does not assure entry in the US; however, you'll need permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the airport for admission to the United States.

After you provide your documentation and are given entry to the US, the CBP will indicate a separate date for leaving the US on your I-94 form, which a US tourist visa lawyer Los Angeles can advise more on. Interestingly, your stay can continue even if your visa expires, but you will need to renew or re-issue it at a US embassy or consulate.

The I-94 form should be kept safe for returning to a CBP official during your US departure. The departure of international students in the US should be within 60 days after the program ends as detailed on Form I-20.

The State of International Students in the US

With the current coronavirus health crisis, Trump officials imposed new restrictions for students planning to study and work in the US. The new regulation may limit the length of stay for international students after their admission to the US and improve the integrity of the non-immigrant student visa. For now, non-immigrant students can stay in the US for the duration of status – as long as they are enrolled in a program of study and maintain their non-immigrant status.

Unless you are there for study, a US tourist visa lawyer Los Angeles will ease your visa application.

Get your Student Visa Today

Getting a student visa, the US can seem like a never-ending task, but you will have it in no time once you pass the required process. If you find trouble applying for one, you can get an experienced B visa lawyer in Los Angeles to help you apply. However, with the current pandemic, students planning to study in the United States will face some challenging restrictions.

Would you like to study in the US but not sure how to successfully acquire the student visa? Contact us today and we will assign one of our experienced lawyers to help and guide you through the process.

Required Documentation

To obtain your tourism visa, it will be essential you have in your possession certain required documentation. This should include a valid passport, DS-160 application form confirmation page, proof of legal residency in your home country, and passports containing all prior U.S. visas, even those that have since expired. Should you need assistance in obtaining these documents contact Alami Law, an immigration lawyer Pasadena residents trust in handling these situations.

Optional Documentation

Since each applicant's case is unique, there may be times when government authorities may request additional documentation prior to deciding if they will issue you a tourist visa. For example, at the time of your interview, you may be asked to bring with you a birth certificate that is either the original or a certified copy. In addition, you may need an ID card if you are 18 years of age or older, and also it may be asked of you to provide proof of finances such as bank statements, diplomas to prove your educational credentials, and pay slips or letters from your employer to prove employment. Due to the complexities and uncertainty that often surrounds such requests, always work with visa attorneys Pasadena clients trust in helping them obtain the needed documentation for their tourism visa.

Practice Prior to the Interview

Since it will be essential you make a good presentation during your visa interview, always try to practice what you need to say before you sit down with the visa officer. For example, always be prepared to clearly explain to the visa officer why you are wanting to enter the U.S. and the various reasons you have for returning to your home country. Also, know beforehand the evidence you will have with you to satisfy the visa requirements, since you will likely be asked questions during the session. If you like, it may be best to have your immigration visa lawyer attend the meeting as well.

Should you have additional questions about this process, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a non immigrant visa lawyer at Alami Law.

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