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Visa for a short course in the US?
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December 14, 2006

Is a course in travel and tourism possible in the US? Or should I look at going to another country?"

"Are visa regulations stricter for students pursuing MBA vis-a-vis those pursuing MS?

US Deputy Counsul General Richard M Sherman answered such queries, and more, in a chat on December 13.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript.

Richard Sherman says, This is Richard Sherman, with the US Embassy. Thanks for inviting me to chat with you today. I welcome your questions.

Ritesh asked, How can a person with limited funds get the Visa, and complete MS?

Richard Sherman answers, US visa law requires that all students studying in the US must be able to pay the full costs of their education. Sources of funding could include parents or family, a loan from a bank in India, or possibly some sort of assistance from the university itself (assistantship, etc) that might cover all or part of the costs. Costs between universities vary greatly, so you would need to visit the websites of universities that you are interested in, to find out their specific costs.

neha asked, what does a R B1/B2 visa status mean, what type of visa is it. can one work on that visa

Richard Sherman answers, The 'R' means that it is a 'regular' visa and B1/ B2 means that you can go to the US for holidays or business meetings, conventions, etc. This visa does NOT permit you to do any work while in the United States.

Bobs asked, Richard sir, i want to ask, how can i apply for a student visa

Richard Sherman answers, To apply for a visa to join a university in the United States, you must have the equivalent of a high school degree. Then you identify schools that you might be interested in attending, visit their websites, determine expenses and determine their admission requirement (for example, SAT or TOEFL results). Once you are selected by a school, the school will send you the form I-20 which you will use to apply for your visa. All applicants for student visas must demonstrate their present intention to return to India at the end of their studies.

sharan asked, Hi Richard, I have an admit for a graduate school with funding ( RA + Professor paying fees). I already had a F1 before and complete my MS and returned to India for work. This time I would like to take my wife along. Due to an oversight I entered a middlename of my wife on DS 156. The I20 also mentions the middle-name , but the passport doesnt. Is there anything I can do to correct the error and how would it affect the process? The funding on I20 is more than the expenses of me and my wife. I guess 15000USD + home documents in India and the fact that I returned to India after my MS should sufficient. Please comment.

Richard Sherman answers, The error you mentioned is not significant. It will be dealt with at the time she comes into the Embassy to apply for her visa.

liza asked, Hi, richard this is liza i want to do travel& tourism coarse in US,and i heard that to do any coarse in US we have to appear for TOEFEL and IELTS exams.

Richard Sherman answers, Studies in the US on a student visa must lead to a full degree -- either an Associate's degree, Bachelor's, or some type of post graduate degree. Short courses, such as travel and tourism, are generally not possible in the US on a student visa, so you may wish to investigate other countries such as Australia that do offer these options.

shankar_apa asked, Hello Richard,I attended H1B visa interview on November 14th.They requested me to email my CV.I emailed on the same day.But till today i havent got any reply,and my passport is with the consulate.I called the consulate but i didnt get proper reply.I emailed the consulate but no response.The interview was held in FRANKFURT.I dont mind how long the proceduew takes but i have my tickets booked for UK(London [Images]) on 24th of this month,and i dont have my passport with me.Could u pls let me know what i have to do.Thanx in advance.

Richard Sherman answers, We do not have any direct access to decisions made at another post, so all I can advise you is to continue trying to contact the consulate in Frankfurt to find out the status of your case.

Sankara asked, Hello Sir, I had an appointment with the US visa consulate today, and i had been rejected. What is the procedure to re-apply for a M1 visa?

Richard Sherman answers, If you have applied for a visa and have been rejected, we do not recommend reapplying unless you have significant new information concerning your intentions to return to India that was not presented at the first interview. Please note that we do not rely on documentation presented at the interview. Instead, the decision is made primarily based on the answers given during the oral interview. So, I encourage you to be honest and specific about why it is important for you to study in the US and what this will mean for your career in India.

Gaurav asked, Pls reply .... Hi Richard, I have a question but not related to student visa. I would be visiting US in Jan/ Feb on a L1 visa. I have a mom I want her to accompany me and I know L2 cannot be used for her. Does applying B2 make sense right now or it makes more sense when I go in US and then invite her. Thx for all ur advise.

Richard Sherman answers, If your mother normally resides in your household and is dependent upon you for her support, you may apply for a tourist visa for her to stay with you in the United States during the term of your L1 visa. If she lives in her own household, then she can apply for a tourist visa to visit you, but would not be able to stay more than a few months at a time.

neha asked, You asked, I have been issued a dependant visa: h4, Can i work part time or work from home on it.

Richard Sherman answers, It is not possible to work on an H4 visa while in the United States. If you have the qualifications for eligibility for an H1 visa, you could explore options to be hired directly by a company. Studying is permitted on an H4 visa, including by the spouse as well as any children.

param asked, My daughter has just completed MS in US and she wants to work permit which is given by US Universities for Training. She has an offer letter from a reputed company and she still has I-20 of the University. She wants to come to India and then go back and join the company which has given her the offer. Will she have any problems while entering back in US after vacation in INDIA. Thanks in advance for your time.

