you have a student visa (F-1) from another English program in the
U.S. and want to transfer to the ELI, you must complete a transfer
form. Please contact the Admissions
Officer for more information regarding transfers.
If you are applying for a student visa for the first time, an in-person
interview is usually required. June, July, and August are usually
the busiest months, so it might be difficult to get an appointment
during this time. Don't wait until the last minute! You are encouraged
to apply for your visa as soon as you know when you plan to travel.
Allow several weeks for planning and getting an appointment for the
visa. You can call the embassy or go to the embassy web site for information
1. Applicants for a student visa must provide the following
items when they go to the Embassy for the interview:
a. A Form I-20 (included with your acceptance letter from your University
b. A completed DS-158 and DS-156 non-immigrant visa application with
a photo of each person applying (forms available at embassy)
c. A passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your expected stay
in the U.S.
d. A receipt for the visa processing fee for each applicant
e. A receipt for the I-901 SEVIS fee
f. Financial documents (such as bank books, account statements, tax
documents) that show you have sufficient funds (money) to cover tuition
and living expenses during your time in the US. The embassy official
might need evidence that there are no restrictions on the transfer
of funds that would prevent the funds from being made available during
the projected stay.
g. Proof of your relationship to your spouse and children if you are
married and/or have children.
2. Consuls (embassy officials) also want to see:
a. Evidence that you have strong economic, social, family, or career
ties to your home country.
b. Applicants for an F-1 or any non-immigrant visa must convince the
• you have a residence in your home country
• you intend to return to that residence
• you intend to leave the US when your course of study
to prepare for your visa interview:
a. In addition
to the documents you present, you need to listen carefully
to the questions the embassy official might ask you.
b. Even if the official asks you a question that you think is strange,
you must answer it. The official is usually trying to decide
whether you intend to stay in the US after you have completed your
program. If the official thinks you plan to stay in the US, he or
she must refuse your visa. Remember, the F-1 visa is for people
who intend to return to their home country. Tell the official
when you are going to go home.
c. In addition, you can prepare reasons why you want to study
English in the US.
• Talk about your professional development - how will
you use English when you get back to your country? Why is it important
for you to know English?
• Do you intend to study another subject once you have finished
your English program? Which subject? Why do you need English?
• Talk about how learning English more quickly and efficiently
is helped by first-hand knowledge of the American culture and interaction
with many native speakers.
• Talk about your choice of English program: show that you
know about the University or College that you have applied to,
and be able to explain your choice if you can. Mention that some of
the most advanced teaching methods and technical help in language
learning can be found in the USA.
• Do NOT say you want to go to the US: (i)
just because your friends are there; (ii) just because you like American
movies or some unimportant reason; (iii) ONLY because you
have family in the US.
d. Remember that an official has to see as many as 200 people a day.
Officials do not have time to discuss your application for a long
time; they must make a quick decision. Help them by being completely
to do if the official refuses to give you a visa:
The most frequent reason for a visa refusal is that the official thinks
you may not return to your home country.
It is not possible to say exactly what evidence you should take to
convince the official that you will go home because applicants’
circumstances vary greatly.
Think again about your ties to your home country: family
relationships, job, home or farm ownership, other commitments. Is
there any additional evidence that you could present?
Did you explain your situation clearly? Did you answer all the questions?
Consular officers have the responsibility for issuance or denial of
visas. If your visa is denied, you can re-apply.
If you decide to do re-apply, you should be prepared to show additional
evidence or explain in a different way how your situation
has changed since the first application.
You should try at least twice. If you are refused a second time, the
probability that a third try will work is not very high.
information is available at the Department of State web site: http://www.state.gov
and the INS web site: