Students Planning To Study In US Can Apply For Visa A Year In Advance

A student can enter the US before 30 days of the start of their programme on a valid visitor (B) visa.

Washington: In a much-needed relief for foreign students looking to study in the US, the Biden administration has announced they can now apply for a visa up to a year before their academic term begins.
The State Department, however, said that international students will not be allowed to enter the country on a student visa more than 30 days before the start of their programme.

International students are normally issued two categories of US visas – F and M. “Student (F and M) visas for new students can be issued up to 365 days in advance of the start date for a course of study,” the State Department said.

Students Planning To Study In US Can Apply For Visa A Year In Advance
A student visa is issued based on the I-20 form issued by their academic institutions.

Washington: In a much-needed relief for foreign students looking to study in the US, the Biden administration has announced they can now apply for a visa up to a year before their academic term begins.
The State Department, however, said that international students will not be allowed to enter the country on a student visa more than 30 days before the start of their programme.

International students are normally issued two categories of US visas – F and M. “Student (F and M) visas for new students can be issued up to 365 days in advance of the start date for a course of study,” the State Department said.

“However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on your student visa more than 30 days before the start date,” it said on Tuesday.

A student can enter the US before 30 days of the start of their programme on a valid visitor (B) visa.

A student visa is issued by US embassies and consulates based on the I-20 form issued by their academic institutions.

The State Department mandates that all students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).

The spouse and minor children, if they intend to live in the United States with the student, each need to receive an individual Form I-20 from the academic institution of the student, it said.

According to the State Department, foreign students in the United States with F visas must depart the US within 60 days after the programme end date listed on Form I-20, including any authorised practical training.

The new announcement means that universities can accept and issue I-20 forms 12-14 months before term time.

Earlier, visa interviews could be scheduled only up to 120 days, and I-20 forms 4-6 months before the term started.

The update comes after Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, Julie Stufft told PTI the US is “putting every ounce of its energy” to eliminate the long visa wait time in India.

India broke the record for most student visas last year and it may do so this year again, she said, adding that India is now number two in the world in terms of international students coming to the United States.

“We are really, we’re putting all of our efforts now focusing on this visa for visitors and those, in particular, if you don’t need an interview, you don’t need to wait very long at all for a visa renewal. And that’s also one part of our strategy as well,” she said.

There have been growing concerns in India over the long waiting period for first-time visa applicants, especially for those applying under B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories.

The waiting period of first-time B1/B2 visa applicants in India was close to three years in October last year.

India was one of the very few countries where applications for US visas saw a major upswing after coronavirus-related travel restrictions were lifted.

Source: NDTV

US confirms increase in student visa fees

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed this month that it is moving forward with significant increases in student visa fees.

All study visa applicants to the US are obliged to pay a fee that is levied by DHS’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) in order to cover the costs of administering the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). As DHS explains, SEVIS is used by the government to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools, F-1 and M-1 students who come to the United States to attend those schools, US Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsors and J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Program participants. It is a critical tool in our mission to protect national security while supporting the legal entry of more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants to the United States for education and cultural exchange.

Effective 24 June 2019, DHS confirms that it will increase fees charged to students formally referred to he 1-901 SEVIS Fee as follows:


  • The I-901 SEVIS Fee for F and M international students that is, for students engaged in academic studies will increase from $200 to $350. This represents a 75% increase.
  • Those visiting the US on exchange programmes are in a different visa category, and apply for J-class visas. Those exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work travel programme participant categories will continue to pay the current $35 I-901 SEVIS Fee. However, fees will use for all other J-class exchange visitors, from $180 to $220 (a 22% increase).

SEVP is funded entirely by fees, and does not receive any appropriated funding from Congress, said SEVP Program Director Rachel Canty, in explaining the increase. SEVP’s fees have not changed since 2008, although our costs have continued to grow due to inflation, expanded programme operations and enhancements to [SEVIS]. The new and increased fees will enable the programme to continue to provide oversight of international students and SEVP-certified schools.


Educator concerns

Peak international education bodies in the US were quick to respond when the fee increases were first proposed in fall 2018. In a letter to SEVP’s unit chief in September 2018, NAFSA’s Deputy Executive Director of Public Policy, Jill Welch, said that, These dramatic increases come at a particularly inopportune time, as higher education institutions face significant funding challenges, and international education programmes are experiencing declining new enrolments for the first time in more than a decade.

