Most universities in the U.S. have very similar admission processes.
The first step in the admission process will be to get the required documents to the school so they can review them and hopefully, issue you an acceptance letter. Most schools require the below general application documents:
- Application Form: You will need to complete and sign the school's application form. In order to facilitate a quicker acceptance and issuance of the I-20, it is important to print eligibly and provide correct information. When asked for an address, this must be a physical address not a PO Box. Schools are not allowed to put in the PO Box when they issue the I-20. Make sure you use the U.S. date system for your birth date. That is month first, followed by day, and then the year. It is important that your name has the correct spelling as noted on your passport.
- Application Fee: Most schools require a small non-refundable application fee.
- Courier Fee: Most schools and agencies charge a courier fee to ship the school acceptance/admission packet.
- Additional School Forms: Some schools have additional forms to be filled out, such as financial declaration forms, housing forms, scholarship forms, or sponsorship forms.
- Copy of Passport: (If you have a passport now. Otherwise, send a copy as soon as you receive the passport.) Schools need the passport to issue the I-20.
- Bank Statement: You will need to submit a bank statement either, (a) a copy of a current Bank Statement in US dollars in students name or, (b) letter of support written and signed by the financial sponsor along with his/her current bank statement. The bank statement amount is determined by the school.
- Currency Conversion: If you or your sponsor can not get the bank statement in US dollars you may get the conversion from the internet and submit the printed the page showing the conversion and include it with the bank statement. A good conversion website is: http://www.gocurrency.com/
- Sponsor letter and financial form: if you are using a sponsor, the university will need a signed letter from the sponsor stating, "I am the sponsor for _______ and I intend to provide him/her with financial assistance during his/her first year at _______ University up to the amount of $_____." Some universities have a form specifically for this purpose, so you would use that in lieu of the manually written letter.
- GMAT or GRE score. These scores are required with some graduate programs for admittance. Most schools have now waived the GMAT or GRE score unless students have a below required GPA.
- Two letters of recommendation. The recommendation letters must be one each from a supervisor or professor. The letters should state in detail the writer's assessment of the applicant's ability to successfully complete graduate studies. The writer should include evidence or examples to support the assessments.
- Resume: Applicants need a resume (curriculum vitae). The resume needs to include personal information (name, address, date of birth), work history, educational history, any research or publications in your field, any honors or awards received, and any organizations to which you belong. Personal Statement or Essay: Some schools have specific topics they want the Personal statement to cover. In general the schools want to know your goals and how you will achieve them with a degree from that school.
- Evidence of English proficiency: Most schools require a TOEFL or IELTS score. Some schools will accept, in lieu of the test scores, documentation showing you have taken at least two years of higher education level courses where English was the medium of instruction. Documentation needs to be a letter or statement from the school declaring English was the medium of instruction.
- Certificate/diploma/proof of high school (for undergraduate programs) or Bachelor's degree (for graduate programs): All schools will need all certificates/diplomas/and degrees submitted in original language, along with a certified English translation, officially translated with translator's seal and signature. Most schools have a minimum GPA requirement. The lowest acceptable GPA is usually around 2.5 for graduate student and 2.0 for undergraduate. How to calculate your GPA.
- Official or Attested TRANSCRIPTS: Schools will need copies of your transcripts in original language. If English was not the medium of instruction, then you need to include a certified English translation, with the translator's seal and signature. Transcripts need to show courses for every year that you studied. It is important that the transcripts show all subjects/courses taken and all grades or marks earned for each subject/course. It also is very helpful if the grading system of the school is shown on each record. Most of the Universities will start processing with scanned copies of the officials, as long as the scans are high quality and legible. However, all schools eventually will need official copies of the transcripts sealed in your school's envelope. You will need to have your school send the official or attested copy of the transcripts as soon as you have received your visa. Schools will need the official sealed copies on file before you can register for classes.
- Dependent Documentation: If you are planning on bringing your spouse and/or children, you will need to provide copies of the dependent's passports, birth certificate, and marriage license (for spouse), along with a letter giving the following details for each family member you plan on bringing: Full name, date of birth, country of Birth, physical mailing address, and country of citizenship. You also will need to show an increase in the bank statement, usually around $8,000, per family member that you are planning on bringing.
