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USA

COUNTRY FACTS

Capital:

Washington DC

Population:

290,342,550

Area:

9,629,047 sq km

Language:

English, French, Spanish

Religion:

Protestant, Roman Catholic

Continent:

North America



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USA qualifications are recognized and respected throughout the world. Your United States degree will be a strong foundation for building your future, boosting your career and prospects for a higher salary. Quality standards for US institutions are among the best in the world. There are many educational institutions that welcome international students in the US and promises to enhance your qualification.
International students who are maintaining a full time course of study can work on campus part time (max. 20 hrs per week) during the academic year and full time during the summer months and any periods when school is not in session. On campus employment assumes that the work will not interfere with your studies and that you are maintaining good academic standing. No special permission or document is needed to give you permission to work on campus.
Instructions about the method to get admission in American Universities
•  Most of the Universities in USA require TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) for foreign Nationals and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) for both In state and Out state Students.
•  TOEFL is waived for countries whose native language is English Like UK, Australia, Canada...).
•  For Foreign nationals three Letters of Recommendation sealed), copies of Official Transcripts sealed) (Note: Some Universities accept Copies verified by Notary) are required. For Working people they may get two letters from current Employers but generally Letters from Professors are preferred.
•  Most of the Universities require Undergraduate GPA to be 3/4 (US system). It is equivalent to 80/100,12/20*(China) and 1st Division, 65%*(For most Nepali University).
•  The Deadline for Fall Semester are from Dec 15 to July. But apply as early as possible. Many decisions are made before the deadline. Foreign nationals may take up to 8 weeks to hear their results. In state students may hear within 5 weeks.
Process to obtain American Student Visa for international students

University Approval and Student VISA
After All, if the university gives student the admission to study the program you applied for, they will send student a form I-20A-B, which is the legal form that denotes that you are admitted & eligible for applying Visa. The immigration laws of the United States permit foreign students to come to the U.S. to attend school at many academic levels. U.S. schools can get authorization from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to admit foreign students and to issue documentation allowing students to obtain F-1 nonimmigrant student visa classification. This document is called the I-20 form. Upon receipt of the I-20, an application to INS for the F-1 visa is filed.
There are mainly two types of non-immigrant student visas. They are F-1 Visa and J-1 Visa. Make sure which Visa you will be entitled to, before applying for one. Dependents are allowed to accompany students, and may be granted F-2/ J-2 visa classification. A foreign student in the F-1 classification may stay in the U.S. for extended periods of time to complete degrees or continuing education, and even may be allowed to work in the United States.

Dependents VISA
F-2 Nonimmigrant dependent visa for dependents of F-1 visa holder. A spouse and unmarried, minor children may also be classified for a nonimmigrant visa to accompany or follow the student. Family members must meet all visa eligibility requirements, including evidence that they will have sufficient funds for their support, and that they will depart the U.S. when the student's program ends. Spouses and children of students may not accept employment at any time.
M-2 Nonimmigrant dependent visa for dependents of M-1 visa holder A spouse and unmarried, minor children may also be classified for a nonimmigrant visa to accompany or follow the student. Family members must meet all visa eligibility requirements, including evidence that they will have sufficient funds for their support, and that they will depart the U.S. when the student's program ends. Spouses and children of students may not accept employment at any time.
J-2 Educational and cultural exchange dependent VISA The spouse and minor children of participants in "J" exchange programs may apply for derivative "J-2" visas to accompany or follow to join the principal alien by presenting a copy of the principal's Form DS-2019. They must demonstrate that they will have sufficient financial resources to cover all expenses while in the United States.Basic Requirements for Visa filing
1.    You must have I-20 from the University (You can have multiple I-20 from multiple university, but you can apply for VISA for only one university)
2.    The student must have Original report sheet of all strategic tests taken [GRE/GMAT, TOEFL etc.]
3.    The student must have completed the course of study required for entering the program.
4.    Proof of sufficient and easily transferable funds to cover the cost of living and tuition fees.
5.    Be proficient in English.
6.    Affidavit of support from Parents or Sponsor that they will support you through entire period of study
7.    And most important of all, Supporting documents satisfying the consulate that the student intends to leave US and return to your home country after completion of studies.

