Student visas are issued by the U.S. Embassies and Consulates located outside the United States. You cannot apply for a visa until you have been accepted by the college and have received your I-20 document. In most countries, student visa applicants are required to appear for an interview with the consular official. It is recommended that you consult the Embassy websites for specific application instructions due to each embassy and consulate setting their own procedures for student visas. It is recommended that you visit the U.S. Department of State's website for more information about the visa interview. Embassies and Consulates are only able to issue student visas 120 days prior to the state date listed on an I-20.
The general steps to a visa interview:
- Pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Fee. The fee is currently $200 USD. It is highly recommend you pay this fee online. You MUST show your receipt proving you have paid your fee during the visa interview.
- Make an appointment at the U.S Embassy, in your home country, for an interview. Many branches now use an online booking system.
- Prepare your documents for the appointment (see below.)
- Prepare answers to the Commonly Asked Interviewed Questions (see below.)
- Attend your visa appointment
Documents Required for a Visa Appointment:
- I-20 immigration document form from HACC. Please sign the I-20 prior to your appointment under #11 on page 1 of the I-20.
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. More information can be found here.
- A passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States.
- One 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements.
- A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
- Receipt to show payment of the SEVIS fee.
- High School or University Transcripts translated in English
- TOEFL score (if available)
- Documents indicating reasons to return to home or other country outside the U.S. (if available)
- Financial documents showing adequate sponsorship to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. Examples of financial documents: affidavit of support, bank statement, certificates of deposit, earning statements, and tax records.
- Dependent information. Proof of all dependents relationships via marriage certificate or birth certificates
Common Interview Questions
- Why do you want to study at HACC?
- Tell me about HACC. What campus will you attend? How many students attend the college?
- Do you have any family members or relatives in the United States?
- If you have relatives in the United States, identify who they are, what their relationship is to you, and where they live.
- What major do you plan on studying at HACC? Why did you pick this major?
- What ties do you have in your home country that will draw you home?
- Who is funding your education? How do you know this person?
- What is your educational goal?
After the Interview
- Notify the International Admissions Coordinator of your approval or denial.
- If approved, make travel arrangements after you have received your visa. You many only enter the USA 30 days or less in advance of the start date listed under #5 on the I-20. Please plan accordingly when making travel arrangements.
- If denied, politely ask the consular official why the application was denied. Also ask when you may reapply for a visa. Please contact the International Admissions Coordinator to review your options.
- Attend HACC's New Student International Orientation.