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Applying for a Student Visa and Understanding new SEVIS Requirements for maintaining your student status

Our speaker are AIT Consular Section Officers Ms. P Thao Hong and Ms. Karin Lang.

Applying for a Student Visa and Understanding new SEVIS Requirements for maintaining your student status
Wednesday, May 10 2006 (2:00 PM - 3:30 PM)

Please note: Portions of this transcript have been edited for clarity

Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)

Welcome to the AIT student web chat!

 

Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)

The Consular Section at AIT welcomes students interested in studying in the U.S. Student visas can be issued 120 days before the school date, so please apply for your visas early. We welcome any questions you may have about applying for a student visa to the U.S.


Start of Chat


 

Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
I would like to go to America to learn English in the summer vacation. The class only take 2 months. What kind of the visa should I apply? F1 or B1/AB2?
A
It depends on the program -- schools usually know which programs require I-20 and which don't, based on the number of hours per week of instruction. (2006-05-11 13:59)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
If I got my F-1 visa issued but I didn't enter America on time as it shows on my I-20. Will that cause any problems with my entry at the airport?
A
If you plan to enter the U.S. after the program start date listed on the I-20, you need to either get a new I-20 with a revised start date later than the date of travel or request an official letter from the school giving the student permission to start school later than the date listed on the I-20. (2006-05-10 13:59)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
I am a student that will go to the Ohio state university to get a Ph.D degree. I had got the I-20 from OSU. I will go to the US with my wife. So, I need to know how to apply F1 and F2 visas. Can you give me a full information about what should I take to AIT when I apply the F1 and F2 visas. Thank you.
A
most important, you need a valid I-20 and your wife needs a separate valid I-20 as your dependent. You will also need to show evidence of financial support. For detailed information on application procedures, please consult our website at www.ait.org.tw. (2006-05-11 14:00)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問,我現在拿到的是OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY的Graduate I-20, 可是暑假想先去Cleveland唸ESL 課程,也有I-20.我應該用哪一個I-20去申請簽證呢?如果用OHIO STATE 的 I-20申請簽證,入關時兩張I-20一起秀出來,這樣可以嗎?
A
Please bring two I-20 forms to your visa interview. If your application is approved, your visa will be annotated with the school name for which you wish to attend first. Please present two I-20s to the port of entry officers when entering the US. (2006-05-11 14:05)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
我今天秋天要去UC-Davis念研究所,校方的I-20我已經收到了,除了SEVIS費用外,F-1簽證還需要其他特別的申請文件嗎? (我去年11月才換新的B1/B2 簽證)
A
Required items to bring to AIT for your F-1 visa include: passport, I-20 form, receipt of SEVIS payment, application forms DS-156, DS-157 (if you are a male between 16-46), DS-158, one recent picture (6 months new), transcripts (from previous education), proof of finances (to support studies). For a more extensive list of items to bring, please refer to our website at www.ait.org.tw. (2006-05-11 14:09)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
我要在今年NYU研究所秋季班開學前,去UC San Diego唸語言學校.語言學校結束是在八月25日.聽學校說因為移民法的關係,我無法一次拿兩張I-20,所以我必須在語言學校結束後才能讓UCSD把我的I-20轉去NYU,然後再等NYU發新的I-20給我.UCSD也說了他們只能在八月26日才能轉我的I-20去給NYU,無法提早轉.而我必須在九月2日前到紐約報到.我的問題(1)是:依我的情況,我如果語言學校結束後想回台灣一個禮拜,那麼我多久可以拿到我的NYU的F-1?我如果在開學前入境美國,但是我還是沒能拿到我NYU的F-1,我還有可能入境美國嗎?例如說,我有B-1.或是其他的方法入境美國呢?
A
You should get an I20 from the language school and apply for the student visa with that I20. After you complete language school, you can return to Taiwan for vacation and then return to the U.S. on the same student visa with the valid I20 from NYU. The I20 and the visa only have to match the first time you enter. (2006-05-11 14:11)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
最近準備帶著I-20及相關資料預約面談辦理簽證時間,但在填寫DS-157與DS-158表格時,發現上面有需要我填寫配偶姓名,但我預定七月中才要結婚,七月底出發至美國,此時填表若填「未婚」,是否會影響我未婚妻等結婚後,帶著我的I-20與結婚證書前去申辦F-2簽證? I am planning to get married in July. How should I reflect my marital status on my application form now? My fiancee will apply for an F-2 after getting married with me.
A
Please complete your application form based on your current situation. You may, however, inform us with your fiancee's travel plan at the time of your visa interview. Each F-2 dependent must obtain a separate I-20 form from school. (2006-05-11 14:13)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
