International Students - Applying for a Visa
Applicants for non-immigrant visas usually apply in person at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.
Information about U.S. consulate policies, procedures, and requirements can may obtained through the U.S. State Department Visa Services web site at www.travel.state.gov
Required forms include:
- Form I-20
- Application form DS-156 and DS-158. Some applicants will also be required to complete and sign Form DS-157. Forms are available at all U.S. consular offices and on the Visa Services web site under Visa Application Forms.
- A passport valid for at least six months
- Two (2) 2 inch x 2 inch photographs in the prescribed format (see the State Dept. web site at http://travel.state.gov/passport/guide/composition/composition_874.html for specifics)
- Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee and any other related visa application fees
Visa applicants should also be prepared to provide the following:
- Proof of admission
- Transcripts and diplomas from previously attended institutions
- Scores from standardized tests required by the institution (TOEFL, SAT)
- Evidence of sufficient funds to meet educational expenses.
Preparing for your Interview
It is good to prepare for your visit to the Embassy or Consulate. Rehearse what you plan to say to the consular officer. Some questions that you might be asked are:
- Why do you want to study in the U.S.?
- Why did you choose Meredith College?
- How will your degree be used in your home country and what are your job prospects?
You are encouraged to review 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa
and the Department of State web site for further advice on applying for a visa. Just remember to remain calm and answer the Visa officer’s questions open and honestly.