The stress of preparing for school is something that everyone goes through. One needs to do a school search to locate the best schools that are fit for him/her and subsequently submit application materials. After submitting your application, there’s a waiting period that you will pass through before you get your admission.
Being accepted by your dream school triggers excitement, however, that is the first step in the whole migration process. As an international student, you need to be given an admission letter in order to process your visa for either the US or Canada. Your admission letter will be given to you with some documents that will aid the visa process.
Steps to Take After Getting an Admission Letter
Getting an admission letter from a University or college would not automatically mean you get to migrate immediately. There are a number of steps to take. Below are a few things to put into consideration:
Step 1: Accept the Admission:
Once a school in the US or Canada gives you admission and you want to go on to study in the institution, you need to accept the admission so that they will be notified. Some schools require acceptance fees while some do not. Accepting the admission would let the school know that you want to study there and thus, they’ll process an I-20 form that would be used for your student visa. The earlier you notify the school of your decision to continue with them, the faster it would be to process your I-20.
Step 2: Visa Application:
Once you’re admitted to a university in the US, the school will send you an I-20 form that will enable you to apply for the F1 (student) visa. Upon getting the I-20, you’ll have to pay for SEVIS ( Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), a US database that keeps all information about immigrants. The SEVIS fee costs about $350 and you’ll need to pay it and carry along the receipt for your visa interview.
Step 3: Gather all Your Documents:
Before going for your visa interview, you need to gather all the required documents for the interview. Documents like your resume, admission letter, proof of funds, bank statements and the like. It is advisable to put all the necessary documents in a folder/file so as to avoid disorderliness. You should put both original copies and photocopies of each document in case you need to show the consular officer any original copy of documents. It is important to note that you need to avoid document forgery.
Step 4: Visa Interview:
After applying for an F1 visa, you would be given an appointment date for your interview. It is important to be prepared ahead of time for the interview. Make sure you have all the documents ready as you would show them to the consular officer. For the visa interview, it’s best to dress in an official outfit and look presentable. Try as much as possible to be confident and avoid any form of anxiety in front of the consular officer. To be able to convince the consular officer to grant you your visa, you need to shun behaviours that can depict eagerness to leave the country. It is best to prove strong ties with your country so that they would not think you want to permanently reside in the US.
Step 5: Go for Medicals:
Some schools want to know your health status in terms of physical fitness. You need to book an appointment with a hospital associated with the US or Canadian embassy to get your fitness certificate. Endeavour you get a date that is not too far from your travel date, pay the fees required and go alongside your international passport and receipt. Usually, one of the tests done is a COVID-19 test.
Step 6: Travel Preparations:
Before and after your successful visa interview, it is essential to make all the necessary preparations you need before travelling. You need to get clothes and other essential things ready for your journey. For international students that love to cook, you could get some foodstuff in your home country as it will be cost-effective for you. Package your luggage properly and avoid mixing cosmetics with foodstuff so as to prevent unnecessary contamination.
Liquid substances are not allowed at the airport, so you do not need to carry any foodstuff that is in liquid form. Your travel preparations also include you booking your flight ticket. You need to book it as fast as possible (after getting your visa) because the price tends to increase on a daily basis. Look for affordable airlines and book your flight with them. You could use Qatar airlines and other cost-effective ones. Try as much as possible to book your flight yourself or with a trusted third party. Avoid booking your flight ticket with travel agencies you are not sure of. If you just need the services of travel agents, do your research and select one that you can be sure of.
Step 7: Get a Domiciliary Account:
Domiciliary accounts are accounts that let you make transactions and save in US dollars, Pounds Sterling and euros. To be able to make transactions before opening an account in the US or Canada, it’s best to create a domiciliary account with the bank you use in your home country
Step 8: Get Foreign Currency:
As an international student about to go to the US or Canada, it is advisable to have some cash (foreign currency) with you before you travel. You can get the cash that would be able to sustain you before you get settled down.
Getting admission as an international student and migrating to the US or Canada does not have to be as difficult as you imagined. You have to be patient and thorough enough in your preparations.