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General information and tips for obtaining student visa for United States

1. How do I apply for student Visa?

To apply for a student visa, you need to go to Nabil Bank in Maharajgunj (Behind Namaste Super Market), fill out the forms DS-156, DS-158 (and DS-157 if you are male between the ages 16-45 years, and pay the USD $100 application fees. Nabil Bank will provide you with an appointment date and time. If this date is after the reporting date noted on your I-20 (or DS-2019 for exchange student programs), you should notify the staff at Nabil Bank and they will provide you with an earlier appointment if possible. Student visa applicants must also pay a USD $100 SEVIS fee. For more information about the visa application process, see website http://kathmandu.usembassy.gov.

2. What documents are required and not required? (Is a police report required? Is property evaluation essential?)

You should come to the interview with your original I-20 issued by the academic institution where you intend to study, all academic records (SLC, +2 certificate, etc.), and any evidence if financial resources to show that you can afford your education. While there are no specific financial documents required, you should feel free to bring everything you believe would support your case. Consular officers prefer to see at least six months transaction history from your bank accounts. A police certificate is not necessary for student visa applicants. All documents submitted should be genuine Ė if the consular officer at any time believes you have submitted a false document, you will be refused the visa and the document(s) could be turned over to the police.

3. Do I need to bring a bank statement or a 6-month transaction statement? Can bank statements be from any bank?

Consular officers prefer to see at least six months transaction history from each of your bank accounts. Bank statements can be from any bank, savings and loan or credit agency.

4. Can someone in the US be my sponsor?

Yes. You many have family or close friends in the U.S. who are able and willing to support you financially while you are in school. However, this sponsorship must be genuine. Every consular officer must believe the legitimacy of your financial evidence and it is extremely important that you are honest during the interview.

5. If I am denied a visa the first time I apply, how can I appeal?

You are permitted to apply for a visa three times within one year. For the benefit of the applicants, the Consular Sectionís policy is, to the extent possible, to appoint a different interviewing officer for subsequent applications. If you are refused a visa three times in one year, you must wait six months since your last refusal. There is no formal appeal process.

6. What are my chances the second time if I was denied a visa the first time? Is it better to apply with the same I-20 or a different one?

Each applicantís case is different, but generally consular officers encourage you to wait until your circumstances have change or you have additional evidence that was not presented during your first interview before reapplying. The academic institution you choose to attend (and the I-20 you present) should be the one that is best suited to your academic interests and financial resources.

7. Does it matter in what order my documents are arranged?

For the purpose of the interview, it is easier if your academic records are presented first (in chronological order starting from SLC), followed by your financial information. Any other supporting documents, e.g., character references or extracurricular certificated, should be presented last.

8. How long is a visa interview?

At most Embassies around the world, visa interviews last roughly 2 minutes. However, we try to give you as much consideration as possible depending upon the volume of applicants that must be interviewed. Interviews typically will range from 2 to 10 minutes in duration depending upon the case.

9. What is the wait period for a visa appointment? What is the time line for after the appointment?

During the high visa season (summer and winter), the waiting period for a visa interview may be as long as one month. If you qualify for the visa at the time of your interview, your visa will be ready within 24 hours. The Consular Section encourages you to apply as soon as possible, but no earlier than 90 days prior to the reporting date noted on your I-20.

10. Can I bring many I-20s to my visa Interview?

Yes, you can bring all of your I-20s to the interview, but you will need to have identified, and paid the USD $100 SEVIS fee, for the academic institution that has accepted you. You must bring the I-20 for the school you plan to attend.

11. I heard that if I wear black for my interview, I wonít get a visa, Is this true?

Absolutely not. You are welcome to wear any color of clothing to the interview.

12. I heard that the lady visa consular officer is really strict. Will my chances decrease if I get her as my interviewer?

No. Every consular officer gives each applicant every consideration consistent with U.S. immigration law. At the time of the interview, the officer must believe that you intend to study, that you are able to maintain full-time student status in the U.S., and that you can afford the school.

13. If I paid my SEVIS fee on one I-20, and now Iíve decided to use another I-20, do I need to somehow transfer my payment? How do I do this?

Yes, you should contact the school you intend to attend and ask them to amend your SEVIS record to reflect the change. Please refer to the following website for the further information:

14. If I am granted a student visa for one college and decide to transfer to a second college while I am in the US, do I need to get my visa renewed? Is there a fee for this?

