Navigating the F-1 Student Visa Process with Dr. Lowe

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Coming to the U.S. to get a world class education is the primary goal of international students.  This may be followed by work experience at a top U.S. firm. For many students, continued employment may develop into an immigration opportunity where they actually become U.S. citizens.

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International students who wish to study in the U.S. face two challenges that they have to surmount, (1) They have to worry about being accepted into desirable, credible and competitive programs at U.S. college and universities. (2) They have to convince the U.S. government to grant a F1 Student Visa in order to pursue their studies. According to the U.S. government (Department of Homeland Security SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program), every student visa decision is a national security decision and that’s why there is an extensive screening process for each applicant.  Over 30 percent of students who apply for F1 are rejected annually!  A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.  A visa only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. 

The Student Visa Process involves 3 parts: 

Part I.  Form I-20: Before applying for a student visa (F1), you have to be accepted at a college or university and have to receive Form I-20 from the U.S. school.  This of course means that you have to understand nuances of the application process. Ivy League and highly selective colleges/universities and their corresponding graduate schools (and BS/MD programs) are extremely competitive.

Part II. Visa Application:  This includes payment of the SEVIS (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) fee and completion of the DS-160 online Visa Application Form.

Part III.  Visa Interview:  After the student has completed part I and II, the next step is scheduling an appointment for a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.   You will be interviewed by a consular officer in English.  And you must establish to the consular officer that you are qualified to be issued a student visa.  By answering personal questions regarding your plans for studying in the U.S. The consular officer focuses on 4 factors during the interview: (1) Who are you, what are your ties what is your story? (2) What do you want to do and where do you want to study? Why do you study that major or subject? (3) How will you finance your education? How will you pay for the entire length of your study? (4) What do you want to do when you finish your study?

A visa interview lasts for only a few minutes so you need to be prepared!  You don’t want to be denied a student visa because of mistakes in your interview.

Interviews are extremely important. Don’t walk into your visa interview unprepared.  We offer mock interview sessions and counseling and feedback.  As an admissions consultant and career expert, I have provided interview preparation for over 23 years and can help you with satisfactorily refining your visa interview.  ACE your F-1 Student VISA Interview with Dr. Paul Lowe.

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We interface with families, embassies, consulates and immigration law firms to help our clients successfully navigate the F-1 student visa process.


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Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Affiliates that help International students include: International Admissions Advisors and International Student Career Advisors.

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Helping international students with college and boarding school admissions.
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Helping international students with career planning and development.