Accepted in an American university? Here’s what to do | Letters to the Editor


Question:

I was accepted to attend a university in the United States. I’m so excited. What are the next steps? I heard there is no appointment until 2023 and my classes start in August.

Answer:

Congratulations on your acceptance, that’s a huge accomplishment! Each year, the United States welcomes dozens of foreign students. You will also help to share the culture and warmth of Trinidad and Tobago, which will benefit and culturally enrich your university. We will work hard to get you to campus.

The university should have issued you a Form I-20, which is your official admissions document and shows your start date. As soon as your Form I-20 and supporting documents are ready, you can begin the visa application process.

First, you need to complete the electronic visa application form (Form DS-160) and register for visa services online. Visit the information and appointment site ais-usvisa-info.com for links to the application form and access to the fee payment slip.

Nonimmigrant visa application fees are paid at local Scotiabank branches. Once payment is confirmed, make an appointment for the interview.

If you receive an appointment date after your university’s scheduled start date, schedule the interview anyway. You will be able to submit an expedited appointment request online to request that the appointment be moved to an earlier date.

At the interview, you will need to bring documents to show how you will finance your studies. These include, but are not limited to, family members’ bank statements, letters of employment from family members’ employers, and scholarship or award letters.

You should be able to explain why your financial support is willing to help pay for your education. The consular officer must ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover at least the first year of university and a viable plan to finance the full course of study.

During your interview, be prepared to talk about your program of study and your plans after graduation. If approved, the issuance of the visa will take place within seven to ten working days of your interview.

For your visa interview, you must bring the following documents: your valid passport, DS-160 confirmation page, passport photo, Form I-20, and proof that you have paid the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor) fee Information System) required.

Since your university issues the I-20 and registers you in SEVIS, contact your university if you have any questions. I-20 and SEVIS registration are required for all international students coming to the United States. Remember that you must pay the SEVIS fee before the visa can be issued.

Please note that students cannot travel – and will not be admitted to the United States on their student visa – unless they are within 30 days of the start of classes.

• Information on all visa services

is available at the U.S. Embassy

website: tt.usembassy.gov.

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