The United States is located on the North America Continent and is the Fourth largest country in the world. English is the national language. Other languages include a sizable Spanish-speaking minority as well as other various ethnic minority languages. America is a melting pot of people from all over the world. One will find most Americans to be very hospitable, friendly, kind, generous and accepting of foreigners. The people are funny, gregarious, innovative, and eager to learn. These are traits that many international students adopt and take home with them.
The United States calls itself “a nation of immigrants.” Immigrants (from Europe) founded this country and have been coming in large numbers (from all over the world) ever since. Therefore, you will find that all ethnicities and nationalities are represented, although not to the same extent in every city. The country is vast (over 9 million square kilometers) and populous (over 331 million people). In the US, you can encounter and experience almost any climate, landscape, lifestyle, and culture imaginable. By selecting the right location, you will be able to find a living experience that is perfect for you.
Even though there is so much variety in America, there is still an “American culture” that may be quite different from your own. While much of American culture is exported through television, film, and consumer products, there are some aspects that you do not encounter until you live in the US.
When one considers going abroad for study, the United States is considered as ‘Hot Education Destination’. The USA offers international students the most exciting, rewarding and comprehensive array of study options in the world. In fact, International students in the USA contribute more than $40 billion to the American economy The USA education system provides top-notch resources and quality education for a variety of programs that students, educators and professionals can pursue for that extra edge. The country has the highest number of educational institutions providing higher education than any other country. There are more than 4000 colleges and universities imparting degree programs. The size of U.S. higher educational institutions varies greatly, too, from colleges that enroll fewer than 1,000 students to large universities that enroll more than 50,000 students.
Anyone can opt and earn degrees or certificates from US institutions. The International students mainly choose to study in the US at two stages-
After completion of 12 years of schooling or equivalent to earn undergraduate degree; and
After completion of 16 years of education or equivalent (i.e. college education) to earn a postgraduate degree.
Undergraduate Degree: A bachelor’s degree is the traditional degree given by American colleges and universities. It normally requires at least four years but not more than five years of full-time college-level course work.
Postgraduate Degree: The master’s degree is a graduate school degree that typically requires two years of full-time course work to complete. Students in a master’s degree program will complete course that are highly focused in their field of study (their major).
International students who are maintaining a full time course of study can work on campus part time (max. 20 hrs per week) during the academic year and full time during the summer months and any periods when school is not in session. On-campus employment assumes that the work will not interfere with your studies and that you are maintaining good academic standing. No special permission or document is needed to give you permission to work on campus.
There are mainly two types of student visas:
F-1 (Student Visa): The F-1 visa is for full-time students enrolled in an academic or language program. F-1 students may stay in the US for the full length of their academic program plus 60 days. F-1 students must maintain a full-time course load and complete their studies by the expiration date listed on the I-20 form.
J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa): The J-1 visa is issued for students needing practical training that is not available in their home country to complete their academic program. The training must be directly related to the academic program. The J-1 visa obligates the student to return to their home country for a minimum of two years after the end of their studies in the US before being eligible to apply for an immigrant (permanent residence) visa. The rules and regulations governing the entrance of all international students into the United States are complicated and should be properly looked into before applying for a visa.
When to Apply:
An applicant may apply for a student visa not earlier than 90 days before the registration date specified on the FORM I-20. If the registration date has already passed or the applicant cannot reasonably expect to arrive at the school by the registration date, the applicant should obtain an amended I-20 or a letter of extension from the issuing institution stating by what date the applicant may arrive. After that, the completed application forms along with the documents are submitted and visa appointment can be booked. In most cases, after attending an interview, the visa will be issued within a few hours or days of the submission of the application. In some instances, the process may take longer depending on the time of year, consular caseload or other factors.
Principle Requirements for a student visa:
Acceptance by University/College: Acceptance of the applicant by an institution of learning for a full course of study is essential. Evidence in support of this requirement consists of a Form I-20 (Certification of Eligibility) filled out by the accepting school, and signed by the applicant and presented with the visa application.
Knowledge of English Language: Evidence that the applicant has sufficient scholastic preparation and knowledge of the English language, if required by the school to undertake a full course of study in the accepting institution is required. Proof of the required scholastic preparation is usually established by the I-20 from the institution involved and the entries on the form. To establish their knowledge of English, applicants are encouraged to take either the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL) or the “International English Language Testing System” (IELTS).
Proof of Financial Resources: This involves proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to cover the total cost of education and stay in the U.S. This implies evidence of readily available funds to meet all expenses for the first year and of the availability of funds for the following years from reliable financial resources. To satisfy this requirement, applicants may show that funds are available from the educational institution, from their personal resources or from sponsors, (normally a very close relative) who have agreed to pay for their education. If the support is from the educational institution, in the form of a scholarship, assistantship, on-campus employment, etc, it is usually noted on the I-20. If the support is from Nepal, the applicant must produce bankbooks and statements or other documents showing a total amount in rupees equal to the dollar cost of the first year, and evidence regarding sources of funds for subsequent years. If the student is not paying his own expenses, an affidavit of support executed by the sponsor and sworn before a first class magistrate (in Nepal) must also be presented, along with financial evidence indicating the ability to carry out the undertaking. If the support is from outside Nepal, the sponsor must provide a letter from his/her bank indicating that the sponsor has sufficient funds to cover the costs involved, together with a current notarized Affidavit of support stating willingness to finance the applicant’s educational expenses. The sponsor should also provide evidence of current employment and income. With regard to sponsorship, particular weight is given to promises of support from immediate family members. Affidavits from less than immediate relatives and family friends do not carry the same degree of commitment as do affidavits from immediate family members and should be accompanied by a statement explaining in detail what compelling reasons the person has to carry out the promises made on the affidavit. The Embassy emphasizes that the commitment contained in an affidavit of support is not a mere formality. The U.S. Government regards Affidavits of support to be binding, legal documents that oblige the sponsor to be financially responsible for the student during his/her time in the U.S.
Proof of Non-Immigrant Intent (Existence of permanent residence): It is difficult to prove that you intend to return to Nepal after your studies are complete even though you sincerely intend to. This is because by law, all non-immigrants are viewed as “intending immigrants.” This means that the visa officer is under the assumption that you will be coming to the US and will remain in the US permanently. Economic and social ties are very important. You should carry with you documents that demonstrate ties to Nepal and would help convince the consular of your intent to return. Such documents may include proof of land ownership and the applicant’s future role in a family business. Academic institution, government agency, professional organizations are all possibilities. Bring letters from appropriate parties to demonstrate such facts. Letters from prospective employers recognizing the need for specialized training offered in the U.S. can also serve to aid an application in the applicant’s home country. If other family members have studied in the U.S. and returned home, it should be mentioned. You could also provide an explanation of why equivalent educational training is not available in your home country, if applicable.
Most importantly, consular officials want to hear from the applicant. At no time, is it recommended that the applicants bring family members with them to the interview. If you prove to the consular official’s satisfaction that you intend to go to the U.S. solely for the purpose of study and will return to Nepal upon completion of the program, a visa stamp will be affixed to a page in your passport. You should apply for a multiple entry F-1 student visa. With a multiple entry visa, you can travel between US and Nepal during the duration of your stay in the Unites States.
For further information and latest updates on studying in the USA or for other queries about student visa, you may contact Delta Educare or visit the official USA immigration website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html#:~:text