Applying for a student visa can seem like an intimidating process, but with the right guidance and preparation, it doesn’t have to be daunting. 

Admission director Mena Wahezi has helped many students with their I-20 international student Visa process. Located in New York, Mena has over ten years of experience in the growth and expansion of college, university, and career training schools. She has a healthy background of knowledge in Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (BPSS) compliance, I-20 international student Visa process, and curriculum/program development. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide to the I-20 international student visa application process with help from Mena Wahezi to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Research which visa you need.

The first step in applying for an I-20 visa is researching which type of visa you need to apply for. Different countries have different regulations, so make sure you research the specifics of the country that you plan to study in. 

Different visas cover different lengths of time and have varying requirements. 

Knowing which visa is right for your situation is critical to a successful application process.

Prepare your supporting documents.

Once you determine which visa you need to apply for, it’s time to gather all your supporting documents. You will need travel documents such as a passport and copies of any existing visas that you may have. 

You will also need copies of your financial documents such as bank statements, proof of scholarship funding, or other financial aid awards. 

According to Mena, you should provide any academic records, transcripts, or test scores that are relevant to the study abroad program that you plan on attending. 

Having these materials ready before starting your application can make the entire process easier!

Begin the I-20 application process.

The first step in the I-20 visa application process is to file the I-20 Form with the U.S.

Department of Homeland Security or another authorized Immigration office. The I-20 form is an affidavit of support, which ensures that you have enough financial resources to cover all expenses while studying abroad in the United States. You must provide proof of this income, such as bank statements and tax documents. 

Mena Wahezi suggests that your school may require additional documentation, such as transcripts and test scores. Once you have gathered all the necessary materials for the application, you can begin filling out your I-20 form online or submit a paper application.

Review and submit I-20 application forms.

After all the necessary documents have been filed, you will be required to review and submit your I-20 form and supporting evidence. Once all of the material is submitted, your school or immigration office will review and approve the application, if everything meets their requirements.

 At this point, you may need to pay a visa processing fee. 

Upon approval, you will receive an official Form I-20, which proves that you have the financial backing for studying abroad in the United States.

Pay free for a student visa interview appointment and for the immigrant fee (if applicable). 

You will be required to pay a fee to book your student visa interview appointment. This fee is paid directly to the embassy or consulate where you are applying and varies based on the type of visa you are seeking. 

The immigrant fee is an additional cost, if applicable. It must be paid online before or after you attend your visa interview, but no later than 30 days after the visa has been issued. 

After being issued the visa, you may send in your I-20 form (with all of your supporting documents) and pay the applicable fees accordingly.

To learn more about Mena Wahezi, or the I-20 international student Visa process, visit her featured profile.