• Hours of Working: 8 AM - 8 PM, Monday to Saturday



1. What is an I-20 and how do I get one?

Form I-20 is a government form that tells the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 Student Status. It certifies that you are or expect to be a “bona fide” student you meet the American Educational Institute’s admissions requirements you will pursue a full course of study you proved to the college/university that you have enough money to study and live in the U.S. without working illegally or suffering from poverty. The I-20 is sent to you by the university/college you have been accepted at. You need this form to apply for the student visa.

2. What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an optional employment opportunity available to F-1 students where the training is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. According to the immigration regulations, this employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree which defined in the course catalog or for which academic credit is awarded.

3. What is OPT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization that gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. You may use some or all of the available 12 months of practical training during your course of study or save the full twelve months to use after you complete your studies. Authorization for optional practical training is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS – and can take at least 90 days and frequently up to 120 days to obtain. It is important that you apply for the authorization at the earliest possible date.

4. What are the eligibility requirements for F-1 optional practical training?

To be eligible to apply for optional practical training, you must: Have been in full time student status for at least one full academic year preceding the submission of your OPT application Be maintaining valid F-1 status at the time of the application, and Intend to work in a position directly related to your major field of study.

5. When should I apply?

If you are a student completing the first academic year of study (or are in a one-year program), the earliest you can submit the application is 90 days prior to the date you complete your first academic year. If you are beyond the first year of study, you may submit your application no earlier than 120 days prior to the start date you request for your OPT. If you are applying for OPT based on completion of all coursework and/or completion of your academic program, you must submit an application for optional practical training prior to your completion date. Applications received at USCIS after the completion date will be denied. Applications will be accepted by OISS at your pre-scheduled OPT appointment

6. Dates of OPT authorization

The OPT card is approved for a specific beginning and end date. You must identify those dates on the OPT Request Form. For OPT after completion of studies or graduation, the beginning date can be no later than 60 days after the date you complete your studies. If you have questions about your OPT dates, please discuss this with an OISS adviser.

7. How do I convert my F1 visa to an H1-B visa?

Once you find a suitable job and employer who can sponsor your H1B visa, you can convert F1 to H1 status can can start working based on that H1B visa for the that employer.

8. Can I get the H1-B stamp in USA itself?

No, first time H1-B stamp can only be done in your home country.

9. What is SEVIS?

US implemented the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, known as the SEVIS. Universities issuing I-20s have to enter international student information in the SEVIS database and this information is then accessed by US consulates worldwide. So If your university does not enter your information in the database, your visa may not be issued. In this case, inform the university and request them to enter your information in the SEVIS database.

10. When is the right time to apply for the student visa?

You can apply for student visa 120 days before the date of enrollment mentioned in the I-20 form.

11. Can I change my university/school once I reach USA?

Once you are in the US, you are governed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services rules. Accordingly, you cannot change your school before completing a year there. It is advisable you make your choice carefully, and avoid problems later.

12. I received the I-20 from a school, which I used to get my student visa. But recently I received another I-20 from a different school, which I would prefer to attend. What should I do?

Apply again for a new visa based on the new I-20.

13. What is the US consulate looking for in terms of proof that the applicant will come back to his/her home country? How many assets or liquid cash are they looking for?

There is no officially fixed amount or numbers specified by immigration and visa authorities. You should be able to satisfy the consular officer that you are a bona-fide student, genuinely wanting to pursue higher studies in America. The ties shown by you should involve your economic attraction to India after graduation and the social roots to which you would return rather than stay in the US. Your chances of getting a student visa are higher if you show that you have reasons to return after completing your education in the US.

14. If I don’t have sufficient funds, can a bank loan help?

The US consular will have to be convinced about how you will repay the loan. If huge loans are shown, getting a visa can become difficult. It is preferable to have a smaller loan.

15. Do visas for students get rejected if the applicants have brothers and sisters in America?

Depending on individual case, it is not the only reason for the rejection.

