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Student Visa Information

Upon admission to Butler, the student will receive an official letter of admission and Form I-20. To apply for an F-1 visa, the Form I-20 should be presented to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy, along with the passport, current photograph, and proof of adequate financial support to pay all of the expenses for at least the first year of study in the U.S. Students must pay the $200 SEVIS fee & get a receipt for the payment before going to the embassy.

A requirement of the F-1 student visa is that the student be enrolled in a full course of study during the academic year. A student is also required to attend the school whose Form I-20 was used for entry into the U.S. unless the school has given permission for transfer.

Tips for a Successful Interview
When Applying for a Student Visa

(prepared by the International Student Advisors at Butler Community College)

  • Bring receipt proving payment of SEVIS fee to your Visa Interview.
  • Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English. Practice English conversation, preferably with a native speaker, before you go.
  • Expect a quick and efficient interview. Consular officers are under a considerable amount of time pressure and they must make decisions, for the most part, on those impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. It is very difficult to overcome a negative impression and convince the consular officer to change his or her mind.
  • Keep your answers short and to the point. Listen carefully and make sure you understand the question; if you are not absolutely sure you heard the question correctly, politely ask the officer to please repeat it.
  • Organize your supporting documentation so that it can be presented logically without hesitation.
  • Do not take papers with you unless you are willing to show them to the officer. If you are asked to show papers you may be carrying with you and you refuse, most likely your visa will be denied.
  • Do not take parents or older brothers or sisters with you to the interview. The officer wants to interview you, not your family. Other relatives will be asked to remain seated. It creates a negative impression if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Do not argue with the consular officer. If you are denied a student visa, be sure to ask the officer for a written list of those documents he/she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal. More importantly, get the reason you were denied, in writing, and the officer's name.
  • Do not indicate that you intend to work in the US, even temporarily, after completing your studies. Many students do work off campus during their studies, but your main purpose for being in the US is to complete your education.
  • Be prepared to discuss what you expect to get out of your education. Look for an opportunity to volunteer (without being asked) how you will use your education upon return to your country.
  • At all times, be friendly, courteous, and appear confident that you will receive the visa.
  • Try to impress the consular with the academic success you have enjoyed thus far. If you achieved an especially high honor in completing secondary school, or in earning your first university degree, don't hesitate to mention it during the interview.
  • If you have any family member who has completed higher education in the US and has returned to your country, mention it. It will greatly strengthen your own application if you have a brother or sister who has returned and is successfully pursuing a career in your home country.
  • Be aware that F-2 dependents CANNOT, under any circumstances, be employed in the US. If your spouse will be accompanying you, be prepared to address what he/she intends to do with his/her time while in the US Attending school part time is permitted. Doing volunteer work is also permitted, but be careful the consular officer does not construe this as a stepping stone to unauthorized employment.
  • Be prepared to discuss social ties you intend to maintain in your own country. If given the opportunity, you may want to discuss professional interests, associations, memberships, etc. , which tie you to your home country.
  • Be prepared to address a mandatory military service obligation if your country has one. You should be prepared to explain how you intend to fully comply with your own country's laws concerning military service.
  • If you are married, especially with children, and your family is remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This is especially important if you are the primary provider for your family. If the consular gains the impression that your family will need you to send money from the US, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied.