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  • future F1 student, please help

    Hello everyone!

    I just joined, and I would like to get some good ideas, information, or maybe even experiences...please, answer to my questions, since I'm very nervous....thank you!
    I am a student in Europe, who got accepted to a US institution for a PhD program. I have several questions related to application of F1 visa. Please, if any of you have good ideas, or even experiences share it with me! Thank you!

    1. If I don't have a house, car, company in my home country, what else could I bring that would make the consulates believe that I don't have an intention of staying in the US?

    2. The professor wants me to travel to the US over the summer, way before the actual school program stars. He wants me to start helping them in the research. However, I've heard that one can only enter into the country on an F1 visa 30 days prior when the instruction beings at the school. Can he write a letter asking the border guy, (or whoever) that he really wants me to leave earlier? Would they let me in then?

    3. My father wanted a birthday suprise which was a suprise, but not a happy one for me. He actually applied me into the DV 2009 lottery (I'm over 21), because he simply thought that my tuition would be cheaper if I had a permanent resident card in my hand. However, when I got to know this I completely freaked out because first of all, I know that it doesn't give anyone a resident tuition at schools immediately. Second, because I am trying to apply for an F1 visa over the summer, and if it turned out in May that I won, I'm sure they would deny my F1 visa. What should I do? Could I just tell them if they ask whether I applied for DV lottery that I didn't? Or should I tell them that my father did, and I didn't win, or I won, but would not like to take any action on this?

    Please, if anyone has ideas above my three questions, let me know! Please, I really need some feedback...Thank you very much!

  • #2
    Hello everyone!

    I just joined, and I would like to get some good ideas, information, or maybe even experiences...please, answer to my questions, since I'm very nervous....thank you!
    I am a student in Europe, who got accepted to a US institution for a PhD program. I have several questions related to application of F1 visa. Please, if any of you have good ideas, or even experiences share it with me! Thank you!

    1. If I don't have a house, car, company in my home country, what else could I bring that would make the consulates believe that I don't have an intention of staying in the US?

    2. The professor wants me to travel to the US over the summer, way before the actual school program stars. He wants me to start helping them in the research. However, I've heard that one can only enter into the country on an F1 visa 30 days prior when the instruction beings at the school. Can he write a letter asking the border guy, (or whoever) that he really wants me to leave earlier? Would they let me in then?

    3. My father wanted a birthday suprise which was a suprise, but not a happy one for me. He actually applied me into the DV 2009 lottery (I'm over 21), because he simply thought that my tuition would be cheaper if I had a permanent resident card in my hand. However, when I got to know this I completely freaked out because first of all, I know that it doesn't give anyone a resident tuition at schools immediately. Second, because I am trying to apply for an F1 visa over the summer, and if it turned out in May that I won, I'm sure they would deny my F1 visa. What should I do? Could I just tell them if they ask whether I applied for DV lottery that I didn't? Or should I tell them that my father did, and I didn't win, or I won, but would not like to take any action on this?

    Please, if anyone has ideas above my three questions, let me know! Please, I really need some feedback...Thank you very much!

    Comment


    • #3
      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hajnalka:
      Hello everyone!

      I just joined, and I would like to get some good ideas, information, or maybe even experiences...please, answer to my questions, since I'm very nervous....thank you!
      I am a student in Europe, who got accepted to a US institution for a PhD program. I have several questions related to application of F1 visa. Please, if any of you have good ideas, or even experiences share it with me! Thank you!

      1. If I don't have a house, car, company in my home country, what else could I bring that would make the consulates believe that I don't have an intention of staying in the US?

      2. The professor wants me to travel to the US over the summer, way before the actual school program stars. He wants me to start helping them in the research. However, I've heard that one can only enter into the country on an F1 visa 30 days prior when the instruction beings at the school. Can he write a letter asking the border guy, (or whoever) that he really wants me to leave earlier? Would they let me in then?

      3. My father wanted a birthday suprise which was a suprise, but not a happy one for me. He actually applied me into the DV 2009 lottery (I'm over 21), because he simply thought that my tuition would be cheaper if I had a permanent resident card in my hand. However, when I got to know this I completely freaked out because first of all, I know that it doesn't give anyone a resident tuition at schools immediately. Second, because I am trying to apply for an F1 visa over the summer, and if it turned out in May that I won, I'm sure they would deny my F1 visa. What should I do? Could I just tell them if they ask whether I applied for DV lottery that I didn't? Or should I tell them that my father did, and I didn't win, or I won, but would not like to take any action on this?

      Please, if anyone has ideas above my three questions, let me know! Please, I really need some feedback...Thank you very much! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
      Dear Hajnalka,
      1. You must prove that you are able to pay for at least one year tuition. The expenditures can come from you, your parents, your relatives, friends, bank loans from your home country, your country's government assistance, scholarships or assistanceships awarded to you by the university that you will attend. Hope this helps you.

      2. Best way is to get a B-1 visa to allow you to travel in the summer prior to obtaining the F1, unless the F1 has already been approved. Otherwise, you are correct that you cannot enter more than 30 days when classes start. However, if the professor offers the research as a summer class, then you can enter the US because that will be a part of your regular scheduled classes.

      3. You can still get the F1 visa even though a relative applied for the DV lottery for you. It is not that big of a deal. If you are approved, then you will be a green card holder and state law will determine in state tuition. It is worthwhile to note that some universities do offer a very, very limited in state tuition award for outstanding students. Check with your international admissions office for more details. Generally it is for students who have been attending the university for at least a year.

      I hope this helps you. Remember, you can apply for scholarships and fellowships, both private and public, in most circumstances. You just cannot apply for federal funding though. If you get the green card, that is when you will be able to apply for federal funding.
      "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Iperson and Hudson,

        Thank you for both of your replies, they are both very valueable. Now, I'm pretty informed... About the B visa and F visa...I just heard it from a mouth that I could actually apply for B visa and F visa at the same time, and if I let the border guy know that I'm entering earlier on B visa because I need to do a couple things, but my intention is to study from the fall, then I can just change to F visa from B within the US. But for this, I have to let the border guy know this, otherwise I wouldn't be able to adjust my status within the US.
        As about financial proofs, is that fine if I get bank statements from my sponsors (relatives) and my own. Is that enough?
        I'm still in college, but just going to get my Master Degree in June, and if everything worked out well then I would do my PhD from the Fall.
        I don't live in an apartment, Iperson, I live at home with my parents. (we have a family house)

        And about my last question....ok, I won't be worried...just hope I won't win!
        Thank you, and I hope I answered all the questions you guys asked, and if anything good comes to your mind, feel free to put into words on here! Thank you!

        Comment


        • #5
          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by iperson:
          Hudson is not correct.
          You cannot apply for B1 while in the process of applying for F1. It's either or.
          You simply have to wait your turn for the interview at the embassy whenever it's scheduled. It's the only thing you can do.
          Your B1 application, if you choose to apply for, will NOT be approved if you mention you've been admitted to a graduate program in the US. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
          Actually Iperson, i was referring to betting the B visa first and then apply for the J or J visa by using form I-539. The OP cannot have two visa, however, the B visa is not just going to Disneyworld or seeing family in the US. You can visit prospective universities or other educatonal related issues as long as pay is not involved. You still must meet the requirements for obtaining the B visa.

          BTW, no where in the OP post did she/he indicated she was already approved.
          "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

          Comment


          • #6
            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hajnalka:
            Hello Iperson and Hudson,

            Thank you for both of your replies, they are both very valueable. Now, I'm pretty informed... About the B visa and F visa...I just heard it from a mouth that I could actually apply for B visa and F visa at the same time, and if I let the border guy know that I'm entering earlier on B visa because I need to do a couple things, but my intention is to study from the fall, then I can just change to F visa from B within the US. But for this, I have to let the border guy know this, otherwise I wouldn't be able to adjust my status within the US.
            As about financial proofs, is that fine if I get bank statements from my sponsors (relatives) and my own. Is that enough?
            I'm still in college, but just going to get my Master Degree in June, and if everything worked out well then I would do my PhD from the Fall.
            I don't live in an apartment, Iperson, I live at home with my parents. (we have a family house)

            And about my last question....ok, I won't be worried...just hope I won't win!
            Thank you, and I hope I answered all the questions you guys asked, and if anything good comes to your mind, feel free to put into words on here! Thank you! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
            Technically, you cannot apply for both at the same time. You can apply for the B visa, enter the US, visit the professor and the school, and then apply for the J visa using form I-539. However, given the fact that you are obtaining a masters degree, F visa might not be the right visa. J visa could give you more flexibility. The only thing you have to worry about is whether the two year residency restriction will apply. Also, from what you said, you might want to ask the professor if the research is actually part of the degree plan and designated as a class. If tat is the case, you can go in June because you are entering the US within the 30 day window when classes begin. There are generally no restrictions on which classes are being offered as long as it is part of the regular curriculum at the university.

            Bank records from your sponsors, converted into US dollars, is proof that it could show your ability to pay for at least one academic year. That is the key. I still strongly recommed, if you are getting your masters, and eventually your Ph.D to apply for any assistantships, research fellows. fellowships, scholarships, etc. This can also assist you in your education. Contact the professor to see what is available at the university you will attend and the field you are studying.
            "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

            Comment


            • #7
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hajnalka:
              I just heard it from a mouth that I could actually apply for B visa and F visa at the same time, and if I let the border guy know that I'm entering earlier on B visa because I need to do a couple things, but my intention is to study from the fall, then I can just change to F visa from B within the US. But for this, I have to let the border guy know this, otherwise I wouldn't be able to adjust my status within the US. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
              It's semantics, but it may get you in trouble, so:
              - visas are issued abroad to enter the USA
              - if you want F/J visa, you'll have to return to your country to get it after your stay in the USA as visitor on B visa
              - you can however change your status within USA from visitor to student (as you wrote, you have to inform an officer at POE about your intetion)
              - if you say to immig. officer that you will adjust status (instead of change status) you may find yourself on the next plane back (adjust status means become permanent resident (immigrant) which is big NO NO when entering as tourist).

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello All,

                I guess I wasn't clear, so I'll try harder. Ok, I'm getting my master degree in my home country this june. I've got already accepted to a US institution for the fall as a PhD student (I haven't got I-20 over the mail yet though). That's why I would like to know everything before I actually get my I-20 and go to the embassy in my homecountry.
                The school system I'm in accepts students who are in a really good academic standing, but those who are accepted to this PhD program will be funded by the professor they are going to do research at. So, I haven't thought about applying for scholarships since my thesis professor funds my studies.
                Aneri!

                Thank you for the clarification I toally meant that I would change status, not "adjust status". I'm sorry, I don't really know the legaal terms for things.
                I already have a B visa, since I've applied for one back in 2003 and it is valid for 10 years. And what I heard is that I could enter on this visa (while having my F visa in my passport as well) and I just have to tell the POE guy that I needed to enter earlier but I am wishing to study on my F visa from September. Do you say, this can't be done? :/
                Also, Hudson: I'm not going to apply for J visa, but F visa. It might be more flexible, but I don't think I qualify for that....I'm not sponsored by my country's government at all!
                This is soooooooooo confusing!

                Thanks for all of your help, I really appreaciate it!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello Iperson,

                  Thank you again for replying. Yes, I want to follow the law, that's exactly why I came here, so I can get prepared, and start as soon as possible without missing something. All right, I'll give in and forget this entering in B visa and then chnage to F1 within the US. I'll just email to the professor that I'm sorry, I cannot enter legally into the US earlier than 30 days before school instruction begins...I guess I was misleaded on this...
                  By the way, sorry for not replying earlier to your question, it's just hard to keep in track of all the questions. Anway, I'm a Vojvodina Hungarian, and not Slovenian, although I've been there, and it's such a beautiful country that I wouldn't mind being a Slovenian, not even for a minute.
                  It is hard to follow any rules though, since you can't just walk into the Embasssy in our country and ask them questions, and basically I don't have anyone to ask since no one knows the steps. So, that's why I'm trying to figure out all by myself...
                  I haven't applied for F1 yet, since the school hasn't sent my I-20. I don't know what takes them so long, but I can't start my application until I don't have that. Also, I still need to get my sponsor's (a relative) copy of his bank account statement...
                  Do you think if i don't own a house, or business here they would deny me for not having proof of the fact that I'll return? I mean, I was studying all these years, and I'm glad I've got as far as finishing and getting my diploma in June....and I'm not from a rich family whose parents can buy a house for me....:x I really want to get over with the application procedures, as well as the interview and just wait for their answer....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    @Hajnalka: as far as I've heard, they aren't too strict when it comes to students who are planning to do PhD....but I'm not sure..hopefully someone can help you, I don't know the answers to any of your questions...sorry! But hey! Good luck, and let me know how things turn out!
                    Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by iperson:
                      Aneri is correct. Unless rules have changed since the last time I entered this country to study, you cannot tell the POE agent that you are entering the US on B1 and intend to change your status later on to F1. It doesn't really matter whether you say you will either "adjust" or "change" your status. In either case you will find yourself on the plane back home. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                      Nope.. iperson, that's not what I was saying

                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by aneri:
                      - you can however change your status within USA from visitor to student (as you wrote, you have to inform an officer at POE about your intetion)
                      - if you say to immig. officer that you will adjust status (instead of change status) you may find yourself on the next plane back (adjust status means become permanent resident (immigrant) which is big NO NO when entering as tourist). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello Iperson,

                        Thank you for being so helpful, and it's great that you've actually come through all this, and I will sure ask you. It's late night here now, and I'm using internet from my friend's house, so I'd better get home now, but I'll write you tomorrow. As of myself, yeah I agree with you that Hungary is beautiful. I've been in Hungary only five years since I'm studying at a higher education and it is nice....

                        Take care for now!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by iperson:
                          Aneri,
                          I know you can change your status within USA- this is what I did.
                          But it sounded like you were nodding that it is ok to tell the POE agent about the plans to change the status later, but not adjust.? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                          Hajnalka brought it up, I've heard about it before...

                          "USCIS published new regulations on April 12, 2002. People in B visa status may not engage in full-time study until they have first submitted a change of status application, and received an approval notice granting that change of status. In addition, individuals entering the U.S. after April 12, 2002 as prospective students must declare to the immigration inspector at the airport or border crossing point, that they are entering the U.S. with the goal of attending college. The USCIS officer must make a notation on the form I-94 (white card normally stapled into the passport) that you are a prospective student. Under the new guidelines, if you do not have this notation on your I-94 card, you will find it difficult to change to student status..."

                          When dealing with USCIS it is the best policy to keep it simple (and in as few steps as possible). So, I think getting F1 in home country would be the best idea. One reason, brought up earlier by IP, is that Hajnalka will need that visa if he leaves USA and wants to return as a student (after 2009 summer holiday) anyway.
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by iperson:
                          Hajnalka, so you are not a Hungarian? What country are you from originally? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                          He told us that... in his way. Not sure if that was a political statement at the same time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One of my dad's tenants was Vojvodina Hungarian back in England.
                            I hope I am not wrong, if I am I do appologize, but I think she told me it was Serbia?. But with different languages spoken there, ethnics, and of course changes in history, she called herself Vojvodina Hungarian.
                            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">When dealing with USCIS it is the best policy to keep it simple (and in as few steps as possible). So, I think getting F1 in home country would be the best idea. One reason, brought up earlier by IP, is that Hajnalka will need that visa if he leaves USA and wants to return as a student (after 2009 summer holiday) anyway </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                              Aneri,
                              I know that is your preference, however, sometimes keeping it simple, sometimes too simple, can cause lost opportunities to enter the US earlier and may cause unnecessary delays. But that is my take though.
                              "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                              Comment

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