Other Required Documentation when applying for the visa
1.    Visa application fee $160[No-Refundable]
2.    SEVIS fee payment receipt of $200 [No-Refundable]
3.    Form DS-160, completed and signed
4.    Form DS-158 [Contact Info and Work History for NIV applicant] [This form is in addition to the mandatory DS-156 application for a nonimmigrant visa and form DS-157 that is required for males between the ages 16 and 45]
5.    One front-facing photograph, size 2x2, and less than six months old
6.    Students with any special circumstances may also wish to provide an explanation in the form of a cover letter

Getting the VISA
Now coming to getting a Visa, Visa issuance is a very objective decision, and is not subjective: Every visa official has a list of requirements s/he looks for in a visa application. If they are met, then s/he issues the visa. If not, s/he doesn't. It is how these requirements are met that makes a visa decision seem subjective. For instance, take the requirement of showing that you will return to your own country. If you provide unambiguous pragmatic evidence pointing to reasons for return, he will have no reason not to grant a visa. US Visa Official Quote: "Give a rational, objective reason that even a banker would believe". If, on the other hand, you only play with words and have nothing substantial to show, it looks like a subjective decision, since it is based upon subjective evidence.
Presenting Proper documents alone doesn't determines your Visa. Visa officials know that documents in your country can be easily forged. So your paper documents alone is not enough. What you say, how you say it, matters a lot. Sometimes it can even make up for inadequate documentation. US Visa Official Quote: "Some people complain that we did not see their documents. Remember, if we go through your documents when you are standing there, then that is a negative sign. It means we don't believe you and are checking the documents for proof or for grounds to reject you. So not seeing your documents in front of you is a good thing for you."
Combining both of the substantial points, we strongly convey that, proper documentation along with your good presentation before your Visa official on the interview day will determine your Visa.
1. How do I apply for student Visa?
To apply for a student visa, you need to go to Nabil Bank in Maharajgunj (Behind Namaste Super Market), fill out the forms DS-160, and pay the USD $160 application fees. Nabil Bank will provide you with an appointment date and time. If this date is after the reporting date noted on your I-20 (or DS-2019 for exchange student programs), you should notify the staff at Nabil Bank and they will provide you with an earlier appointment if possible. Student visa applicants must also pay a USD $200 SEVIS fee. For more information about the visa application process, see website http://kathmandu.usembassy.gov.

2. What documents are required and not required? (Is a police report required? Is property evaluation essential?)
You should come to the interview with your original I-20 issued by the academic institution where you intend to study, all academic records (SLC, +2 certificate, etc.), and any evidence if financial resources to show that you can afford your education. While there are no specific financial documents required, you should feel free to bring everything you believe would support your case. Consular officers prefer to see at least six months transaction history from your bank accounts. A police certificate is not necessary for student visa applicants. All documents submitted should be genuine – if the consular officer at any time believes you have submitted a false document, you will be refused the visa and the document(s) could be turned over to the police.

3. Do I need to bring a bank statement or a 6-month transaction statement? Can bank statements be from any bank?
Consular officers prefer to see at least six months transaction history from each of your bank accounts. Bank statements can be from any bank, savings and loan or credit agency.

4. Can someone in the US be my sponsor?
Yes. You many have family or close friends in the U.S. who are able and willing to support you financially while you are in school. However, this sponsorship must be genuine. Every consular officer must believe the legitimacy of your financial evidence and it is extremely important that you are honest during the interview.

5. If I am denied a visa the first time I apply, how can I appeal?
You are permitted to apply for a visa many times within one year. For the benefit of the applicants, the Consular Section’s policy is, to the extent possible, to appoint a different interviewing officer for subsequent applications. If you are refused a visa three times in one year, you must wait six months since your last refusal. There is no formal appeal process.

6. What are my chances the second time if I was denied a visa the first time? Is it better to apply with the same I-20 or a different one?
Each applicant’s case is different, but generally consular officers encourage you to wait until your circumstances have change or you have additional evidence that was not presented during your first interview before reapplying. The academic institution you choose to attend (and the I-20 you present) should be the one that is best suited to your academic interests and financial resources.

7. Does it matter in what order my documents are arranged?
For the purpose of the interview, it is easier if your academic records are presented first (in chronological order starting from SLC), followed by your financial information. Any other supporting documents, e.g., character references or extracurricular certificated, should be presented last.
8. How long is a visa interview?
At most Embassies around the world, visa interviews last roughly 2 minutes. However, we try to give you as much consideration as possible depending upon the volume of applicants that must be interviewed. Interviews typically will range from 2 to 10 minutes in duration depending upon the case.

9. What is the wait period for a visa appointment? What is the time line for after the appointment?
During the high visa season (summer and winter), the waiting period for a visa interview may be as long as one month. If you qualify for the visa at the time of your interview, your visa will be ready within 24 hours. The Consular Section encourages you to apply as soon as possible, but no earlier than 90 days prior to the reporting date noted on your I-20.
10. Can I bring many I-20s to my visa Interview?
Yes, you can bring all of your I-20s to the interview, but you will need to have identified, and paid the USD $100 SEVIS fee, for the academic institution that has accepted you. You must bring the I-20 for the school you plan to attend.

11. I heard that if I wear black for my interview, I won’t get a visa, Is this true?
Absolutely not. You are welcome to wear any color of clothing to the interview.

