In addition to complying with all the usual admissions requirements, international students must also obtain a student visa. Here are five tips to help you navigate the admissions process.
Many students from countries outside the United States want to attend American private schools. In fact international students make up about 15% of the student population in American boarding schools according to The Association of Boarding Schools. However, you need to be aware that not every private school is certified by the United States Immigration Service to accept foreign students. If in doubt, ask the school.
Pay Attention to The Deadlines
It is important to stay organized and on top of deadlines throughout the admissions process. If you are not an American citizen, you will need a student visa to enter and stay in the United States in order to attend the private school which accepts you. Getting a student visa takes time, typically 3-4 months - and requires detailed documentation in support of your application.
Here are some points to consider:
1. Complete and submit your school application.
The normal admissions process for each private school must be followed. Once you are accepted by the school, it will give you a Form I-20 which allows you to apply for a student visa. The Form I-20 is part of the Student and Visitor Exchange Information System (SEVIS) which tracks information about all students coming to the United States.
2. Complete and submit your visa application. The student visa application and interview is a detailed process requiring you to attend an interview with a U.S. Consular official. You will have to complete many U.S. Immigration Service forms. Check with your local U.S. Consulate for details of payment information.
3. Schedule your visa application interview. The student applying for the visa must meet with a U.S. Consular official. That means that you must spend time preparing for that interview. Know what questions will be asked. Understand how serious this part of the process is. It is often necessary to schedule visa interview appointments well in advance depending on where you live.
4. Have all documentation in order. A passport valid for at least six months after date of entry is required. Academic documentation such as TOEFL test results, SSAT scores and transcripts of your high school work will also be reviewed. Documentation of adequate financial resources is required.
5. Pay attention to your visa restrictions. Student visas have strict time limits. Adhere to those. Overstaying your visa by even one day can void your visa. In other words you cannot decide to change anything about your visa terms without serious consequences.
These links will give you important information to help you prepare for a student visa application:
Admissions to Private School: A-Z Admissions to Private School: A-Z puts all the information you need to navigate the private school admissions process in one convenient place. Whether you are just beginning or have been through this before, you will find help and advice to guide you.
5 Admissions Tips for International Students In addition to complying with all the usual admissions requirements, international students must also obtain a student visa. Here are five tips to help you navigate the admissions process.
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