Q1. Is earning while learning a reality ?
Ans : Yes, it is a reality. Most countries realize that international students have financial constraints and allow them to work for a minimum of 20 hours a week, which is enough to pay for students living expenses and sometimes enable him to save a part of the income also. Added to this is the benefit of tuition fee waivers / fellowships / assistantships which also reduces ones financial commitments.
Q2. How early should one start the application process ?
Ans : The first step towards starting the application process is to identify which semester you want to go for. You should start preparing for your pre-requisite test at least 15 - 18 months before the scheduled intake and it’s also advisable to apply 10-12 months ahead of the semester date.
Q3. If I am Granted a Visa, Does it Guarantee entry into the USA ?
Ans : No. The Directorate of Border and Transportation security has the authority to deny admission to you at the port of entry, if he decides so. Also the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security officials initially determines the period for which you are authorized to remain in the US. The Form 1-94 issued to you at the port of entry notes the length of stay permitted.
Q4. What does refusal under Sec 221(g) indicate ?
Ans : A refusal for student visa under this category, commonly means that the student did not provide sufficient documents to convince the visa officer or that certain procedure will have to be completed before the consulate officer can take the final decision.
Q5. What does refusal under Sec 214(b) indiacte ?
Ans : If ones application for student visa is refused under the above clause, then it could mean that the student was not able to convince the consulate officer on the following: That the student intends to return home after the completion of the program That the student has sufficient funds to meet his expenses and/or the travel is for legitimate purposes.
Q6. Can I File my Visa Application with any Consulate in India ?
Ans : No, for student visa you must either be a permanent resident of the area governed by the consulate where you are applying or should have been a resident of that area at least for the past one year. Currently, the US embassy allows residents of certain consulate offices to apply at other designated consulates/embassy, if getting an appointment in the respective territory is a problem. However one is advised to cross verify on the same, as the rules are subject to change.
Q7. Does my Program of Choice affects my Visa Prospects ?
Ans: The program you have opted for should be in accordance with what you have studied and also enhance your career prospects here. You may have to be prepared to convince them, as to how will this program benefit you & the career prospects here. Certain programs are under the alert list warranting a background check. Hence if you have not applied well ahead, your visa application may not be cleared by the time your semester starts.
Q8. If my Academic Records/Test Scores are Bad, Will my Visa Application be Refused ?
Ans : Although the academic records and test scores do play an important role in the visa process, the officer at the consulate may still look at your application holistically and may review your profile, due to which you may be granted the visa.
Q9. Does Academic Performance and Test Scores Matters ?
Ans : Yes. As the consular officer is going to evaluate your potential for further studies, through your academic background, it may influence the officer’s decision to a large extent. Likewise the test scores are also viewed Quite seriously as they are supposed to demonstrate your ability to successfully pursue higher studies.
Q10. Is it alright, if a Company Sponsors me ?
Ans : Yes. A Company can rightfully sponsor you for further studies provided it is permitted to do so by its Memorandum or Articles of association. Such sponsorship is deemed to be meaningful, only if one has gained enough work experience. The company on its part will have to provide documents about its financials and the reason behind sponsoring the student.
Q11. Can my Relative, Friend or a Close Associate Sponsor me ?
Ans : Parents being the natural sponsors, it is generally advised that they should sponsor you. However if any of the above is sponsoring, you may have to provide strong evidences in favor of them.
Q12. Who all can be my Sponsors ?
Ans : Generally parents are considered to be the natural sponsors of a student. Grandparents being part and parcel of the Indian family system can also sponsor a student. If one has enough work experience, then the company who has employed the applicant can also sponsor.
Q13. Are Bank Loans Accepted ?
Ans : Yes, Bank loans are accepted as sources of funds for your study abroad purposes. However, the same to be in accordance to the annual income of the sponsor.
Q14. What sort of Financial Support is Expected ?
Ans If and only if need be, the consular officer may call for evidences supporting your a)Ability to meet the expenses (Bank Loan sanction letter, Bank savings either SB or FD balances proof and other cash assets), b)Proof that additional funds are available to the family, c)Proof of annual income and /or d)Other documents as the consular officer may deem fit.