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Step 3 - Applying For a Visa
After RTS Jackson sends you the I-20 form, you can apply for your student VISA. The F-1 (Full-time student) VISA is granted to a student whose sole purpose is to pursue full-time education in the US and who intends to return to his/her home country after the completion of studies.
“To apply for a student or exchange visitor visa, all applicants must make an appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. All applicants for a student visa must provide the following documentation:
- The eligibility form issued by your school (I-20);
- The SEVIS fee receipt. All international students must be registered in the SEVIS system, which maintains current information on students and exchange visitors. Your school is responsible for registering you in the SEVIS system and issuing your individual SEVIS number. After the school issues the SEVIS number, each student must pay the applicable SEVIS fee online at www.fmjfee.com.
- A passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the US;
- A 5x5cm photograph taken within the last 6 months;
- The visa application fee
Additionally, all applicants should be prepared to provide during the interview:
• Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended and other evidence of your qualifications, such as standardized test scores (such as TOEFL);
• Financial evidence that shows you or your sponsor (usually your parents or an institution that has offered you a scholarship) have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study. For example: your family’s most recent IRS form, bank statements, or a letter confirming your scholarship.” [These are the documents that you already sent to RTS in order to receive the I-20]
You should be completely prepared for the interview. It is your responsibility to prove that your intentions are legitimate. “Applicants applying for a non-immigrant visa to the US must overcome the presumption that they are intending immigrants. (…) To this end, they have to demonstrate that they possess strong and sufficient ties to their residence outside the US that compels their return. Applicants do so by providing evidence of their familial, economic, and social ties to their residence at the time of interview. The burden of proof rests with the applicant. Applicants who are unable to overcome this presumption are refused under Section 214(b) of the INA.”