There are two things you should do to increase your chances of a favorable decision on your visa application:

  • Have all the required documentation.
  • Be calm and prepared.
1.  Most of the procedures and requirements for applying for the F-1 visas are standardized for all U.S. Embassies/Consulates abroad. However, some procedures may be specific for a particular country. Be sure to read the U.S. Embassy's website carefully, as it will list all of the detailed instructions for visa applications. Below are some links where you can find useful information regarding the visa application process.

2.  When you receive your I-20 from Walsh University, check the following:

  • Is your name spelled correctly and in the same format as it appears in your passport?
  • Is the other information correct: date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, degree major, reporting date, completion date, financial information?
  • Is it signed by a Designated School Official/Responsible Officer (Walsh immigration adviser)? Please note that initial I-20s will only have a signature on page 1. There should be no signature on page 3, as the signature on page 3 may only be given after your arrival to the U.S. and when you travel.
  • Has the reporting date ("student must report no later than") passed? Please note that I-20 cannot be used after the listed reporting date.

Read all of the instructions on page two of the form and sign page one on #11. Signing the form means that you understand, and will abide by, the regulations of the visa status once you are in the United States.

3.  Once you receive your I-20 from Walsh University, verify your personal information is correct.  Ensure that your name and birth date match your passport.  If you find mistakes notify International Student Services immediately.  Read page 2 of your Form I-20.  On Form I-20, print and sign your name and date your name and date your form at the bottom. Prior to applying for your F-1 visa, you must pay a $350 SEVIS fee to the U.s Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Please visit the following site to pay the I-901 fee:

Follow the instructions of the U.S. Embassy where you will apply for your visa and schedule your visa interview. At some point in this process you will need to pay the visa application fee.

Complete the required visa application forms and gather all of the documentation required by the U.S. Embassy, including the visa-qualifying document (I-20), admission letter, financial support documents, and the SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt. Read the U.S. Embassy's website carefully so that your application is complete in order to avoid delays or denials.

4.  Prepare for your visa interview. Due to the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable pressure to conduct quick and efficient interviews. Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point.

Written documents you are presenting must be concise, easily read and evaluated. Remember that the interview takes only a few minutes. The officer must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions he/she forms during the first minute of the interview.

The Consular Officer must be satisfied on three counts:

First, are your ties to home so strong that you will not want to remain permanently in the United States?

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 United States will be temporary.

  • Economic ties: These include your family's economic position, property you may own or stand to inherit, your own economic potential when you come home with a U.S. education, as well as 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 United 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?

Second, are you a bona fide student? 

The officer will ask about your educational background and plans in order to assess how likely you are to enroll and remain in college until graduation. Be prepared to discuss the reasons you chose a particular college, your anticipated major, and your career plans. Bring school transcripts, national examination results, SAT or TOEFL scores (if these tests were required by your college), and anything else that demonstrates your academic commitment.

Third, is your sponsor financially capable? 

Visa requirements differ from country to country, but generally, the consular officer wants assurances you will not drop out of school or take a job illegally. How can you show that your sponsor is 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 several different 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.

If you are refused a visa

If your application is refused, the Consular Officer is required to give you an explanation in writing. You 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.