She added, We anticipate that vigorous competition for international students from other countries that are currently expanding their enrolments will continue to exacerbate the early declines programmes are currently experiencing. Burdening students and exchange visitors with drastically increased fees may further contribute to declining enrolment, particularly in short-term programmes, and increased fees and steep new recurring fees may place some programmes in financial jeopardy…US immigration policies should be carefully crafted to avoid fueling the perception that the United States no longer welcomes international students or other international visitors.

Another joint letter from the executive directors of EnglishUSA, TESOL International Association, and UCIEP (University and College Intensive English Programs) echoes the point: We believe that such a significant increase in fees will have a number of negative consequences. In addition to creating additional financial barriers that will serve as a disincentive for students to study in the US, the proposed significant fee increase sends a signal to international students that they are not welcome. This could further reduce the number of international students who enroll in higher education institutions and English language programmes and therefore contribute to the national and local economies.

Fees for schools on the rise too

In addition to the increased fees for visiting students, DHS has also announced that fees charged to US schools will also be going up this year.

An existing fee for a schools initial SEVP certification will increase from $1,700 to $3,000.

The department will introduce a number of new fees for schools as well:

  • A $1,250 fee for SEVP-certified schools filing for recertification.
  • A $675 fee when schools file the Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
  • DHS will maintain a current $655 fee for an initial school site visit but will now also charge this fee when a SEVP-certified school changes its physical location or adds a new physical location or campus.



44 Per cent Indian Parents Want To Send Their Kids To US, UK Or Australia For Education

Indian parents want to send their children to study abroad. According to a new report, as many as 44 percents of parents in India are mulling to send their children abroad and most sought after destinations are the US, UK, and Australia.

The research done by HSBC says that 52 percent opted to study in US as the destination followed by Australia with 46 percent and the UK is third with 44 percent. The other destination includes countries like Canada, Germany, Singapore New Zealand, Japan, Austria, and Switzerland.

“There’s a clear appetite from parents in India to send their children overseas, whether that’s to gain international work experience or improve language skills in countries such as the UK, the US, and Australia,” HSBC India Head-Retail Banking and Wealth Management Ramakrishnan S said.

However, the massive financial burden is still the key concern for parents in India when it comes to sending their kids to study abroad as 42 percent of the respondents said the international education does incur massive financial cost on the family.

Interestingly, the people living in the UK, the US and Australia also feel the same and 63 percent, 65 percent, and 64 percent parents of these countries share the sentiment with Indian parents.

The views of 10, 478 parents and 1507 students in 15 countries participated in surveys.


Benefits to Studying Abroad

Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to study abroad!

1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

In addition, when you’re abroad, you won’t be limited to traveling in just the nation in which you are studying – you can see neighboring countries as well! For example, if you study in France, you’ll have the option to travel through various parts of Europe including London , Barcelona , and Rome.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country.

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.

Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.


3 Ways International Students Fund Their US Education

This past November, the International Institute of Education (IIE) released its Open Door Report for 2014 during the 15th Annual International Student Week in Washington D.C. This annual census provides detailed data on many aspects of international education, such as the 8% increase to more than 886,000 international students studying in U.S. universities during the 2013-2014 academic year. Based on these students, the Open Door Report created a chart ranking the primary sources utilized by students to fund their U.S. education. Here are the top 3 ways international students fund their US education:

1. Personal and Family
2. U.S. College and University
3. Foreign Government or University

Personal and Family Funding
From the 2012-2013 academic year to the 2013-2014 academic year there was a 10.2% increase in the number of students who utilized personal and family resources to fund their education. For example, any savings you or your parents may plan on using to pay for your international education would fall under this category. Once in the U.S., some students have the opportunity to work to help with extra costs; this would also be considered personal funding.

However, in many instances what has been saved, or is being earned, is not enough to fully fund your international experience. This is when private loans, such as our international student loans, come in handy. Applications for international student loans are available year round, so they can be a great help for unexpected expenses that may occur. There are many types of loans out there, but it is important to find the right loan for you and your situation. If you and your family have been considering applying for an international student loan, use our Student Loan Comparison Tool to see what loan options are available for you.

U.S. College or University Funding
U.S. College and University funding did not demonstrate a significant change from one academic year to the next; in this year’s report, there was only an increase of 1%. Most universities provide need-based and merit-based assistance to incoming students, which includes any type of grant or scholarship awarded to you directly from you host institution. Each university’s admissions office works a little bit differently, so it is important for you to get in contact with them and see what they can offer you. Most schools provide basic financial aid information online in the financial aid sections or admissions page of their school website, so be sure to take a look.

