What is a Student Visa?

Many people are often interested in a student visa. It’s a great option for you if you qualify for it. First and most importantly, you need to get accepted to a school that issues I-20s. There is a program called SEVIS where you can look under the ice.gov website, and see what schools are registered under SEVIS.

Most schools in New York are allowed to bring in international students and can give the authority to issue an I-20. An I-20 is permission to enter the United States as an international student. If you’re outside of the United States, and you want to apply for a student visa, you will have to go to the U.S. Consulate with your I-20 as well as show financial evidence of how you’re going to support yourself while you’re here in school.

Under a student visa, unfortunately, you’re not allowed to work. If you’re coming to the United States, particularly in New York, and going to school as a student, you’re going to need to demonstrate to the consulate that you have enough money to live in New York City while attending school. You can demonstrate that generally by your parents. Showing they have tax returns, that you have a bank account with enough money, and that you have every intention of going to school.

Obviously, the more sophisticated the school then the easier it is to get a student visa. If you’re coming in for a language school, of course, you can still get a student visa, but you definitely want to demonstrate that you have ties back home, and you have every intention of leaving the United States after you’ve completed your studies, and that you do leave on time. It’s important not to overstay your student visa because then you will be reported to ICE, and they could place you into removal proceedings.

If you have questions about a student visa, and you want to know whether you qualify, please contact the office. Cheryl David is an experienced immigration lawyer in NYC and would be happy to discuss your situation with you.