US Student Visa a challenge for Indian students


The United States has become a favorite destination for Indian students who desire to pursue higher education in the US. This is evident from the growing number of student visa applications that the US consulate receives every year. Only a few students are lucky enough to get a US student visa. There are many challenges that the Indian students face in obtaining a US students visa.

Issues that Indian students in the US faces now

Recently Indian students studying in the US universities had to face problems with the recognition of the university and the enrolment of students in university. The US officials have alerted the Indian students planning to go to the US for their higher education about fraudulent visa being provided by fraud rings and fraudulent document vendors. This as a result of the raid conducted on the University Of Northern Virginia.

The University of Northern Virginia was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the immigration authorities. The University was accused of admitting more foreign students than it was allowed to. The authorities had given the University one months time to give answers to the issues raised by them. The authorities have said that the students can either continue in the University or move on to other university, stressing that the later is recommended.

Another worse incident that took place in January was the raid at the Tri-Valley University. The federal agents had raided the University in January and seized the property. The government also said that it will deport the students of the Tri-Valley University. According to the government, the Tri-Valley University is Sham University, which had admitted students on the basis that they don’t have to attend classes. The students had paid large tuition fees and they were allowed to work full time. So the University was using student visa to allow them to work in the United States. The students were working in low level retail jobs across many parts of the US. The University officials said that 553 students were living a two bedroom apartment near the college.

The raid at the Tri-Valley University did not make a big headline in the US, but it did make in India. It is said that there are other universities in Virginia and California which are unaccredited and admit foreign students. Such universities charge the students with $3000 and give them an opportunity to work in the US legally, but under a student visa. They conduct classes on three weekends in a semester and they enroll thousands of foreign students and earn millions of dollars as profit.

What attracted foreign students to this University is the fact that, it offered rights to students to take all the courses online. But the law restricts Universities from offering more than one course online at a time. The Tri-Valley University had realized that the Indian students are the perfect market and started to exploit them based on the loopholes in the law.

Requirements and steps to be fulfilled

A student who wishes to study in the US needs to fulfill four requirements and five steps.

The four requirements are: 1) securing an admission in a recognized university 2) Provision for fees 3) adequate capacity in terms of financials to meet lodging and boarding expenses 4) family and financial ties to ensure that the student will return to the home country.

The new policies require students to be financially stable as they have increased the estimated minimum living costs. Moreover the increasing number of Indian students makes it difficult for the present Indian students to get their visas renewed.

The five steps

Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination

This is to prove the students proficiency in the English language. The selection to the University is made on the basis of the TOEFL score.

Prepare a written application to a recognized university in the United States

The student has to prepare a written application to a recognized university in the US. There are many universities which are not recognized. Recognized universities only can issue the student with a Certificate of Eligibility, Form I-20

Issuing Form I-20

On receiving the application from an Indian student, the University will decide on whether to admit the student or not. If accepted then the university will issue the certificate of eligibility, Form I-20.

Filling up the visa application form

When the student receives the form I-20, he or she should fill up the visa application form, DS-156 and DS-157, if the student’s age is between 16 and 45. The DS-157 is a supplemental non-immigrant application form. The student should obtain the necessary supporting documents and appear at the US consulate.

Visa interview

This is the last step in obtaining the US students visa. The student should make sure that the passport, I-20 form and the visa application from DS-156 reveals all the necessary information. The passport of the students gives details of his or her travel patterns and whether he or she has applied for student visa in any other country. The form I-20 gives information on the student and the university, the expected duration of the course, the details about the course fee and the kind of financial support. The form DS-156 gives information on his or her marital status of the student, details of the person accompanying the student, the relation of the accompanying person with the student, previous history of visa refusal or granting, present occupation of the student, whether his visa was cancelled at any circumstances, the address of his stay at the US, and the source of financial assistance.

Obtaining a US student visa is not easy as everyone thinks. It is the most difficult when compared to other category of visas. The attire of the student while attending interview should be formal. During the interview the student should give clear and specific answers to the questions raised by the official at the consulate.



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