Foreign Government or University
The third most used primary source of funding came from foreign governments or universities. The type of funding that could be available to you from your home country may depend on such things as your chosen field of study or whether there is a special program in place between your university in the U.S. and in your home country. In order to fully take advantage of what is available you must take the time to do your research. A great way to start is to reach out to all outlets possible, such as your country’s ministry of education, which will be able to give you information about what government programs are available for international studies.

The key to properly financing your international education in the U.S. is to try to receive financial assistance from all areas that are available to you. For more information and ideas you can check out our page Help Finance Your US Education.


Should I Study in US or the UK?

In recent years the number of international students going abroad for higher education has steadily increased. The availability of numerous scholarships and study-grants and education loans from leading banks has brought “higher education abroad” within the reach of the working class. The most popular destinations for students looking to pursue educational opportunities in English abroad are the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Canada. In this article, we will do a comparative study of international students’ options in the US and the UK specifically.

Making the mental commitment to studying overseas is a huge step: now you have a goal, and can work towards making that goal a reality. Two major questions then arise:

  • What course do I opt for?
  • Which country do I go to?

For those students wanting to go abroad, answering these questions early on will help simplify their search in finding the perfect institution for their studies.

Maybe you have a liking for the UK, and dream of studying at Oxford or Cambridge and spending evenings in pubs, making small talk about the rainfall. Maybe the idea of an American university sounds more attractive; you want to don your most school-spirited swag for intense sports rivalries or grab a Starbucks latte on your way to class. Either way, you will ultimately have to make a decision. We recommend considering the following factors.

Numbers and Statistics

The number of international students attending school in the US has risen steadily in the past five years, and now totals more than 723,000 students according to the most recent report from the Institute for International Education. Within the US, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Texas are the most popular locales for foreign students.

Though the UK’s higher education system is much smaller than what the US has to offer, the proportion of international students in the UK is comparatively high, accounting for 17% (as compared to ~3% in the U.S.). In 2009-10, the number of international students in the UK was 428,225; in descending order, the most chosen destinations for study were England, Scotland, Wales, then Northern Ireland.


8 Resources on Campus You Need to Use

Here are eight places just about every university has that can help you during your time studying in the US.

1. The International Student Office

The International Student Office is like a Swiss Army Knife that can help you with just about everything, from resolving school-related issues to helping answer any cultural questions you might have. This is the best place to ask just about anything and be pointed in the right direction. You’ll also meet fellow international students in and around this office, these students can also be helpful with any questions you may have.

2. The Writing Center

Regardless of how strong your language skills are conversationally, you’ll want to ensure your writing skills are excellent for all the essays you’ll be working on. Your university writing center will provide one-on-one tutoring not just to foreign students but to anyone who needs the extra help. This is an invaluable resource that’s worth taking advantage of. Even experienced writers might learn a thing or two.

3. Professors

Your professors will likely understand that international students will have additional challenges to face, whether they’re language-related or cultural. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek additional clarification about assignments if needed. Also, if you hear something referenced in class that you’ve never heard of before, just ask about it. Asking questions is a totally normal thing to do at U.S. universities.

4. The Student Union

The best thing about studying in another country is the friends you’ll make. It’s tempting to surround yourself with other international students, but making local friends is what studying internationally is all about. A good place to start meeting people is the student union, which is the social hub for most campuses. Also look into clubs pertaining to your interests to meet some like-minded people.

5. Career Services

If you’re planning on working during your time in the US check in with career services. They’re there to help you with your resume, job interview skills and to even assist you in the search to find jobs during OPT and CPT. They can spruce up your resume, help you find jobs worth applying to, and provide excellent advice as you begin your career.

6. Your Academic Adviser

The academic adviser assigned to you will be a big help. They’ll fill you in on the courses you need to take and how close you are to fulfilling all requirements for your education, but they’re also so much more than that. They help you come up with a plan for your education and help you out as you transition to a career. You’ll likely have a meeting or two scheduled each semester, but set up additional appointments if you feel you need it. Helping out is exactly what your academic adviser is there for.

7. Counseling Center

It’s completely normal to experience some culture shock when moving to another country. The experience can also feel a little isolating or overwhelming at times. University counselors are there to help you talk through your problems. They work around your schedule and can make a big difference in how you’re feeling. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment if you feel like it could help.

8. Legal Services

The legal services department is one of those places you’ll hopefully never have to visit during your studies. However, if you encounter any visa or immigration problems, you’ll want to seek the help of your school’s legal services department. They’ll guide you through the confusing legal process and will have your side as they work to solve your problem. If you don’t have a legal services office then your international student advising office is a good place to start.

If you seek out these resources, you’ll feel prepared for a successful cultural transition and college experience.