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Visa Information

Applying for an international student visa can be intimidating. You probably have all kinds of questions, like what is a SEVIS fee? When should you apply for a visa? How should you talk to the U.S. consulate representatives?
 
Broward College has put together the following references about the steps involved in applying for a student visa.
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Apply to Broward College
Students must first be approved for admission to Broward College and be issued the form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F1 or M1) Student Status before applying for the student visa at the American Consulate in the country of citizenship.  
Prepare Yourself
Preparation is the key to success as an international student. In order to prepare for the transition, we recommend that you:
  • Make sure your passport is valid
  • Pay the SEVIS fee
  • Be clear and definite about your studies
  • Be ready to say what kind of career your studies will prepare you for in your home country
  • Be prepared to explain why it is better for you to study in the U.S. than at home

What is the SEVIS FEE?

Know the Rules
The consular officer who makes the decision on your visa application is required to think of you as someone who plans to come to the U.S. permanently; it is up to you to prove that you intend to return to your county after completing your studies. U.S. law clearly states that F visas may be given only to persons who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily.

The other important rules are:
  • You must know what you are going to study.
  • You must have a definite academic objective.
  • You must be qualified for the program of study.
  • You must be adequately financed and have the documents to prove it.
  • You must be definite about your choice of school. If you do not seem certain that you want to attend Broward College, you will not get a visa.
Collect Documents
U.S. government officials are much more easily convinced by documents than by spoken statements. When possible, have papers to show your connections to your home country. In the U.S. it is considered important to be impersonal when administering laws. Do not try to negotiate or discuss personal matters.

Examples of documentation you should collect include:
·         Proof of a family-owned business: If your family owns a business, take letters from a bank describing the business to the visa interview with you.
·         Property deeds: If your family owns property, take the deeds.
·         Siblings’ U.S. diplomas: If you have a brother or sister who studied in the U.S. and then returned home, take a copy of their diploma and a statement from an employer showing that they have returned home.
·         Proof of a U.S. company hiring in your field: If possible, show that an individual or company in your home country will give you a job, or that the company needs people with the kind of education you are coming to the U.S. to receive.

Do not speak of working in the U.S. Employment is not guaranteed and cannot be used as part of your financial support for visa purposes.

Please read your I-20. Especially note your start and end dates and the rules and regulations on page 2.
Once you obtain your student visa, you cannot enter the country any earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20.
​Good luck! We look forward to meeting you at Broward College!
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