You do not need a new visa as long as you have a valid I-20 and a valid visa.

15. Are there any colleges that the US Embassy has Ďblacklistedí (i.e. the Embassy will not grant visas to attend these colleges)?

No, the Embassy accepts I-20s and visa applications for all accredited education institutions in the United States. When you apply for a college in the U.S. you should make sure that it is an accredited institution. In case of doubt, please consult the Educational Advising Center at the U.S. Educational Foundation Nepal at Gyaneshwor.

16. Do some Nepali students who are granted a visa have problems or are denied at the point of entry in the US?

The F-1 student visa provides you only with the authorization to ask for admission into the U.S. from the U.S. Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services at the point of entry. Typically, however, Nepali student visa holders are granted admission.

17. Do my chances of a student visa for a college increase or decrease if many Nepali students are already at that college?

No. The number of Nepali students at any particular school has no bearing on your qualifications for a student visa.

18. Is it important to have a scholarship to get a visa?

Scholarships can be very important if your family will have difficulty paying for your education and living expenses in the United States. Many schools provide tuition waivers for all international students while others provide financial aid packages for students with low incomes. The Embassy encourages all prospective students to plan well ahead, apply to schools early and investigate opportunities for financial aid through the school directly. There are no fees for applying for scholarships or financial aid in the United States.

19. Does it make a difference if the school I apply to is a public or private school in terms of getting a student visa?

No, the type of school has no bearing on your qualifications for a student visa.

20. If I have relative in influential positions, will I get a student visa if they speak to you?

No, your application has to stand on its own merits.

21. To cut costs, Iíll be living with my brother and cousin when I get to the US. Will this count against me when applying for a student visa?

We consider all sources of income and support when considering whether you can afford you educational expenses.

22. My siblings have all settled in the US. Will this influence my being granted a student visa?

As a student visa applicant, you must convince the consular officer that you have the ability, intent and means to study in the U.S. The officer also must believe that you have a residence abroad to which you intend to return after finishing your education.

23. Iím from a underprivileged class in Nepal. Will this count for or against me?

Consular officers do not consider an applicantís caste or ethnicity during an interview.

24. If I have disabilities or health problems, will these count against me?

No. Again, if you can convince the officer that you have the ability, intent and means to study in the U.S., you may qualify for the visa

25. Iíve taken and educational loan from a Nepali bank to pay for my education in the US. Will this count against me?

Not necessarily. As long as you can show that you have the means to re-pay the loans without resorting to illegal employment in the U.S. this will not be counted against you.

26. Iíd like to go to the US as a transfer student. Do my chances increase or decrease for a student visa?

Neither. If you have a poor academic record, getting good marks at a local university can help convince the interviewing officer that you have the ability to study in the U.S. Other factors, such as the intent and means to study in the U.S. are also factors and officer considers during an interview.

27. Iíve completed my masterís in Nepal and want to get my second masterís in the US. Will this count against me when applying for a student visa?

No. If you have good reasons for seeking a second masterís degree and can convince the interviewing officer that you have the ability, intent and means to study in the U.S., you will likely qualify for the visa.

28. I havenít taken the TOEFL or the IELTS, or any of the other standardized tests. Will this count against me?

Most academic institutions require the TOEFL, results for admission. Standardized test help demonstrate your ability to study, but are only one of the things an interviewing officer considers. You will not be refused the visa solely on the basis that you have not taken one of the tests.

29. Is the IELTS as recognized as the TOEFL?

All standardized tests are considered when the interviewing officer assesses whether or not an applicant possesses the ability to be a successful student.

30. Can I call the US Embassy if I have a question specific to my case?

We hope that the answers in this FAQ will help answer you questions. Specific questions about your case are best asked at the time of your interview. Please refer to the Embassyís website at http://kathmandu.usembassy.gov.

(source: US embassy, Kathmandu)

US Student Visa FAQs for Indian Students

Other Resources
Ľ Top 10 Course options in USA
Ľ Understanding the US Education System
Ľ US Student Visa FAQs
Ľ US Student Visa FAQs for Indian Students
Ľ Reasons to Study in USA
Ľ Student Travel Arrangement Information
Ľ University Transfer Procedure

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