Prospective International Students
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Obtaining your student visa may be even more challenging than gaining admission to Methodist University. It is important that you first understand what it takes to get your visa and then properly prepare yourself for your interview with the U.S. Consulate visa officer in your country.
It is imperative that you are prepared to present necessary documents such as:
- form DS-160 confirmation page (non-immigrant visa application)
- acceptance letter from Methodist University
- I-20 issued by the chosen college
- proof of payment of SEVIS fee
- passport-size photographs
- financial statements
- secondary transcripts
- updated passport
It may also help to provide your updated medical record showing that all of your vaccinations are current. There are three points that you should know and understand before you see a visa officer:
- The purpose of the visa interview is to determine if you should qualify to receive an F-1 non-resident student visa. What is an F-1 visa? An-F-1 is a visa for a non-immigrant student who is pursuing a "full course of study" to achieve a specific educational or professional objective and is expected by the United States government to return to his or her residence abroad.
- During your interview, the visa officer is looking to determine the answer to three important questions. If he feels that the answer to any of the three questions is "NO" then he or she will not grant you the visa. The following are the three questions that must be satisfactorily answered during your interview:
- Has the visa applicant met all the admission requirements of the college that he or she wants to attend? These may include: English proficiency, appropriate major or course of study, and an evaluation of the usefulness of the major to better develop your home country for when you return.
- Does the visa applicant and/or his family or sponsors have sufficient money to support the applicant for at least the first year's expenses at the college that he or she wants to attend? The USCIS Form I-20 will show the cost of the college and expected expenses of the student.
- Is the visa applicant likely to, or does he/she have intentions to, return back to his/ her home country after his/her program has been completed? You must show that you have strong ties to your home country and no intention of seeking immigrant status.
- Make sure you have paid the SEVIS non-refundable fee prior to your interview with the U.S. Consulate visa officer. If you failed your first interview, the SEVIS fee is still valid for you to return for another interview so make sure you keep your receipt of payment of the SEVIS fee.
It is impossible to know exactly what questions will be asked of you, but hopefully now you may have some ideas of what to expect during your visa interview. Good luck!
Visa Validity After a Break In Studies
If you have been outside of the U.S. for more than five months and were not registered full time while abroad, your F-1 visa will be considered invalid, even if it has not yet expired. If you are returning to resume study, you must obtain a visa and pay the SEVIS fee ($200 for F-1 students, $180 for J-1 students).
For more information on F-1 visa holders please visit the following websites from the Department of Homeland Security and United States Customs and Immigrations Services:
- USCIS Rules & Regulations on Entry & Re-Entry into the U.S., employment and other information.
- FAQ travel Reentry for F-1 Non-immigrants
- Maintaining Status while you are an F-1 visa student