F-1 Student Visa

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Millions of international students who want to go to the United States to study. American universities are globally recognized and respected. Thai students with degrees in the United States are highly prized by employers in Thailand.

Many Thai students make missteps in the process to get a student visa. There are students who go to the United States under a generic tourist visa and enroll in an educational program. Then they try to change to an F-1 student status to be denied.

There are restrictions on foreigners who entered the United States on a generic tourist visa to change to an F-1 student. Only students who receive a B-2 visa with a notation that they are a prospective student can apply for a change of status to an F-1 student status while in the United States.

The first step toward getting a student visa is to obtain an I-20 from an accredited school which is registered with the Department of Homeland Security. The I-20 is evidence that the student has been accepted into an accredited education program.

The second step to gather financial documentation of the ability to financially support the student?s stay in the United States during their F-1 status. The I-20 will provide the cost of the student’s education and living costs. The student will have to document their ability to pay for their educational expenses including scholarships, sponsorship, and personal assets.

The last requirement is that the student needs provide evidence that they will return to their home country upon completing the educational program. This can be difficult because students are generally young with few tangible assets to bring them back to their home country. The student must do their best in documenting their ties to their home country with the intent of working in their home country upon completing their education in the United States. Some consular officers may ask the prospective student for a bond to be placed on hold until the student returns to their home country.

With these three sets of documents, the B-2 Prospective Student can apply for a change of status in the United States or prospective student can apply for an F-1 visa at the local consulate or embassy.