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US student visas: How to prepare

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June 30, 2006

You want to pursue an undergraduate, graduate, Master's or doctoral programme in the United States of America.

Doing adequate research is a must before you apply for admission as well as the F-1 visa, ie the US student visa.

Aroosha Z Rana, vice consul, US Consulate General, Mumbai, who chatted with Rediff readers on June 29, encourages you to visit various web sites. You will get more general information about studying in the United States as well as the visa application process from these resources.

If you missed the chat, here is the transcript.

Part I:
Tips for US student visa interviews


giri asked, hi,visa officer gave me a blueform saying that he requires my provisional degree certificate and told to use dropbox service. can u tell me in how many days i have to submit the required form . on the back of my blueform it was given that it is valid for year.tell me in my case when i have to subit as i will get my provisional certificate in month of october and tell me whether there is chance of rejection.

Aroosha Z Rana answers, Please contact the embassy or consulate where you were interviewed for particulars about your case.


Shahid Tanveer asked, G.W.Bush on his last visit to India, Promised a US Consulate at Hyderabad, Any idea when will it be funtional ???

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
President Bush is very excited about opening the consulate in Hyderabad. The plans are under way. Also, the US consulate in Mumbai is expanding and relocating to a larger space to accommodate a higher capacity of applicants. Keep a watch on our Web site.

Check
http://mumbai.usconsulate.gov/  


GaneshNadar asked, As the number of applications go up will you increase the number of visas

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
There is no cap on student visas. We issue the majority of cases that we interview.


hari asked, i attended for f-1 in 2001 in chennai with njit i-20..the visa was rejected on the grounds of potential immigrant and may be my english was poor.now i got Mtech(power systems) degree too and 3 year work experience i wish to pursue PHD in automation.. what are the chances this time i get visa

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
It is your decision to apply for a student visa. As I have mentioned before, each application is treated as a fresh one.


jagdish asked, Hi Aroosha, a question on visas, but the H1B visa. I am currently in mumbai, I was working in the US and had to come back as my OPT had expired and I had missed the 2006 H1B quota. What is the procedure to schedule an appointment with the consulate to get my H1B approved, I am assuming I need to wait for the I-797 form, is that correct? My employer has applied and are waiting for approval.

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
Please consult your company's lawyer or www.travel.state.gov or www.ice.gov for all general information pertaining to all visa categories.


Rohan asked, Hello Sir, We are twins and have got thru 3 universities each. We have sufficient funds, but how do we convince the VO? will there be any problem ?

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
Each of you will be granted individual interviews. Like every applicant, you need to show that you both intend to study and you each have sufficient funds for your education.


swayam asked,  hello sir I got TA from university ,\ my university funds shown in my I 20 is 28k$ and showing personal funds 10lak .I'm going Temple univ for MS in Comp sc. what is my chance of getting F1 visa

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
I cannot comment on your specific case. But as I mentioned before, please explain your financial plan including all factors: scholarships, grants, loans, personal funds, family funds, graduate/ teaching assistantships, etc.


Eswar asked, Hello, I have this unique question that I saw on a yahoo dedicated to F1 visa discussions. This man A goes for F1 visa for an MBA. Shows funding for 1.5yrs from his father's accounts and the rest .5yrs from his uncle's accounts. Gets his visa ... now there is a family fued and he hasn't gone to the US till date.. this uncled decidec to withdraw support but does it in a dramatic fashion .. faxes his withdrawal to the Embassy. A can get support from scores of other family members ..what happens to his visa that was already issued ...This is not related to me anyway .. just wanted to get the guy some relief .. Seems he is very tense .. i think this is all the information I have about the case

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
There are many chat groups, educational consultants, immigration lawyers, etc, who give you recommendations, horror stories, etc. You should get your information directly from the US government sources like the US consulate/ embassy, the state department and the US Educational Foundation of India.

The web site:
http://www.fulbright-india.org/  


Avinash asked,  getting a sponsorship from somebody in US will enhance my chances of getting the visa or sap it?

Aroosha Z Rana answers, If your financial plan involves sponsorship by someone other than your parents, then tell the officer that. Nothing should be done just for the interview. There is nothing worse than presenting false information or fake/ doctored documents. Please tell the truth.


karavindsai asked, Hi Aroosha,i have been rejected F1 student visa eventhough i have sufficient funds and I am not a potential immigrant...I have rejected 4 times for the same course and same university.....chemistry ...this happened 2yrs back....now i shifted into compurt field and have undergone masters in computer applications in india....i would like to apply for further education in BIOinofrmatics in USA....is it possible for me to get VISA if i change my field....

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
Sir, if you are applying for a student visa regardless of whether you have been rejected in the past, the same constructs of immigration law apply to you. You can always apply again but be prepared to show that you in fact are going to study in the US and you have sufficient funds. You should be able to describe why you are interested in your particular course of study and why you chose a particular university.


raulk asked, what financial documents needs to be shown fo F1. Is bank passbook is valid.

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
There is no list of documents that need to be shown. Please bring real documents. Fraudulent documents can result in a permanent ban from obtaining a US visa. I encourage you to bring whatever is necessary to show your financial solvency. Be ready to explain your financial plan and back it up with documentation if asked.


nirvana asked, Hi Aroosha, Is provisional degree accepted by the counsulate?

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
We do see provisional degrees. If you bring one, please bring all of your marksheets. If the university has given you a provisional admission that is pending on your final degree certificate, please wait until you receive your final results.


raghav_krishna asked, Good afternooon Aroosha, What you look in student when you are giving VISA.

Aroosha Z Rana answers, 
The officer is looking for an honest student who intends to study in the US, has reasonable funds and economic standing/ financial plan to pay for it and intends to return to India upon completion.


Aroosha Z Rana says, It was very nice chatting with you. I hope this gave you a better understanding about the US visa interview process for student visas. Now, it is time for you to relax, take a deep breath and communicate your intentions to study in the US to the visa officer. I wish you all the best!

Remember, nobody likes to be lied to, so be honest and candid when you are answering the questions. As I said before, there are currently 80,000 Indian students studying in the US. That's the largest number of international students from one country studying in the US. We hope to see this number grow. Good luck!


Aroosha Z Rana says, I encourage you to visit these other web sites for more general information about studying in the United States:

USEFI:
http://www.fulbright-india.org/  

US Embassy:
http://newdelhiusembassy.gov  (all consulate web sites can be accessed through this web site)

Bureau of Consular Affairs: http://travel.state.gov  

VFS: http://www.vfs-usa.co.in  

DHS/ICE: http://www.ice.gov  

SEVIS: http://www.fmjfee.com


Part I: Tips for US student visa interviews




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