- Student visas are issued by U.S. Embassies and Consulates located outside the United States.
- Information regarding an F1 or M1 visa: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html
- US Embassy near you: https://www.usembassy.gov/
- Visa appointment wait times: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html
- The application process typically includes an interview with a consular official. Most interviews are short (one to two minutes) and are conducted in English, so good preparation is essential. It is important to plan your answers thoroughly in advance and be honest
Essential Points of a Visa Interview
- Have a clear plan. Describe why, where, and what you plan to study in the U.S.
- Show enough funds to cover tuition and living expenses. For detailed expense information, see the tuition & fees..
- Explain your intention to return home. Tie it to your specific situation and avoid generalities.
- If you will take Intensive English first, as listed on your I-20, you can request to be interviewed in your first language.
Sample Interview Questions
- Why do you want to study at Riverland Community College in the United States?
- Do you have any family members or relatives in the United States?
- If you have relatives in the United States, who are they, where do they live and what is their relationship to you?
- What ties do you have in your home country that will draw you home?
- Establish a strong personal motive to return to your country after you complete your course of study.
- Who is funding your educational expenses?
- Show documents proving there is a valid source of funds, and explain clearly how they were obtained and/or will be obtained in the future.
Check for specific requirements in your home country.
Typical documentation includes:
- I-20 issued by Riverland
- Visa and processing fee - paid to U.S. Embassy or Consulate
- Photo, passport-sized
- Valid passport
- Completed visa application form
- High school (and university, if available) transcripts, in English
- TOEFL scores (if available)
- Documents indicating reasons to return to home country after education, if available, such as:
- Job offer or admission to an educational program upon return
- Documentation of research you've done on your intended job in your country like translated job advertisements or quotes from newspaper or trade industry article.
- Statement of future plans. (Take care to demonstrate the relevance of the US course of study to those plans).
- An indication of close personal ties in the home country (parents, spouse, children, fiancé, etc.).
- Local identity card (indicating, if possible, your entire immediate family).
- Financial statement(s): originals to show and photocopies to submit, for example:
- Bank statements
- Certificates of deposit
- Earnings statements
- Proof of sponsorship from a corporation or other entity
Issuance or Denial of Visa
- If you are issued a visa
Congratulations! Contact us to confirm your arrival plans.
- If you are denied a visa
Politely ask the consular official why the application was denied and when you may apply again. Then, contact your advisor at Riverland. If the denial was based on a misunderstanding or poor communication, we may be able to write a letter for your second visa interview. Such a letter of support does not guarantee approval, but may clarify points of possible miscommunication.
If you have questions, please e-mail your international advisor