With her historic universities, renowned colleges with centuries of history and prestige, the USA is one of the top picks for those wishing to work on their education abroad. If you fall into that category and want to pursue your education in the USA, the first thing you really need to do is learn about getting a student visa and the visa programs that the country has to offer.
While the double mutant strain of COVID-19 has some countries more than a little nervous, the US has been doing a great job in the battle and at this time all universities are planning on in-person learning. This means a lot of people are going to be vying for a student visa and since the smallest mistake can cost you a lot of time, we put together this short guide to help you as much as possible.
Student Visas for the United States
If you are a citizen of virtually any country other than the US yet you wish to attend school there, you’re required to have a student visa. However, it’s nowhere near as hard as launching a satellite into space by hand. In fact, it’s quite easy when you know what’s what and what you need to do.
First off, the US categorizes student visas into two segments: the F and M visas.
The F-1 student visa is the most most popular type of nonimmigrant study visa and generally applies to common education institutions and programs such as:
- Colleges and universities
- High schools
- Private elementary schools
- Language training facilities
- Other academic institutions
The M visa is only used for nonacademic but recognized institutions, including vocational training programs other than language training.
When referencing the student, the F visa and M visa are referred to as F-1 visa and M-1 visa and if there is a spouse or children that will be traveling with the student they will need to apply for an F-2 or M-2 visa. Furthermore, just to get an idea on housing for your family you may want to check out a home finder site and enter the zip code for your preferred school. You can also use these types of sites to find a roommate or someone needing one.
Completing the Application
When filling out your visa application it is extremely important that the information is accurate, matches your passport information, and is completely truthful. Once your application is accepted, you’ll be set for an interview with a consular officer. The process may seem tedious at first, but once you know a few more details you’ll likely find that it’s fairly simple to get through.
Instead of spending your days catching up on Grand Army Season 2, you should be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Why do you want to attend school in the US?
- What are your top 3 choices for school?
- What will your major(s) be?
- Have you been denied an F-1 student visa in the past?
- What type of specialization do you hope to obtain from your education?
- What are your plans after your education program is completed?
These questions help the interviewer learn more about you and the reasons why you wish to move to the US. Be honest, accurate, and know the answers to the above long before your interview and you’ll do just fine. Attending a college or university in the United States could definitely be life-changing and if you keep the above in consideration, you should have a smooth move and start your higher education on the right track.