Imigration Information

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you intend to apply. Complete the Online Visa Application Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview. Photo –You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements. Schedule an Interview While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages outlined below, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age.. 13 and younger - Generally not required. 14-79 - Required (some exceptions for renewals). 80 and older - Generally not required. You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence. . Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply. http://qatar.usembassy.gov/ New Students – F-1 and M-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States in F-1 or M-1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.. Continuing Students - May renew their visas at any time, as long as they have maintained student status and their SEVIS records are current. Continuing students may enter the United States at any time before their classes start..
“SEVIS” refers to the Students and Exchange Visitors Information System, which is the database run by the US Department of Homeland Security. It is meant to assist the US government with maintaining the SEVIS database. The I-20 has a number in the top right corner that starts with the letter N. You need this number in order to pay a SEVIS fee. This fee is required, and you must prove you paid it before you make an appointment at the American Embassy in Doha. Once the fee is paid, you will receive a form called an I-901, which you take with you to your visa appointment.
At your visa appointment, you need to provide several documents, including your I-20, I-901, passport, and a photo. A complete list can be seen at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html#6, which will also include other documents that may be useful. Remember, when you go to the US Embassy, their consular officials are trained to assume that everybody who applies for a visa is planning to immigrate to the US permanently, so you must be prepared to demonstrate to them that that is not the case. It will be useful to bring evidence of family and financial ties, such as photos, deeds or titles, etc. Dress nicely, and make sure to be a little early. While at your interview, the officer will ask some basic questions about your study plans and maybe your life. Answer truthfully and try not to be nervous. As long as you’re honest, there’s no reason to be nervous. If you are denied a visa, politely ask why. You will want to know what concerns the officer had so you can better prepare for a second interview. For example, if the officer says, “I can’t be sure that you speak enough English,” you can bring information about your ESL program to the second interview and show how it will help you know more English. Regardless of the outcome of the interview, make sure to thank the officer for his/her time.
Confirm that your passport and visa are valid for entry to the U.S. Passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond date of expected stay in the U.S. The Customs & Border Protection Officer at the U.S. port of entry will be the only authorized person to open the sealed envelope containing your I-20 form/immigration document that you received from the U.S. Embassy in Qatar. While you are traveling, you should carry with you the following (do not check in these documents with your luggage): -Your passport (including the attached envelope of immigration documents) with visa, Form I-20 AB -Copy of the financial support letter issued by the Qatar Cultural Office to your school name & contact information for your designated school official, pen and paper. -You will have to complete the CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms, which will be given to you on flight before you land at your initial point of entry in the U.S. Itis important that you tell the Customs and Border Protection Officer that you will be a student.
Be prepared to provide the name and address of the school where you will enroll. Once the inspection is complete, the officer will stamp your passport with a date of entry stamp. Secondary Inspection Requirements – If your information cannot be automatically verified by the inspector or you do not have all of the required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as “secondary inspection”. We strongly suggest that you have the name and phone number of the foreign student advisor at your school, which can be found in your admission documents. If you arrive during non-business hours (evenings, weekends or holidays), you should have a phone number where this individual can be reached during non-business hours. Failure to provide proper documentation and comply with the entry/exit procedures is cause to refuse the student admission into the U.S. There are times when a student may not be in full compliance, the student may be issued a Form I-515A “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor”, which authorizes temporary admission into the U.S. and requires the student to take immediate action to submit proper documentation. Non-compliance with the directions contained on these forms can results in denied entry. US-VISIT– is a comprehensive entry-exit registration system that was implemented at all international airports throughout the U.S. Non-immigrant visitors holding visas will be participating in the program, which involves obtaining a scan of two index fingerprints and a digital photograph of an arriving visitor. National Security Entry-Exit Registration Systems (NSEERS) Some visitors will require additional scrutiny and will have to provide additional information under NSEERS. Anyone could be subject to additional scrutiny and should follow the directions of the Customs and Border Protection Officer if additional information regarding itinerary, length of stay or other security questions is required Admission to the U.S. – Students should report to their school IMMEDIATELY and register for courses. Continuing Students who are traveling outside of the U.S. must see their foreign student adviser at the school and obtain an endorsement from the designated school official. The endorsement will be made on page 3 of the Form I-20. When returning to the U.S., a continuing student must present a valid Form I-20 with the DSO signature that the student is active and in good standing with the school.
A copy of your I-94
A copy of your I-20
A copy of your Visa Page
A copy of your Passport Biographical Page
Two (2) passport photos for the Medical Card
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