Get this wrong and you are going nowhere fast!!!!!!!

In this blog I’ll go over everything you need to bring to the VISA interview, questions to prepare for and costs associated with getting your Student Visa.

COSTS:  Let’s start with costs; SEVIS fee, $200 US. The DS-160 will have a cost of $160 US. And then there’s an amount that you’ll pay on the day of your appointment, $115 Australian or New Zealand dollars, if you’re in New Zealand. So if you add all those up, the total cost for your visa is around $500.

But look this is not an annual fee, you’re not going to have to pay this fee every single year. You pay it upfront and essentially you’ll have a four year visa or you may have a two year or three year visa If you’re going to a junior college. Look it’s super, super easy after your time at Junior College to then renew your visa for another couple years. You would just pay the SEVIS fee again, you won’t have to pay everything again. But you would have to re-register the SEVIS fee, which is $200.

“Student Visa’s will be around $500 that will cover the full time that you’re in the States”

Or you can stay in the states, for the remaining two years and the I-20 just carries over and you won’t need to renew your actual visa, because your I-20 keeps you there and then the college just sends you an updated I-20.

Overall cost of your Student Visa will be around $500 that will cover the full time that you’re in the states. So that’s a four year visa. So average it out to almost $100 a year. Not too bad. But once you have all the completed documents, you’ve booked your appointment, Then it’s just about going to the appointment.

We can help you through every single step of the way, make it as easy and as stress free as possible. So if you ever have any questions about the visa application process, obviously we’re always here.

Whether you’re on the NSR program or not, we’re always here to help you through, and make it as easy as possible. But basically, you’ve received your I-20 from your college, you’ve completed the SEVIS form, the DS-160, you’ve booked your appointment, you’re ready to go. Three steps that aren’t too difficult to follow.

What to expect at the interview

I’ll go through the actual interview itself, everything that you need to bring with you to the interview and any questions that you may need to prepare yourself for, that they may ask you during the interview.

STEP 1, What to take:

So when it comes to the interview, and what to take, you want to take everything relating to the opportunity, everything from the start of the application process, and you want to have a copy of everything, just in case they asked to see it.

You don’t want any doubt in that interview, and give them any reason to believe that you’re not going to do exactly what you say that you’re going to do. So the more information that you have, the better! even if they don’t ask to look at three quarters of it. So the most important things you need to take with you. Firstly, valid passport. Valid passport is number one.

“They will definitely give you a visa, without your I-20 or a valid passport.”

In the past, we’ve had an athlete or two forget their passports or their I-20 document. Probably the most important documents out of everything. They will definitely not you a visa, without your I-20 or a valid passport.

So firstly, valid passport, you want to make sure that you have that. Secondly, your I-20 document. Your I-20 is super, super important. Not just the first page, but all three pages of your I-20, you will want to bring with you to the interview.

You will also want to bring your SEVIS I-901 payment receipt. So that registers your SEVIS number confirmation that’s been paid. You also want to bring your DS-160 confirmation page. That’s the one with the photo and the barcode on it, you want to bring that and you’ll also want to bring your appointment confirmation page.

So all those three confirmation pages that you get when you look to schedule the appointment, you want to bring those with you along with your passport. To be safe, just literally print everything, put it all in one folder and keep that folder safe.

“That allows the college to issue you an I-20”

Now, in addition to that, you will need to bring with you a valid passport style photo. So you’ll go to Australia Post or New Zealand post, you’ll make sure that you take with you a passport photo in the physical form, not digital or anything like that. Make sure that it’s printed on photo paper from the post office, you’ll have to bring that with you.

The proof of finances document that you supplied to the college. I guess that that’s probably the most important document that you supplied during the admission process. That allows the college to issue you an I-20, it shows proof that you can support the financial side of your journey which includes an affidavit of support for your case.

Then there’s also some supporting bank statements or financial documentation that needs to be supplied with that. So essentially what you showed to the college in terms of financial documentation, you also want to take with you to the visa interview.

Because the question will always come up, how are you financing this journey? You want to be able to show proof of that. And that may be through, parental support, guardian or your sponsor. And it’s there … They show their bank statement and say, “Yep, there’s plenty of money here to support- Johnny while he is over there.”

“have to supply documentation around your finances”

Any country that you are travelling to or that you need a visa for, you essentially have to supply documentation around your finances. But because you’re going to be heading to a school, that school is sponsoring your visa, you’ve had to show that school financial proof, that you can support your time there to receive that I-20.

So again, that’s what you want to bring with you to the appointment, they may not even ask to see it. But at least you have it there if they do. It’s also advisable to bring a letter from the college that states your level of study and detailing your program start date. So the time that you’ll be starting in the United States.

That will be listed on your I-20. But if you got an email, that was an acceptance email, you know, congratulations, you’ve been accepted to so and so college. We can’t wait to have you, orientation starts on the 15th of August 2019, or whatever it is. Whether it’s a letter that’s come in the post with your I-20, or it’s an email that you’ve received, a good idea to print that out, bring that with you to as a supporting documentation.

