Obtaining the F-1 Visa

Obtaining a visa to enter the U.S. to study may be a difficult process. Your objective is to prove that your intention is to come to the US to study within a degree program at the University of Hartford . You must also prove that upon completion of your program, you will return to your country to continue your life with an education that will serve you and your country.

Step One: Use the US Embassy Web page :

Please visit the US Embassy web page for your country prior to making your appointment. You will find valuable information that will guide you through the process of making an appointment and preparing for your interview. http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

Step Two : Pay the SEVIS FEE / If you are offered admission to a degree program at the University of Hartford this amount will be applied to the payment of your tuition by the University. For example if you owe $5000 dollars the University will apply $200.00 against this amount due to cover the cost of the SEVIS FEE. Your total amount due would then be $4800.00.

To Pay By Mail

1. Obtain a Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.”

·         Download the form from www.FMJfee.com
·         Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the US )

2. Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.

3. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only 1 ) in the amount of $100 USD, made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security”

4. Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on Form I-901).

5. A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed within 3 days of processing the fee.  Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents

To Pay Online

1. Find the Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com .

2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information.  *Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.

3. Print a copy of the online receipt.

4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents

Documents to prepare and bring to your visa interview:

(a)  A passport valid for at least six months

(b) Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11 )

(c)  University of Hartford admission letter

(d) Completed visa applications (DS-156, DS-158, and, if applicable, DS-157)

(e)  Two 2”x 2” photographs (full face photographs)

(f)   A receipt for the visa application fee

(g)  A receipt for the SEVIS fee.  If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer.  If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.

h)   Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.

(i)   Any information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S.   This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.

Step Three: Make an appointment

You must enter the interview with the understanding that the Visa Officer you are about to speak with presumes that you are using the F-1 Student visa to gain unlawful entry in the United States . They will also assume that it is your intention to not attend a University but to seek employment.

I. Proving legitimacy as a student

•  You must present a history of your academic career. Complete secondary (high school) and University records (if you are applying for a graduate degree).

•  The appropriate Test results - GMAT, GRE, TOEFL

•  Record of High Achievement

•  Age appropriate for degree - Excessive time between last phase of education and next phase in US interpreted negatively.

II. Adequate Financial Support

•  You must present a history of financial records - Your Guarantor's / Parents financial records must indicate that the money has been available for a period of time. The longer the period of time the better. A week is better than a day. A month is better than a week and so on. Presenting a financial/bank statement that indicates a one-day balance will not serve as adequate proof of financial support.

•  Guarantor's expectation of remaining support - You must also present evidence that your guarantor will be able to finance the remaining years (after the first year) of your education at the University of Hartford . You will need to provide Financial records about your guarantor's: income, company employed by, title, and length of service with this company. Asset information is also helpful. If your parent/sponsor owns property or homes, please document these assets.

III. Proving intent to return to your home country

•  History of travel and return - If you have traveled outside of your country, even for pleasure, have a record of this travel ready and available. Travel to the US is viewed very positively.

•  Ownership of property - If you own property that requires maintenance and oversight, provide documents certifying ownership.

•  Specific University Degree unavailable locally – You may need to prove that the degree that you have been admitted to is unavailable in your home country.

•  Promise of Employment upon completion of your degree - Provide documentation certifying that if you successfully complete your degree you will be offered a position of employment that requires your specialized education and training.

•  Family ties - Prove that your prolonged absence in the US will cause an undue burden on your remaining family members living locally.

•  What to do if you are denied – If you are denied the student visa, please listen carefully to what the visa officer tells you. For example if he says, “I'm not sure of your finances,” then the next time you visit the US Embassy/Consulate, bring new information that documents money available to you for your study in the US. If the Visa Officer says, “I'm sorry, but I'm not convinced you are coming back,” think about your plan again and figure out how to explain it more clearly then reapply.

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