16. How do I prove I can afford to attend school in the US?

Part 7 on the I-20 shows the amount of funding you must have available to cover the first year’s expenses. The total amount includes tuition and fees, living expenses, expenses of dependents (if applicable) and other expenses (as applicable). You must prove you have immediate funds available to cover this amount. If your parents are sponsoring your study, an affidavit of their support with proof of funds will help.

17. Do I have to take the TOFEL or GRE exams to qualify for a student visa? What if some schools do not require that I take the TOEFL or GRE exams?

You must have a letter in writing from the school stating that they do not require TOEFL or GRE exams for attendance. However, the embassy strongly recommends that all student visa applicants provide standardized test scores.

18. Do I have to take the SAT exam?

Though many top universities like the IVY leagues still look at the SAT as a mandatory exam for addmission most institutions not look at it as the one to be taken for scholarships. It is advisisble to take the SAT to enable you to procure scholarships for even upto 90%.

19. In a nutshell what is the USA Student Visa Process and Fees for International Students?

The process to apply for a USA student visa involves first confirming your enrollment at a university in the USA. After this, your selected university will enrol you in the US Government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Next, you will receive a document known as Form I-20 if you are eligible for an F1 or M1 visa, and a form known as DS-2019 if you are an international student eligible for a J1 visa. Once you receive your relevant documents, you must access the US Government’s official SEVIS website and complete payment of the SEVIS fee at least three days before you submit your student visa application. Generally, the SEVIS fee is about 200$ for F1 and M1 student visa applications, and 180$ for J1 applications. Upon completing the DS-160 online student visa application form, you can select dates for a visa interview at your nearest US Embassy or Consulate. F1 or M1 visas can be awarded up to 120 days before the start of your course, but you will not be allowed to enter the country more than 30 days before the course start date. J1 visas can be awarded at any time. Average waiting times for US student visas depend on your home country, and can take anywhere between just 3 days to up to 3 months. We suggest that you begin your student visa application as soon as you confirm enrollment at an American university.

20. What are the various types of USA Student Visas

Currently, the US Government provides three different types of student visas for international students, depending on your selected degree program and planned length of stay. These are: • F1 Student Visa: The most common student visa type, the F1 visa is for international students enrolled in a degree program which requires more than 18 hours of study in a week • J1 Exchange Visitor Visa: These visas are provided for international students pursuing short-term fellowships and student exchange programs in the USA • M-1 Vocational/ Non-Academic Student Visa: A special type of student visa only provided to international students pursuing programs at vocational schools or technical training institutes USA embassies and consulates around the world require a different list of documents and identification papers from international students depending on your home country, and we recommend that you contact your nearest USA embassy if you require more details.

21. What are the basic documents required for USA Student Visas?

• Valid passport: must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the period your planned stay
• Printed USA student visa application form or form DS-160
• Interview appointment letter
• Proof of enrollment or a letter of admission from your university: usually referred to as Form I-20
• Proof of funds: bank statement for at least three years showing that you have enough assets to pay for the first year. These bank statements can be provided by your parents or guardian
• Proof of language proficiency in English: exams such as TOEFL or IELTS
• Your CV, previous academic degrees and other essential academic certificates such as exam results
• SEVIS USA visa fees payment receipt
• Payslips or salary slips
• Additional financial documents such as loan approval letter or scholarship letter

22. Can I work in the USA while I study?

Current USA Government rules allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week during the semester, and up to 40 hours a week during semester breaks and holiday periods.
During the first year of your course, you will not be allowed to work off-campus. Most universities offer a large number of on-campus jobs, ranging from cafe and shop attendant roles to research assistants and writing positions in various departments.
From your second year onward, you can get off-campus employment, such as part-time internships in businesses in cities near your university. Many international students in the USA use online platforms to identify and apply for ideal part-time employment alongside world-class academic learning.
International students on F1 visas are eligible for up to 12 months of OPT (optional practical training) after graduation. This means you can work for a year after you finish your studies. If your selected degree program qualifies as a ‘Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics’ (STEM) course, you can work for up to three years after graduation in the USA. After this period ends, you will be required to apply for a work visa if you wish to continue working in the USA.