Richard Sherman answers, If the company is sponsoring her under the one-year work/ study programme at the school, then she can return to the US on her student visa to pursue that employment. Once the year is up, however, she would need to be sponsored by an employer for a different kind of visa, such as the H1, should she wish to continue employment in the US.

ronny4in asked, is there is any problem in getting a visa if u ahve a sponsor who is an american citizen

Richard Sherman answers, The source of sponsorship is irrelevant in any decision on whether someone qualifies for a visa. What is important is not who might be in the United States, but whether you can demonstrate your intention to return to India after a visit to the US.

sri asked, sir any universities in us are blacklisted i mean has less issuance of visas as such

Richard Sherman answers, There are no blacklisted schools in the US. We look at the intentions of the applicant and whether the proposed course of study makes sense in terms of their returning to India after the studies are over.

vini asked, Hi Richard, would there be any visa rejection if I show education loan as part of amount for total financial expenditures? I would also like to know if my father can be a sponsorer , since he's retired.

Richard Sherman answers, Education loans are a perfectly acceptable way to finance part of your education. Similarly, your father can assist in sponsoring you if he has assets available to him, regardless of whether he is retired or not.

jay asked, i have heard that visa regulations are more stricter for students pursuing MBA than MS. Could you comment on this ?

Richard Sherman answers, No, we do not differentiate between types of degrees. We look at the individual applicant and whether what they propose to study makes sense for returning to India.

savitha asked, Hello sir, i am completing my Ph.D and i wish to apply for post doctorate fellowship in US. Tell me the procedure for applying. Do i need TOEFEL or GRE?

Richard Sherman answers, Each university in the US sets its own standards for admission. So, you would need to visit websites of schools that offer degrees in your field of interest and find out what their requirements are.

bharati asked, whether the students need any special visa to do part time job in US while stydying?

Richard Sherman answers, Many schools offer opportunities for students to work part-time on campus during their studies and this requires no special visa. It would not be possible to take employment somewhere off campus, except as part of an approved work/ study programme following graduation.

farid asked, Is the visa application formality same for NRIs as well?

Richard Sherman answers, The visa process is the same for all applicants regardless of whether you are permanently residing in India, a third country national, or here as an NRI.

jitender asked, The H1B cap was supposed to be raised to 1,35,000. Can you please give some update on that?

Richard Sherman answers, There was a proposal before Congress this year to raise the cap to 135,000. However, that bill was not passed before Congress adjourned for the year. That means a new bill will need to be introduced in the next session of Congress and I am not able to speculate, at this time, as to the likelihood of its being approved.

Vikram asked, Hi Richard, Hope you are enjoying your stay in India! I had a question regarding applying for a F-1 visa (for the Phd. program) but since I have been to USA on J-1 visa (for the exchange program), do you think I will have any problems in getting the F-1 visa?

Richard Sherman answers, If you have already qualified for a J1 visa and your course of study for the PhD makes sense relative to your previous studies, it is unlikely that you would encounter any difficulties.

jaibir asked, I am research scholar from IIT Madras .I want visa for attending the conference.I want to know which visa I have to apply.
Richard Sherman answers, The B1/ B2 (business/ tourist) visa is the correct one for someone who wants to attend a conference or business meeting in the US.

Netra asked, I am currently holding a L1B visa with my current employer and is valid till Nov 20007. Let say If I apply for H1B visa through another employer in the next cycle i.e. Apr 2007, will my current L1B visa be cancelled at the time of applying for H1B?

Richard Sherman answers, Yes, your L1 would be cancelled since you can only be employed by one employer at a time.

ahmedwow asked, HI Richard, I was into Administrative processing 221g. After 120days of processing I got an e-mail that my administrative processing has been completed and was asked to submit my Passport,I-20,DS-Forms and hard copy of the e-mail i got from i did that on same day itself but have'nt got my Passport yet. Is almost 1 month now. Could you pls tell me how could i resolve this issue?

Richard Sherman answers, You should sent an email to providing your full name and passport number so that we can look up your case and see what the problem might be.

nin_mj asked, i would like to visit my comapnies office in US .i applied for B1 visa with the invitation from my US office.I had my interview at chennai consulate but my visa was rejected saying that i was not eligible under 214(b).I would like to know the reason why it was rejected and also was B1 visa not the correct visa i would have applied for.

Richard Sherman answers, Section 214(b) of US Immigration Law means that you did not convince the officer in Chennai that you intended to return to India after your visit to the US. If you believe that you have significant information that was not brought out at the first interview, you should re-apply in Chennai to have your case reconsidered.

Richard Sherman says, Thanks very much for the opportunity to chat with you. We will continue these chats on a bi-weekly basis to answer your questions about the visa process. Please visit our Embassy website or the website of our service provider VFS.


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