Preparation is the key to success as an international student. In order to prepare for the transition, we recommend that you:
Know the Rules
The consular officer who makes the decision on your visa application is required to think of you as someone who plans to come to the U.S. permanently; it is up to you to prove that you intend to return to your county after completing your studies. U.S. law clearly states that F visas may be given only to persons who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily.
The other important rules are:
U.S. government officials are much more easily convinced by documents than by spoken statements. When possible, have papers to show your connections to your home country. In the U.S. it is considered important to be impersonal when administering laws. Do not try to negotiate or discuss personal matters.
Examples of documentation you should collect include:
Proof of a family-owned business: If your family owns a business, take letters from a bank describing the business to the visa interview with you.
Property deeds: If your family owns property, take the deeds.
Siblings’ U.S. diplomas: If you have a brother or sister who studied in the U.S. and then returned home, take a copy of their diploma and a statement from an employer showing that they have returned home.
Please read your I-20. Especially note your start and end dates and the rules and regulations on page 2. Once you obtain your student visa, you cannot enter the country any earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20.