International Student Information
If you are a non-US citizen, you will need an F-1 Student Visa issued by the US Embassy in order to study in the US. If you are bringing your spouse and/or children with you while you study, you will also need to apply for visas for them, called F-2s. To apply for an F-1 (student) visa, you will need to provide the Process Work Institute with the information listed below. Once the information is received, we will send you a completed I-20 form which you will need to secure a student visa interview at the U.S. Embassy located in your home country. Getting the I-20 does not guarantee that you will get a student visa. It is your responsibility to contact your local U.S. Embassy and make an appointment with them in order to actually get the student visa. Arranging a visa interview can take a long time.
Information for your I-20
In order to process your I-20, and allow you sufficient time, all required materials must be received by PWI at least 2 months prior to the program start.
- Certificate of Finance: To be considered for a student visa, you must certify that you have the necessary finances available to pay for one full year of the program, including living expenses, and expenses for your dependents if you’re bringing them. If you do not have enough money in your accounts, you must have someone agree to financially support you through an “Affidavit of Support”.
- Bank Statements: You need to obtain an official statement from your bank showing that the balances in your account(s) are enough to cover the amount on the Certificate of Finance.
- Affidavit of Support: Use this form if you need a third party (family member or friend) to show that you have sufficient funds to pay for your program.
Once PWI has all of your materials, we will mail you your I-20 (and your dependents) to the address you provide on the Personal Information Form.
Information for your US Embassy Appointment
After you receive your I-20 you should request an appointment at your closest US Embassy. There is a web site with more information at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html, which also has links to the required forms. Each applicant for a student visa must submit these forms and documentation:
- Form, I-20 Don’t forget you need to sign the I-20 form.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant,Form DS-156, together with a Form DS-158. Both forms must be completed and signed. Some applicants will also be required to complete and sign Form DS-157. A separate form is needed for children, even if they are included in a parent’s passport. The DS-156 must be the March 2006 date, electronic “e-form application.” Important Notice : At certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, nonimmigrant visa applicants are now required to apply for their visa using the new DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, instead of the nonimmigrant application forms DS-156, 157, 158, and other related forms. Check with your local embassy.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and valid for at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.
- One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the website for photo requirements.
- A receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
- The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.
- Money to pay the visa issuance fee. Check with the embassy, or embassy website to see how much the fee is.
If you are applying with dependents you must also provide
- Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.);
- It is preferred that you apply for visas for you and your dependents at the same time. If your spouse and children must apply separately, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.
You may also be required to show:
- Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended.
- Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the period of your study. If you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
Important to remember: An I-20 issued to you does not guarantee that the US Embassy will issue you a F-1 student Visa. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. When you receive your U.S. nonimmigrant visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country, the consular officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. You should not open this envelope! The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. port-of-entry will open the envelope.
When you travel to the US
You should have with you (carry them on your person, not in your luggage):
- Your passport with attached envelope
- Form I-797, receipt notice, verifying payment of SEVIS fees.
- On your first entry you’ll be issued an I-94, you must keep this in your passport for all travel to the US.
- Evidence of Student status, (recent tuition receipts or transcripts)
- Form I-20, which must be signed every 12 months by a PWI Designated School Official (DSO) if you are going to travel outside of the US during the duration of your program.
- Name and contact information for Designated School Official, at PWI that is Lucinda Klarich-Kahn, phone number 503-223-8188
- A pen, blue or black ink is best.