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What do you need when applying for an undergraduate student visa in the United States?

The United States has always been a country with a large number of Chinese student applicants. However, with the recent changes in the relationship between China and the United States and the impact of the epidemic, many students are worried about whether their student visas will be successfully approved. Today, we will introduce the precautions when applying for an undergraduate student visa in the United States. Let’s take a look!

1. A valid passport must be submitted when applying

If your passport will expire within six months of your estimated date of arrival in the United States,  is damaged, or there is no blank visa issuance page in your passport, you must first apply for a new passport. When doing so, you must bring previous visas and expired passports with you to your new passport application.

2. DS-160 form submission and confirmation

All non-immigrant visa applicants must fill out the DS-160 form online. The DS-160 form is in English, but most columns will have a Chinese translation. Please indicate your Chinese name, telegram code, and Chinese home address on it. Then, print the form confirmation page vertically on A4 paper. You must bring a physical copy of the DS-160 confirmation page with you during the interview.

3. Photos that meet the requirements

The photo requirements are a 2-inch x 2-inch (51 mm x 51 mm) square frontal photograph with a white background taken within 6 months of the visa application.

4. The original receipt of visa application fee

You can pay a visa application fee of 160 US dollars at any branch of China CITIC Bank, which is equivalent to RMB 1,008. Paste the receipt on the bottom half of the confirmation page with glue or tape.

5. Completed student and exchange visitor information system (SEVIS) form

The completed I-20A-B form (issued to F1 students) or I-20M-N form (issued to M-1 students) must be signed by the school designated official (DSO) and the applicant. The name on the form must be exactly the same as the name on the passport, and this name must be entered into the SEVIS system by an academic institution in the United States.

6. SEVIS fee receipt

Most applicants for J, F and M visas must now pay for the maintenance of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). When you go to the interview, you must bring the electronic receipt or the original I-797 receipt.

7. Proof of solid binding force in China

Present economic, social, family, or other binding documents to help you prove your willingness to return to China after a short stay in the United States.

8. Proof of Funds

Prove that you are able to pay for the entire period of stay in the United States without working. The source of funds must be explained clearly and in general, having proof of more funding is advantageous.

Misunderstandings in U.S. Undergraduate Student Visa Application

1. The success rate of visa approval is related to scholarships and offers from prestigious schools

Whether to attend a prestigious school, the availability of scholarships and the number of scholarships may be deciding factors for students in obtaining a visa. Some students believe that admission to a prestigious school and scholarships guarantee obtaining a visa to the United States.

Although the ranking of the school may give the visa officer an intuitive impression, it absolutely does not affect the decision of whether to issue a visa. As for scholarships, they are not necessary for a visa. Even without scholarship support, as long as sufficient funds for studying abroad and a reasonable source of income can be provided, obtaining a US visa is generally not a problem.

2. Students with poor backgrounds have less opportunities

Often, students who graduated from lesser known colleges, or whose grades are not particularly good believe that they will not be recognized by visa officers. They mistakenly believe visa officers will give more points to students with very high TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT scores, graduates from prestigious schools, and students with long-term work experience.

While these factors may be the reference standards for university admission offices, they are not a concern to the visa officer. As long as a student presents a clear design of their study plan abroad, they can still obtain a U.S. visa.

3. You do not have a second chance if the visa is refused once

Many students are not fully prepared for the first time and become worried or depressed following a visa rejection. Students will often seek help after being rejected by the embassy

Students should not be as concerned about visa rejections as there are solutions. First, students should analyze the reason for the refusal, and supplement the relevant materials or response content when reapplying for a U.S. visa. The avoidance principle of the U.S. visa will ensure that the second visa application will be reviewed by a different official, to minimize bias.

Songzi Li/Managing Editor

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