Applying to the American Visa
AMERICAN VISA APPLICATION STEPS
Now that you have received your I20, it is important to get ready for application to the American visa. You need SEVIS I-901 before you can go to your appointment at the American Embassy. Thus, the first step is to PAY the SEVIS I-901 fee AT LEAST THREE DAYS BEFORE making the appointment for the visa interview. The fee is currently $200 for F-1 students. Complete Form I-901 at the SEVIS website:https://www.fmjfee.com/
- Complete the DS-160 Visa Application
- Each consulate has different application procedures, so it is important that you follow the instructions given by the U.S. consulate in the city where you will apply for the visa. Find U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions.
- You will need the DS-160 bar code number, visa application fee, passport number, the SEVIS number to make an appointment. Check with your embassy for other requirements and have those documents ready, before making an appointment.
On the day of the appointment, make sure you arrive early. Go to the visa appointment with your DS-160 bar code receipt, the visa application--MRV receipt, the SEVIS fee receipt, the original I-20, passport, financial documents, letter of admission to the program, photos, and any other information the U.S. consulate website indicates.
Make sure you have Texas A&M University-Texarkana contact names and addresses:
Your address in the United States will be:
Bringle Lake Campus
7101 University Avenue
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
Texarkana, Texas 75503
The university contact information is:
Carl Greig, Student Services
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
Texarkana, Texas 75503
VISA INTERVIEW TIPS
When you apply for an F-1 visa at an American embassy or consulate, a consular official will interview you. The interview usually lasts only two or three minutes. It is good to understand that the main purpose of the visa interview is for you to "prove" to the consular officials that you WILL RETURN to your home country after finishing your academic program. Consular officers may look at the applicants’ specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence. You can reassure the consular officials by talking about the things that tie you to your home: family, property, employment.
Here are some specific suggestions to help you prepare for your visa interview:
1) TIES TO HOME COUNTRY
Under US law, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are NOT. You must therefore be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the United States. "Ties" to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence (i.e., job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc).
- You need to show “specific intentions or promise” of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-long range plans, and career prospects in your home country. Have good (plausible) future plans in your own country, like a job offer, continuing your studies. Write those down for the interview.
3) KNOW THE PROGRAM AND HOW IT FITS YOUR CAREER PLANS
If you are not able to articulate the reasons you will study in a particular program in the United States, you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study, rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how studying in the United States relates to your future professional career in your home country.
- You need to know and show what you will do with your degree from a U.S. institution when you return home.
- If you are coming to the United States solely to study intensive English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country and show what you will do with your better English after your return home: go to school, work, get a better job.
4) SPEAK FOR YOURSELF
Do not bring parents or family members with you to your interview. The consular officer wants to interview you, not your family. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf. Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview.
5) BE CONCISE
Because of the volume of applications that are received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point.
Keep in mind that you will not intend to work and that you will not accept employment while in the United States. Your main purpose of coming to the United States should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program. If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer gains the impression that your family members will need you to remit money from the United States in order to support themselves, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied.
7) MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.
8) LEARN ABOUT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - Texarkana
If you don't know very much about your chosen school, the consular official will often refuse to give you a visa. Consular officials may think that you are not really planning to go to school but are simply trying to enter the U.S. to work. LEARN MORE ABOUT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY- TEXARKANA by visiting our website www.tamut.edu. Learn where the university is located, the life in the surrounding areas. You should write a "statement of purpose" explaining why you want to go to this particular school and what you hope to do with the knowledge later on IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY.
This list has been adapted to fit A&M-Texarkana international student population.
WES also has this video on FAQ during the interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maSCbA3AMBA