我要唸秋季班,我太太要和我一起去美國,請問她要一起去面談嗎?還是要單獨面談?
A
建議您們一家人一起來面談. (2006-05-11 14:13)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
我的UCSD發的I-20上說:"The student is expected to report to the school no later than 05/30/2006 and complete studies not later than 05/25/2007".那麼我可以五月30日"之後"才入境美國嗎?(我在UCSD的課程,最晚六月2日去報到也可);還是說,上面寫五月30,我就"無法"在五月30日之後入境美國呢?謝謝你的撥冗解答~
A
According to SEVIS requirements, students should travel to the U.S. before the school start date. Students are allowed entry to the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start date listed on the I-20. If you plan to enter the U.S. after the program start date listed on the I-20, you need to either get a new I-20 with a revised start date later than the date of travel or request an official letter from the school giving the student permission to start school later than the date listed on the I-20. (2006-05-11 14:14)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
是不是一個人同時只能有一張I-20?因為有學校說如果我拿到語言學校的I-20,我必須要唸完語校後,他們才會發研究所的I-20給我。
A
同一所學校在同一時間只能核發一張I-20給您. (2006-05-11 14:16)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
關於學業完成後 OPT 的申請及相關注意事項?
A
A student may apply for authorization for temporary employment for optional practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. The student may not begin optional practical training until the date indicated on his or her employment authorization document, Form I-766 or Form 688B. Please consult with the designated school official or visit the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/lpBin/lpext.dll/inserts/slb/slb-1/slb-10903/slb-17228/slb-17867?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0 (2006-05-11 14:20)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問目前赴美的行李限重是幾公斤? 聽說不能上鎖? 請問美國機場的安檢是要把全部的行李全部都翻看一遍嗎?還是抽檢方式? 還有哪些注意事項呢? 謝謝~~
A
The CBP is the authority on this issue. Please visit the CBP website at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/ (2006-05-11 14:20)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
我下學期(秋季班)在美國要轉學,新舊學校都講好了,但是還沒拿到新學校的I-20。我五月中要回台灣,請問我六月回美國會不會有問題?我要在台灣還是美國申請新的F-1?
A
若您之前在美國停留期間維持良好學生身份並且離開美國不超過五個月,您可以繼續使用您原本的F-1簽證,但您必須取得即將就讀學校所核發的I-20.F-1簽證在美國境內無法取得. (2006-05-11 14:22)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
Should I return the I-20 issued by the school I am not planning to attend?
A
Each school may have its own regulations about this, but there is no general rule that you must return the I20. You must tell the school you will not attend so they can update the SEVIS record, and you should ensure the I20 isn't lost or stolen. (2006-05-11 14:23)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
請問我是交換學生,若在交換期間返國,是否還須在重新申請簽證?
A
If you are on a J visa status in the U.S. and decide to take a break from the exchange program, please consult with the program sponsor and communicate with them your intentions for a break. If the visa has not expired and the exchange program sponsor agrees to the break in program, the exchange visitor does not need to obtain a new visa. Please make sure the exchange sponsor endorses the DS-2019 upon starting the exchange program. J visa holders should always travel with an endorsed DS-2019. (2006-05-11 14:23)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問一下,之前有聽說可以在I-20上面的school start date前45天入境美國,是真的嗎?還是這是尚未實施呢?
A
Students are currently allowed to enter the US 30 days prior to the school start date. The 45 day rule has not started. Please refer to our website should any new student visa legislation change. www.ait.org.tw (2006-05-10 14:26)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問去AIT辦簽證時,需要帶什麼東西?若父母也要陪去觀光性質,但自己是交換學生,分別該申請怎樣的簽證和物品?
A
You can make all the appointments for the same time period on the same day so you can all come in together. Since the requirements are different, of course you will present different documents than your parents. But you can all interview together. Your parents should provide proof of employment or financial resources for both their own trip and to pay for your school. (2006-05-11 14:28)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
What is "I-94 card"?
A
The I-94 is a U.S. visitor's arrival and departure record. This card will be giving to you upon entry to the U.S. Please keep this card as you will be asked to turn it into DHS when you depart. (2006-05-11 14:29)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
After you complete language school, you can return to Taiwan for vacation and then return to the U.S. on the same student visa with the valid I20 from NYU. The I20 and the visa only have to match the first time you enter. -- 所以我可以語言學校結束後,可以不必去AIT換NYU的F-1?
A
Correct. (2006-05-11 14:29)
 
