Visa Process Resources and Past Student Questions
Visa Process Timeline
- Step 1: Receive I-20 & SEVIS number
- Step 2: Submit DS-160 Form
- Step 3: Pay the Visa Application Fee (MRV)
- Step 4: Schedule Visa Application Centre Appointment and Visa Interview Appointment
- Step 5: Pay SEVIS I-901 fee – https://fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html
- Step 6: Go to Visa Application Centre Appointment
- Step 7: Go to Visa Interview Appointment
Below are a list of questions we’ve received from students during their application process in the past with detailed responses on how to best handle them:
I have entered the school address as my Address of Stay on the application. Is this acceptable? Even if I might not be living in a dorm?
I am unsure about the Visa application specifically, but in SEVIS’s system, you’d want to have an address you can receive mail at (See below).
“Remember, if your physical address and mailing address in the United States are different, your DSO must have both. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will use the mailing address on file in SEVIS to contact you via U.S. postal service for official government business.” https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2016/03/students-ensure-your-address-correct-sevis
I imagine there is similar reasoning for having the most accurate address on the visa application as well.
If a school address is put, it should be acceptable to put a school address (ideally a specific dorm address) if you know that’s where you are going to be living and receiving mail.
It’s best to put the most accurate stay address on the application if you know it. There are processes in place, however, if you need to report a change in address in the SEVIS system later on.
“Federal regulations require that you report a change of address to a DSO to maintain your student status.
One important piece of information that must be kept up to date in SEVIS is your address. If you move to a new residence and your address changes, you must report this to your DSO within 10 days of the change. You may communicate this revision to your DSO in person, by phone or via email.” https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2016/03/students-ensure-your-address-correct-sevis
I listed a member of the Nomad Credit Admissions team as a Contact Person in the US. Is this acceptable?
An admissions team member should be fine to be listed as a contact person in the U.S. as long as they can verify the student’s identity.
“Your U.S. Point of Contact can be any individual in the U.S. who knows you and can verify, if necessary, your identity.” https://www.immihelp.com/us-visa-ds-160-form-us-point-of-contact-information/
My passport expires in May 2021. I had checked with the US visa help desk and they mentioned that India is exempt from the 6 month validity requirement. I did not want to get the passport renewed at this stage as it would then require issuance of an updated I-20 form with new passport numbers, which might lead to delays. What’s the best course of action for me?
It appears as long as the Visa is valid at the time of application (i.e. not expired) and the 6 month validity requirement is waived, which it is in this case, the student should be able to apply without problem as long as all other requirements are met.
“Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.” https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html#:~:text=Passport%20valid%20for%20travel%20to,members%20listed%20in%20your%20passport.
At the end of the application, it asks if anyone assisted you in filling the form. Should I fill out yes or no?
I believe you’re required to answer “Yes” if the person does the application for the student and then gives it to the student to submit.
I do not believe it’s required if the student is just receiving advice on how to fill out the application.
Once again, this the case for the DS-160, could not find specific info for the Visa app.
“If this application was prepared by another person on your behalf, answer “Yes:, and ask that person to fill the next question.” https://www.immihelp.com/us-visa-ds-160-form-upload-photo-preparer-application/
Regarding the appointment fee, if I pay the fee and am unable to go this year (i.e. defer because consulates do not open in time for me to get Visa), would I be able to transfer the same fee to some other application? I believe I will have to create a new DS-160 next year because there might be additional employment details and plan of travel will be different. In that scenario wouldn’t it be better to wait till there is some news about consulates opening?
It might be better for this student to wait as visa fees are not refundable.The student may be able to get answers to their specific question by emailing email@example.com.
“Visa Fees are not refundable.” https://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visafeeinfo.asp
Do I need 2 year’s funding to show at the interview?
The only legal requirement is to have the proof of funds for the I-20, which is just the first year.
Our company advice to students will be the following:
- Must show proof of first year of expenses at the interview in form of bank statements, loan letters, etc.
- Should strive to show proof for 2nd year of expenses but it is not a requirement if they are unable to do so.
- Student should have a confident true plan for how they are going to pay for their entire school, and tell the officer that plan if asked about it.
Our insight into the process through our embassy contact is that officers are looking for students who are confident, honest, and do not appear to have been “repeating a script or memorization.”
In sum, we need to instruct the students to be honest about their financial plans (and have one) for how they will pay for the whole program, with proof of funds for at the least the first year. We should not put undue stress on the student if they are unable to provide proof of funds for the whole program, although we will encourage them to show it if they can.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful during your visa process:
- Shipping I-20: https://study.eshipglobal.com/
- Overall Visa Application Process and Instructions: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-typefandm.asp
- DS-160 Form Instructions: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information- resources/forms/ds-160-online-nonimmigrant-visa-application.html
- Paying Visa Fee: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-paymentinfo.asp
- Schedule Visa Application Center and visa interview: https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/? language=English&country=India
Paying SEVIS I-901 fee: https://fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html