- Additional Documents if you are in the U.S: If you are currently enrolled at a US university or college you will need a) a completed transfer form, b) Copies of visa, passport, I-94 and I-20 , and c) foreign address.
PROCESSING SCHOOL APPLICATION:
Once the admissions office receives an application packet from you, we will email you a user ID and password so you can keep track of the process via the student portal. You should contact our office, if you do not receive a user ID and password to access your online status
When admissions has a received a complete application packet, we will send your application packet to the school. Note: we will only send a complete packet to the school.
You can expect to receive notification of acceptance to the program approximately two to three weeks after the university has received the complete application packet. Depending on the school's work load, this notice may happen sooner or later than the two-three week period.
You will need to start the online Visa Orientation and U.S. Regulation course as soon as you submit your application packet. This course will give you a review on the visa interview process and an overview of U.S. immigration regulations.
ISSUANCE OF THE I-20:
Once you are accepted, the school will enter your information into the SEVP database (SEVIS) and will issue you an I-20. The I-20 form is known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status for Academic and Language Students. The form is a United States government document issued by a SEVP certified school. The form is issued and signed by the Designated School Officer (DSO) indicating a student has been accepted to the school for a specific major and start date. The form has a SEVIS ID number which the government can use to track the whereabouts of a student after they arrive and register to the U.S. issuing school. Once students receive their I-20 form, they must pay a SEVIS fee using the SEVIS ID number, and then they are eligible to attend a visa interview with a U.S. Visa Consular Officer.
The I-20 will not be released until you complete the online US immigration Review course.
If you are working with an agent, you should also consult with him/her regarding the visa interview process. Your agent should be able to guide you in filling out the correct forms.
RECEIVING THE I-20:
Upon receiving acceptance from the university, you will be required to make any refundable deposits (as noted in the Estimate of Cost sheet) after which the I-20 can be released.
Please contact your agent or our admission office for acceptable ways to make the deposit.
We recommend you practice your English. This will not only be important for the visa interview, but it will also be detrimental in your success in school, as well as determine what kind of internship employment you are able to receive in the U.S.(if you are in an internship option program)
PAY SEVIS FEE
You will need to pay the U.S. Government SEVIS fee before you go to the visa interview. Website where you can pay for your fee: https://www.fmjfee.com/index.html. If you are not able to pay online because you lack a credit card, then work with your agent and have them help you pay the fee. If you do not have an agent, then you should contact our admission's office and we can assist you in making the payment.
The SEVIS I-901 fee is mandated by Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States. Each student or exchange visitor issued an initial Form I-20 or
DS-2019 on after September 1, 2004 is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP.
In order to pay SEVIS, go to the following URL: https://www.fmjfee.com/index.html After you pay the fee there will be an electronic confirmation page. You will need to make sure and print this page to take with you to the visa interview. NOTE: you can not pay this until your I-20 has been issued and you have the SEVIS ID number from your I-20
After you have received your originail I-20 from from the school and you have paid your SEVIS fee, you can attend the visa interview. Most consulates you need to make an appointment for the interview. Check with the U.S. Embassy in your area for more information on the visa interview procedures for your country.
MORE ON SEVIS
To transfer the SEVIS I-901 fee payment information from one SEVIS ID number to another, students need to mail or e-mail SEVP. SEVP will consider the request and determine if the fee can be transferred. Students need to put Fee Transfer in the subject line of their request.
Students need to provide SEVP with their full name, date of birth, the SEVIS ID number that the student originally paid on and the SEVIS ID number the student wants to transfer the payment to. Students need to explain why the fee needs to be transferred. It will help speed the request if the student includes a copy of the original receipt or the receipt number. Students need to include information on how to contact them if there are any questions.
Checking payment status
If you go to https://www.fmjfee.com/index.html and click on the check on the "status" button, it will show whether the fee actually was paid. If applicant does not yet have a receipt for the interview, then, applicant can print the status page and use that for the visa interview.
Problems with SEVIS payment
If there are any problems paying the fee, or any corrections needed, the email address for
SEVIS is: FMJFEE.Sevis@dhs.gov. The applicant should use the subject line to identify the problem or correction.
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