Alexandria Student Visa Lawyer

Studying abroad in the United States is a great opportunity. Students get to experience life in another country and have access to some of the best institutions that the U.S. has to offer. However, studying in the United States is impossible to do without a student visa. Student visas allow people to live and study in the U.S. for a set period of time. If you are interested in applying for a student visa, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced immigration attorney. Speak with an Alexandria student visa lawyer today, and know that you are in capable hands.

Entities Involved in Getting a Student Visa

The entities involved in obtaining a student visa are the student and exchange visitor program, the SEVP, the US Department of State, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which facilitates the exchange of Fulbright, Humphrey, English language programs, the US Embassy abroad, the US Department of Homeland Security who runs the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if applying for change of status for a student visa, and the US Department of Education.

Process of Obtaining a Student Visa

There are many steps to obtaining a student visa. The first step is to determine what institutions have been approved by the US Department of Homeland Security as compliant with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Program. Once an individual has found a program, they must apply to it, at least six months before the intended start date and, they also have to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee.

Then the person will be issued Form I-20, which will be presented to the consular officer at the visa interview as evidence of enrollment. Then an individual must pay the Department of State DS-160 Non-immigrant Visa Application fee, complete the Department of State DS-160 Non-immigrant Visa Application, and schedule an interview at the US Embassy or consulate abroad.

They also must present evidence of past academic preparation such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates, and test scores,  present evidence of intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study, show that they can afford to live and study abroad and follow all requirements to maintain F-1 status.There is no need to know how to speak English to obtain a student visa. In fact, there are institutions that issue I-20s that are for learning how to speak English as a second language. While this might seem overwhelming, an Alexandria student visa attorney could guide a person through this process.

Common Mistakes in the Student Visa Process

The common mistakes people make in the student visa process are:

  • Not applying for the approved school early enough to start on the intended start date
  • Not submitting sufficient evidence of ability to pay for the course of study
  • Applying for a change of status from non-immigrant to a student visa too late, thereby ensuring that the change of status may not be approved
  • Failing to maintain their F-1 status by not maintaining the required course load
  • Violating F-1 status by working without authorization

What Makes Student Visa Cases Interesting?

Student visas can be challenging because they require the cooperation of the intended institution. That is something that is completely out of the hands of the attorney. An Alexandria student visa lawyer can provide guidance on what institutions are accredited but can only begin working on facilitating the student visa process once the I-20 has been issued by the institution. It can also be challenging to accurately predict when a request for a change of status will be granted by USCIS if the applicant is present in the US on another non-immigrant status.

How an Alexandria Student Visa Attorney Could Help

An Alexandria student visa lawyer could help by providing a checklist and reviewing the supporting documents of the DS-160, assisting with the preparation and submission of the DS-160, preparing the clients for the visa interview, and advising on what kinds of activities are permitted when the applicant is an admitted student, as well as providing options after completion of a program. If you want to begin the student visa application process, work with an experienced attorney that could advocate for you.