Once admitted, you will receive an Admissions package from UB. It will contain your admission letter, health and housing forms, and your I-20. When it arrives, check the following:
• Is your name spelled exactly as it appears in your passport?
• Is the other information correct – date and country of birth, degree program, reporting date, completion date, financial information?
• Is it signed by a school official?
• Has the reporting date (“student must report no later than”) passed? (The I-20 expires and cannot be used after the reporting date.)
If your I-20 is valid, you’re ready to apply for the visa. In order to issue your visa, the Consular Officer must be satisfied on three counts:
1. Are you a bona fide student?
The officer will ask about your educational background and plans in order assess how likely you are to enroll and remain in college until graduation. Be prepared to discuss the reasons you chose the University of Bridgeport, your particular program, and your career plans. Bring school transcripts, national examination results, and SAT or TOEFL scores (if these tests were required) and anything else that demonstrates your academic commitment.
2. Are you financially capable?
Visa requirements differ from country to country, but generally host governments want assurances that you won’t drop out of school or take a job illegally. How can you show that you are able to finance your education?
Your chances are improved if your parents are sponsoring your education. If anyone other than your parents is sponsoring you, you should explain your special relationship with this person, who may be committing tens of thousands of dollars to your education.
Provide solid evidence of your sponsor’s finances. This assures the Consular Officer that adequate funds will be available throughout your college program. If your sponsor’s income is from multiple sources (such as salary, contracts or consulting fees, a farm, rental property, investments), have the sponsor write a letter listing and documenting each source of income.
3. Are your ties to home so strong that you will not want to remain permanently in the host country?
Laws generally state that you must demonstrate sufficient economic, family, and social ties to your place of residence to ensure that your stay in the USA will be temporary.
These include your family’s economic position, property you may own or stand to inherit, and your own economic potential when you come home with a U.S. education. The Consular Officer will be impressed to see evidence of your career planning and your knowledge of the local employment scene.
Family and social ties:
How many close family members live in your home country, compared to those living in the States? What community or school activities have you participated in that demonstrate a sincere connection to your town or country? What leadership, sports, and other roles have distinguished you as a person who wants to come home and contribute your part?
And if you’re refused a visa?
If your application is refused, the Consular Officer is required to give you an explanation in writing. You do have the right to apply a second time, but if you reapply, make sure to prepare much more carefully. The Consular Officer will want to see fresh evidence sufficient to overcome the reasons for the first denial.
If you have given careful thought to your educational goals and if you have reasonable career plans, you’ll find the visa interview an opportunity to prove you’re ready to take the next big step in your education and in your life: college in the USA. For more information, please visit the Department of State website.
The information above outlines important steps for you to follow before you go for your visa interview. However, there is additional preparation you should undertake.
When applying for a student visa, it is important to demonstrate an academic plan that you have thought about and can articulate. The visa officer usually gets at this issue by asking you why you chose a particular university and why you chose X program at that university. They are not questioning the validity of the University or the program; they are trying to determine how clear you are with your academic plans and goals.
Before going for a visa interview, it is quite important to gather information about the programs, courses and other details offered on the University website and have enough information about the University. We wish you the best of luck!