6.3 Obtaining an International Student Visa for America
As mentioned in Chapter 5, the international student visa permits the holder to undertake a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, or ad hoc employment on campus for up to 20 hours per week. No additional legal authorizations are required, which is not the case in Canada.
When you are offered admission into a specific program of studies at a particular college in America, the college issues the I-20 form. The I-20 is a certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant (F-1) student status. The I-20 alone is not a student visa. An official from the American embassy or consulate must approve the I-20 and issues an F-1 visa. When you enter the US on I-20, you would be granted the F-1 student visa status by the immigration authorities.
If you have been offered financial assistance by the college, in the form of research or teaching assistantship, the college would also issue documents to that effect.
These documents, issued by the prospective college, are an essential part of the documents you are required to produce when applying for the international student visa. The list of required documents is provided later. Once you have all the required documents, you should visit the nearest American consulate to apply for the international student visa. You will be required to fill out an application form. You will then be given further instruction on the future plan of action.
Here we present the official definitions, explanations, requirements, processes, and frequently asked questions. We have restricted the information only to what is relevant to the college and university education in degree-granting institutions.