The Delicate Dance of Student Visas

Earning any type of legal residency in the United States can be an exciting day for an individual. However, for many foreign students with dreams of studying at a U.S. university, the process of applying for the right to a U.S. student visa can be a challenging one.

However, there are many resources available that can help make the process more smooth for some of the youngest visa-hopefuls.

For one, students who are applying for U.S. visas to study will want to imagine how their applications look to immigration officers that they send their application to. According to a blog post from Consular Officer Monica Shie for the U.S. Department of State, students who do not clearly state their reasons and intentions for studying in the United States are likely to not get a visa.

“You should be prepared to talk about why you chose the university that you plan to attend, and you should be able to explain how you will pay for your studies. It should be easy for us to believe that you will finish the degree at the institution you have selected, and we must be convinced that full-time study is the primary purpose of your travel,” Shie wrote.

Financing should be a primary concern for all student visa hopefuls. Due to large increases in demand, the U.S. Department of State will be raising its fees for immigrant visas on April 13. While fee increases will be small – most are between $20 to $40 – they show that visas are becoming increasingly competitive, so foreign students must put in the extra effort to prove their desire to study in the United States. Most unpaid internships that are undertaken within the United States do not allow students to apply for Q-1 visas, either, so foreign students must work extra hard to secure paid internships and jobs to be eligible for a Q-1 visa.