Host: (2006/05/11 14:31:52)
Q
I only apply 2 months ESL program during summer vacation, although ASU gave me one year on the I-20. Should I have to apply F1 visa? F1 is more expansive than B1/B2.
A
The length of the program is not what's important, it's the number of hours per week. ASU gave you an I20 because your program requires a student visa even though it is a short course. Yes, F1 is more expensive than B1/B2 because you have to pay the SEVIS $100 fee. (2006-05-11 14:31)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
我已經拿到秋季班的I-20,我想要先到美國唸語言學校,請問我要拿兩張I-20去申請F-1嗎?
A
您可以將兩張I-20帶來面談,若您的申請獲准,簽證上將被註明第一所要就讀的學校名稱. (2006-05-11 14:32)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
我申請到F-1之後,可以用觀光簽證先到美國,然後在美國等到開學前一個月才改用F-1嗎?
A
若您確實有行程需要,您可以持觀光簽證申請入境美國.但您必須向美國當地的移民局申請由觀光身份轉換為學生身份,並且只有在移民局核准轉換身份後,您才可以開始就讀. (2006-05-11 14:33)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
申請F1時要用財力證明嗎?
A
Please bring your evidence of financial support for schooling. (2006-05-11 14:36)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
Hi I am a Taiwan citizen. Can I get married while visiting the US, to my boyfriend from Taiwan who is on F-1 visa? Or would he have to come back to Taiwan to get married?
A
Thanks for this very interesting question. Since both of you and your fiancee have nonimmigrant visas, your visa status should not be affected by your marriage. However, if you do choose to marry in the U.S., you should be aware that civil actions, including marriage, are governed by state and local, not federal law. Each of the 50 states, and sometimes individual counties within each state, have different requirements for marriage. Some require you and your fiancee to reside in the state, others have a waiting period between the issuance of a marriage license and when you can actually marry. You may also want to consider whether a marriage performed in the United States is recognized in Taiwan. There are several web sites that list the marriage requirements for most venues in the U.S. Best of luck in the wedding! (2006-05-11 14:40)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
OSU給我獎學金,還是需要財力證明嗎?
A
Congratulations on your scholarship! A section in the I-20 should note that the student is receiving scholarship funds. If the scholarship is not noted on the I-20, it would be helpful if you could bring in the award letter or a document from the school that would indicate that you are a recipient of this financial support. (2006-05-11 14:40)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問簽證組有電話專線,可回答問題嗎?
A
If you have any questions about non-immigrant visas, you may call us at 2162-2400 during office hours. (2006-05-11 14:43)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問,若已經辦好F-1簽證 (原定要去A校就讀),但之後又決定到B校就讀,需要再重辦一次F-1 簽證嗎?或是要如何處理?謝謝!
A
It depends whether you have already entered the U.S. or not. If you have not yet entered the U.S. on your student visa, you need to apply for a new student visa from the school you plan to attend. If you have already entered the U.S. as a student, you just need to have your new school transfer the SEVIS record from the original school. You can continue to enter the U.S. with the valid I20 from the new school on the visa you already have. (2006-05-11 14:46)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
I was wondering about work restrictions with a student visa I-20, if I am not mistaken. Is it true that you cannot work with it at least for the first year in college?
A
Hello and thanks for this question. Just to clarify, the I-20 is not a visa, but it is required in order to obtain an F-1 visa. The I-20 is a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the school to the student, and provides basic evidence of the student's acceptance by the school. To get to the heart of your question, students on F-1 visas may be gainfully employed on campus at any point during their course of study. After the first year of their studies, a student may apply to the Department of Homeland Security for off-campus employment authorization. (2006-05-11 14:48)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
我已填寫一份DS-2019的表格給申請交換學生的學校,是不是只要等他回函文件,再拿去AIT申請簽證呢?
A
Upon acceptance to an exchange program, the exchange sponsor should send you an official DS-2019. This document is required when applying for a J-1 visa. Please make sure that the information listed on the form is accurate and consistent with the information listed on your passport (including name and date of birth). Please contact your exchange sponsor if there is a discrepancy on your DS-2019. (2006-05-11 14:51)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
Is there any thing F-2 holder need to notice when returing to USA?
A
F-2 visa holders still need to have a valid I-20 and have a derivative relationship with the F-1 visa holder (spouse or child of F-1 holder). (2006-05-11 14:55)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
F-1 dependants (F-2) are not authorized to work, and they spend in the US up to for 4 years with their spouses. Isn't it nonsense for them just to sit at home all that time?
A
You pose an interesting question. While F-1 dependents are not authorized to work, there are many opportunities for them to be active in their American community. We believe everyone in a family, and not just the person attending college or university, can benefit from the international education experience. Family member who are not authorized to work in the United States may find it rewarding to volunteer with local organizations or attend non-credit classes. Your school's international student advising center may be able to suggest additional activities that would appeal to your family. (2006-05-11 14:56)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
Should I present I-20 when I enter US every time if my F1 is valid?
A
If you are entering the U.S. on an F-1 visa that is still valid, you need to have a valid I-20. A note about F-1 validity: Please keep in mind that if you decide to take a break that is longer than 5 months, your F-1 visa is no longer valid, even though the F-1 has not expired. (2006-05-10 15:00)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
我在去AIT intervew之前,是不是要先付 SEVIS的錢?
A
Yes, you must pay the SEVIS fee before you can be interviewed or issued an F1 student visa. You should present proof of payment at the time of application. (2006-05-10 15:03)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
請問辦理 F-1 簽證所需費用是不是簽證手續費 + 資料處理中心的服務費 + SEVIS 費用 = NT$3200 + NT$260 + USD$100?
A
The fees that you listed are correct for Taiwan passport holders. (2006-05-10 15:04)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
How to transfer F-2 to F-1?
A
To attend elementary or secondary school, F2 holders do not need to change status to F1. For universities or language schools, first apply to the school. Once you are accepted and have your valid I20, you can either apply to the DHS in the US to adjust your status from F2 to F1, or you can leave the U.S. and apply for an F1 visa. If you do change status to F1, the next time you leave the US you will still have to apply for a new F1 visa to return to the US. One thing to keep in mind: if you apply to change status in the US, you have to wait until you receive the approval from DHS before you begin to study. (2006-05-10 15:06)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
請問,辦簽證時所需的財力證明,是要多久之內的才有效?超過半年,可以嗎?
A
Please present documents that help the officer understand that you have financial support for your schooling. We suggest you bring current bank books and or tax returns. There is no specific date requirement, but please consider only bringing current financial information. (2006-05-10 15:08)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
如果去語言學校跟研究所兩間不一樣的學校,要付幾次SEVIS的錢?
A
If you maintain continuous student status, you only have to pay once. If you take a break in studies for more than 5 months, you will have to pay again. (2006-05-10 15:13)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
What if F-2 holder's family go to visit F-2 holders, then do they still take B1/B2 visitor visa?
A
Yes you are correct. Entering the U.S on F-2 status means that your family member (spouse or parent) is on an F-1 status. Other family members that are not/not in a spouse or the child of an F-1 visa holder do not qualify for an F-2 status. Other family members are allowed to go the U.S. on short-term stay using a B1/2. (2006-05-10 15:18)
 
Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)
Q
請問,付 SEVIS的錢by Western Union Quick Pay,是不是就不必等收receipt,而可以在網路上直接拿到收據?
A
There are three methods to pay the SEVIS fee. 1. Western Union Quick Pay 2. Online 3. Send to SEVIS a check. Western Union Quick Pay - When you pay by Western Union Quick Pay you are issued a paper receipt upon payment. You do not need to go online to print a receipt. Online - Go online to www.fmjfee.com. From there, you can pay with a credit card and print the receipt. By Mail - Go online to www.fmjfee.com and print out a form to pay by mail and submit check using instructions on the form. (2006-05-10 15:21)
 
Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)
Q
請問如果我拿觀光簽證先入境美國,是否可在美國轉換 F-1 簽證,還是必須出境至其他國家或回台灣才能換 F-1 簽證?
A
You can either apply to change status to an F1 or you can leave the US and apply for an F1 visa overseas. Just remember, you can't study in the US until DHS approves your change of status, which can often take quite awhile. Also, if you do change status, you will still have to apply for an F1 visa if you leave the US and want to return to continue your studies. (2006-05-10 15:23)


End of Chat


 

 

Host: (Ms. P Thao Hong)

Thank you for your great questions! We want you to be successful in applying for a student visa. Please refer additional questions to our office or check out our informative website www.ait.org.tw Good Luck with your studies!

 

Host: (Ms. Karin Lang)

Thanks to all of you for the great questions. We hope to see you all soon at your student visa interviews. Don't forget that summer is our busiest time, so please apply early. We can now issue your student visa up to 120 days before the start date on your I20. We hope you will find our visa application process fast and convenient. Don't be nervous!