How to Apply for a Student Visa
Obtain an I-20 form from OC:
If you are applying to OC from overseas, you must apply as a full-time student. Upon acceptance, a completed I-20 form will be sent to you. This document is required when you apply for a student visa (F-1). Submit it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You must apply for a visa within 90 days of the admitted quarter date (indicated on Section 5 on the I-20 form).
How to obtain an F-1 visa in your home country:
- Review your I-20 for accuracy. Read the "Important Notices for All F-1 Visa Holders!" sheet carefully.
- Visit the website of the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in your home country at http://usembassy.state.gov/
- Obtain an original bank statement to submit to the U.S. Embassy.
- Prepare yourself for a prompt interview by an embassy or consulate official. You should be able to answer the following questions in English. The typical interview time is usually between two to three minutes in length.
- Why did you choose to study at Olympic College?
- What are you going to study at Olympic College?
- What are your academic and career plans?
Things to avoid when applying for an F-1 visa:
- Show interest in finding a job.
- Falsify information and documents.
Here are some examples of questions that the visa officer may ask you during your interview. You should answer honestly and as completely as you possibly can.
Question and Answer
Q: Why do you want to study at Olympic College?
Q: Do you have any family members or relatives in the U.S.?
A: If you have relatives in the U. S., identify who they are, what their relationship is to you and where they live. You may also identify relatives closer to you in your home country and what expectations they have of your return after completing your studies in the U.S.
Q: What ties do you have in your home country that will cause you to come home after you complete your studies in the U.S.?
A: A student visa is issued to you based on your sole intent to be a student. It will be your responsibility to prove your intent to the visa officer. You should establish a strong personal motive to return to your country after you complete your course of study in the U.S.; for example, employment or your family. If you or a close family member has studied in the U.S. and returned home, this would be important information. During the interview, the visa officer will either issue or deny your visa. If your student visa is issued, the officer will place a visa in your passport. If you receive a multiple entry visa, you may use it to re-enter the U.S. up to the date of its expiration as long as you have a valid I-20, current passport and you maintain status.
If you are denied a visa
If your visa request is denied, politely ask the visa officer why the application was denied. Also ask when you may reapply for a student visa. Please send an email to the Olympic College International Student Programs office immediately and describe the details of the denial. We can write a letter of support to present to the visa officer during the second interview. The letter does not guarantee approval, but may clarify points of possible misunderstanding and again confirm your acceptance to Olympic College.