If you have clicked on this blog, then that means that you have received your Admit Letter. Congratulations on your admission! Now let’s quickly list the things you need to take care of as a part of your post-admission process so that you can be all set on the path to your dream university!
Read the Admit Letter
Prepare financial documents
Submit your transcripts
Deposit the enrollment fee
Wait for the I-20 form
Apply for F-1 visa
Now that you have an idea of the steps you need to undertake, let’s go into the details of each step so that you know exactly what to do.
1. Read the Admit Letter
This is the first post admission step you need to take. As obvious as this may seem, this is an essential step to get you started to complete your final procedures at your University of choice. Your admit letter will have all the details you need to know to proceed further.
They will also provide a list of requirements you must submit to issue your I-20 and other important documents (this will be further explained in point 5). Read all the steps and points thoroughly. Note: the list of requirements may differ according to which program you have applied for.
It also contains various links that will be of use either right now or in the near future. You will also find the link to your university portal, where you can make an account and access more details related to the University, like course registration, part-time job opportunities, university communities, etc.
2. Prepare financial documents
Providing proof of funds is a basic requirement from almost every University. It is a guarantee from the student’s side that they will be able to pay their program fees (tuition fees) and take care of their living expenses. From the following list of documents, any of them can be submitted as proof:
Bank Account statement
Loan sanction letter
Scholarship or Financial aid
Confidential Statement for Sponsored Studies (note: this applies to you only if a family member is sponsoring you for your studies)
You can also show proof of your funding by providing a combination of the ways mentioned above.
3. Submit your transcripts
You will be asked to provide one final hard copy of the transcript showing your degree and graduation date. Some Universities ask for this transcript before they give the I-20. Instead of sending them via post, some Universities might ask you to submit a hard copy of the transcript once you reach the University in person. Regardless of how the University asks you for the transcript, the documents will go through a verification process one last time.
4. Deposit the enrollment fee
Once the document requirement is fulfilled, you must pay the enrollment fee, which is a non-refundable amount. It is a small portion of your tuition fees, which will later be deducted from the total program amount. This fee ensures that your seat at the University is reserved. Of course, it is up to the student later on to accept or reject the offer from the University. Still, this enrollment fee ensures your place in the University you received the admit letter from if the student decides to go ahead.
5. The I-20
You are now officially ready to be admitted to the University. Once the post admission process is complete, the University gathers the identification and financial paperwork required for the international students requesting F-1 status (important note: your I-20 will be rejected in case you are unable to give proof of sufficient finances to cover all the expenses, which include living and tuition costs). The student’s personal and biographical data are placed into SEVIS, a database run by the US government (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). SEVIS processes the information of the student and generates an I-20.
The I-20 is then further processed and signed by the school representative (also known as the Designated School Official, or DSO), who then delivers it to the student (from 12th October 2021, I-20s can be signed and distributed electronically by the DSO, however, the student must print it out and carry a physical copy of the I-20). The I-20 is a crucial document signifying your identity, status and purpose in the US. For an international student from India, you can think of it like an Aadhar Card for America. This document has all the details, including your personal information and financials. You will have to carry this document with you at all times.
As soon as the I-20 is generated and you receive it, apply for the F-1 visa. You will have to book two dates for the visa, one for verification processes like biometrics and all, and the second date for the F-1 interview with a consular officer.
The interview is an essential part of the visa application process, so the student must be well prepared for it. It is an indispensable and a crucial post admission process for securing a seat at an American University. The interview is to assess the candidate against various factors and to determine your purpose for travelling to the US. Most of the F1 visa interview questions will be based on these five categories:
Post graduation plans
This blog will also highlight and explain some important terms and steps relating to the US visa.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System is a US government system that keeps tabs on everyone going in and out of the country, whether a student or visitor. The I-20 issued to you earlier will have the SEVIS ID, which is unique to you, mentioned at the top (you can refer to the sample I-20 given above to locate SEVIS ID). To attend the visa interview at the US embassy or Consulate, you must pay the SEVIS fee at least three days before it. (Note: you do not have to pay the SEVIS fee to book the visa appointment, you have to pay the fees to be able to attend the appointment). The SEVIS fee for an F-1 visa is $350. The fee has to be paid through the Homeland Security online portal. To visit the portal, click here.
You will need the SEVIS ID from the I-20 issued and some other details like your University’s name etc.
The US visa form is called the DS-160 form. It is a lengthy form that anyone applying for the US visa must fill out. To visit the page for the DS-160 form, please click here. The application fee for the DS-160 form is $160, which is the cost of submitting your DS-160 F1 form to the US government. The fee and the form must be submitted prior to your visa interview.
When you open the page and start filling out the application form, you will find an Application ID or number at the top, which begins from AA; please note this number as it is very important. This Application ID, starting from AA, will be asked when you book the visa appointment slot. (important note: the website where you will book the visa appointment slot and the website where you must fill out the DS-160 form are not the same. They are two different websites.)
And that’s it! While it may seem like a long and cumbersome process, it is not. We hope that this blog was able to clear things up for you. Follow the 6 simple steps mentioned in this blog that you need to follow post admission process, and you are good to go. All there’s left to do is book the flight, pack your bags and get on board to the land of opportunity!
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