Frequently Asked Questions USA


USCIS: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It is the official government agency that oversees lawful immigration.

F-1 Visa: The non-immigration visa category for full time academic students

SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

OPT Programme: Optical Pracitcal Training


As an international student you will have many questions as you prepare for admissions through to applying for your visa and travelling to a new country to live.
Below we have listed some frequently asked questions. Answers to many of the questions can change depending on both you academic, financial and personal situation and we would strongly advise you to arrange a visa counselling session with our trained counsellors.

This information will and can change on a frequent basis and although we will do our upmost to keep our webpages fully up to date, you may wish to also visit the immigration website directly.

Can I work part time while studying in the US?
Yes, an international student studying full time at an approved institution is allowed to work 20 hours per week and work full-time in summer vacations.

Who can sponsor me to study in the US?
Your immediate family can sponsor you for example: Father, Mother, Brother, Sister or Spouse. They will have to agree to sponsoring you and you will need to show proof of your relationship to them.

Would I be eligible for Post Study Work visa in the US after my studies?
There are some options for students in the US who already hold an F-1 visa. You will have 60 days to either enroll in another college or university for graduate studies. You may also have the option to enroll in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme to gain employment. With the OPT programme, it could allow you to extend your F-1 visa status for one yearThe OPT program allows you to extend your F-1 student visa status for one year so that you gain relevant professional training in your area of study. The application process is quite lengthy so you would need to allow plenty of time to apply before the end of your graduate.

There may also be options to stay in the US for longer. To do so you would need to have been offered employment by a company who will sponsor you for an H-1b non-immigrant visa.

How much do I need to show in my bank account in order to be granted student visa?
Depending on how you are funding your course, either or your sponsor, if someone else is funding you, have to show you have enough money to fund your U.S. study programme. You would need evidence that you the full amount needed to fund the following expenses:

  • tuition fees
  • living expenses
  • transportation
  • other costs

You will also need to explain how you will fund the rest of your programme, demonstrate projected funding from your trusted sources.

How long does it take to be issued a student visa?
It can vary depending on the time of year and the volume of visa issued at any given time. It can take between 10 to 25 days.

When can I commence my studies in the US?
Class commencement dates depend on the Institutions. Normally there are 2 intakes per year - Fall (September) and and Spring (January). The application process to gain admissions for a US instution can prove lengthy and you are encouraged to apply early.

Would I be required to write an English language proficiency test?
Yes, English Language Test is mandatory, even if you’re previous education is in English.

Can I get scholarships to take care of my tuition fees and living cost?
Yes, scholarships are available and are normally based on your Academic achievements. It is quite common to be considered automatically for scholarship at the time of your application submission. Scholarships are not guaranteed and students are encouraged to secure their funding without relying on external funding.

Can I travel with my family to US?
You may be able to bring your spouse and unmarried children if they intend to live with you during your studies. They may apply for the F-2 visa. Your institution will need to provide them with the required visa documentation and you would need to provide proof of your relationship.

Would I be interviewed by the embassy when I am applying for my visa?
An appointment must be schedule in advance for your visa interview. This would most often take place at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live.
Waiting times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category. You are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible and monitor interview wait time for your location.

Will I be required to pay my complete tuition fees before my visa is issued?
Not always. Some institutions will ask for first semester fees and others may not ask for advanced payment at all. It depends on the institution and you would need to make sure you are comfortable with the payment policies of your institution of choice.

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