The more you have, certainly, the better chance you have in making your appointment successful and getting that Visa.

I always tell people, it’s better to print everything and keep it in a folder. It’s better to have everything and not need it, than to go to the appointment and not have the document that you need. So have it and not need it, as opposed to need it and not have it! Be prepared.

“keep the answers to all the questions that you’re asked consistent with what is exactly written on your I-20 document”

STEP 2: The Questions

Now, I’ll talk about some of the questions that you need to be prepared for in the actual interview. there’s going to be a handful of questions. And the most simple, important thing that you do while in that interview, is keep the answers to all the questions that you’re asked consistent with what is exactly written on your I-20 document.

If you deviate from your I-20, and what it physically says that you’re going there for. If you freestyle and you start saying things that are irrelevant, or-you go off topic and talk about what you hope to do in the future while you’re in the states you will limit your chances in receiving your visa altogether – keep to the facts.

Do not deviate or go on a tangent what you need to understand is that the people that are at the consulate, are very systematic. They know what they’re looking for, they ask specific questions, and they want specific answers. You don’t need to overindulge. Less, is more really!

Less is more and just be very, very specific with your answers and answer their questions with what is written on your I-20 that’s the best piece of advice that I can give you. Questions that they would ask, what college are you going to go to the college name, so hopefully you don’t get that one wrong! If you get that one wrong, you’re in trouble.

“They may ask what sport are you going to be playing?”

Know the name of your college, the location, where is it in the United States? Where will you be going? They may ask, do you know the address that you’re going to be staying at. So have the college’s name, location and the college’s address, be prepared with that information? Which sport … They may ask what sport are you going to be playing? Are you playing a sport?

What are you going to be studying and again, your program of study will be listed on your I-20. look… Let’s say that you’re studying science, it may say that you’re studying Liberal Arts and Sciences. Okay. So you want to make sure that-You’re saying the exact same thing that’s written on your I-20 document.

They’re going to ask, are you receiving any scholarship? So, again, your I-20 will detail if you’re receiving scholarship and where that scholarship is coming from. So if it’s an international scholarship, then you tell them I am receiving $10,000 in international scholarship. If you say I’m receiving $10,000 in sports scholarship, but it’s not a sport scholarship, it’s an international scholarship, that’s going to raise a red flag.

“you need to have your supporting documentation with you!”

So again, are you receiving scholarship? Yes, list the exact amount on your I-20, list the exact type that’s written on your I-20. How are you going to be supported while over there? That’s when you can say, “Look, my parents or my sponsor, there’s a business that’s sponsoring part of my journey or I’m supplying, half the things-” And again you need to have your supporting documentation with you! For how you’re going to support your time over there. They may ask what’s your coach’s name? Or what’s the name of the contact person that you’ve been in regular contact with at the institution.

The answers to the questions that they asked are written on your I-20. 100%. So what you want to do is, I’ll say it again, make sure that the answers that you provide are exactly what’s written on your I-20, don’t deviate, don’t overindulge. Keep it very, very plain and simple. Very black and white. They ask you what you’re studying, you say exactly what’s written on the I-20.

They ask you where you’re going, you say the exact way it’s written on your I-20. They ask the address, that address is on your I-20. Scholarship, everything, everything is written on your I-20, do not deviate from your I-20.

You just need to have your answers and you need to answer correctly. But that doesn’t mean you need to study your I-20 and then read it like a robot when they ask you the question. It’s about preparation and just understanding what’s going to happen during that interview.

“What the consulate wants to check”

STEP 3: The End of the process ( sort of)

The hardest part is actually getting that I-20 document in your hands. What the consulate wants to check is that everything on your I-20 is spelled correctly with what’s on your passport. All the details are correct and there’s no reason to believe that you’re going there for any other reason than what you’ve listed in that application and what you’re saying in that appointment. So it’s not a big scary thing. It’s a very, very quick … and yes, it’s an “interview.

You’re going to stand in line longer than it takes. They’re going to look over your documentation, asking you maybe a couple questions. And then once they’re happy, they’ll let you know, yep. Everything looks all good. Your visa has been approved, then they’re going to hold on to your passport.

“You’re going to leave without your passport”

You’re going to leave without your passport, because they’ve got to print out the visa, stick that into the back of your passport and then they’ll mail that back to you. You’ll have your passport back within 10 days, typically, it’s between 3 and 5. They’ll send it through a courier, it’s trackable. It’s obviously a very important document that has your visa and passport.

Then you’ve got a visa.

The most important thing to note is you cannot get a visa, you cannot attend an appointment, you cannot do anything visa related until you have applied and you’ve been accepted into the college or university that you’ll be attending. And that College has sent you the I-20, which is your international proof of enrollment.

“You cannot get a visa”


You cannot get a visa, until you have an I-20, you cannot get an I-20 until you’ve applied and you’ve been accepted to the school. So your first step, figuring out where you’re going to go, getting through the application process, getting accepted to the institution and then getting that I-20 document. Then you can think about visas. Before that the only thing that you can do, that’s visa related, make sure that your passport is up to date.


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