12. I heard that the lady visa consular officer is really strict. Will my chances decrease if I get her as my interviewer?
No. Every consular officer gives each applicant every consideration consistent with U.S. immigration law. At the time of the interview, the officer must believe that you intend to study, that you are able to maintain full-time student status in the U.S., and that you can afford the school.

13. If I paid my SEVIS fee on one I-20, and now I’ve decided to use another I-20, do I need to somehow transfer my payment? How do I do this?
Yes, you should contact the school you intend to attend and ask them to amend your SEVIS record to reflect the change. Please refer to the following website for the further information:
http://www.ice.gov/graphics/sevis/i901/faq7.htm 

14. If I am granted a student visa for one college and decide to transfer to a second college while I am in the US, do I need to get my visa renewed? Is there a fee for this?
You do not need a new visa as long as you have a valid I-20 and a valid visa.

15. Are there any colleges that the US Embassy has ‘blacklisted’ (i.e. the Embassy will not grant visas to attend these colleges)?
No, the Embassy accepts I-20s and visa applications for all accredited education institutions in the United States. When you apply for a college in the U.S. you should make sure that it is an accredited institution. In case of doubt, please consult the Educational Advising Center at the U.S. Educational Foundation Nepal at Gyaneshwor.

16. Do some Nepali students who are granted a visa have problems or are denied at the point of entry in the US?
The F-1 student visa provides you only with the authorization to ask for admission into the U.S. from the U.S. Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services at the point of entry. Typically, however, Nepali student visa holders are granted admission.

17. Do my chances of a student visa for a college increase or decrease if many Nepali students are already at that college?
No. The number of Nepali students at any particular school has no bearing on your qualifications for a student visa.

18. Is it important to have a scholarship to get a visa?
Scholarships can be very important if your family will have difficulty paying for your education and living expenses in the United States. Many schools provide tuition waivers for all international students while others provide financial aid packages for students with low incomes. The Embassy encourages all prospective students to plan well ahead, apply to schools early and investigate opportunities for financial aid through the school directly. There are no fees for applying for scholarships or financial aid in the United States.

19. Does it make a difference if the school I apply to is a public or private school in terms of getting a student visa?
No, the type of school has no bearing on your qualifications for a student visa.

20. If I have relative in influential positions, will I get a student visa if they speak to you?
No, your application has to stand on its own merits.21. To cut costs, I’ll be living with my brother and cousin when I get to the US. Will this count against me when applying for a student visa?
We consider all sources of income and support when considering whether you can afford you educational expenses. 

22. My siblings have all settled in the US. Will this influence my being granted a student visa?
As a student visa applicant, you must convince the consular officer that you have the ability, intent and means to study in the U.S. The officer also must believe that you have a residence abroad to which you intend to return after finishing your education.

23. I’m from a underprivileged class in Nepal. Will this count for or against me?
Consular officers do not consider an applicant’s caste or ethnicity during an interview.

24. If I have disabilities or health problems, will these count against me?
No. Again, if you can convince the officer that you have the ability, intent and means to study in the U.S., you may qualify for the visa

25. I’ve taken and educational loan from a Nepali bank to pay for my education in the US. Will this count against me?
Not necessarily. As long as you can show that you have the means to re-pay the loans without resorting to illegal employment in the U.S. this will not be counted against you.

26. I’d like to go to the US as a transfer student. Do my chances increase or decrease for a student visa?
Neither. If you have a poor academic record, getting good marks at a local university can help convince the interviewing officer that you have the ability to study in the U.S. Other factors, such as the intent and means to study in the U.S. are also factors and officer considers during an interview.

27. I’ve completed my master’s in Nepal and want to get my second master’s in the US. Will this count against me when applying for a student visa?
No. If you have good reasons for seeking a second master’s degree and can convince the interviewing officer that you have the ability, intent and means to study in the U.S., you will likely qualify for the visa.

28. I haven’t taken the TOEFL or the IELTS, or any of the other standardized tests. Will this count against me?
Most academic institutions require the TOEFL, results for admission. Standardized test help demonstrate your ability to study, but are only one of the things an interviewing officer considers. You will not be refused the visa solely on the basis that you have not taken one of the tests.

29. Is the IELTS as recognized as the TOEFL?
All standardized tests are considered when the interviewing officer assesses whether or not an applicant possesses the ability to be a successful student.

30. Can I call the US Embassy if I have a question specific to my case?
We hope that the answers in this FAQ will help answer you questions. Specific questions about your case are best asked at the time of your interview. Please refer to the Embassy’s website at http://kathmandu.usembassy.gov.
(source: US embassy, Kathmandu)
Scholarships and Financial aid available for International Students in United States
The Financial Aid is provided to comprehensive student.  All aid is based on individual need, educational costs and availability of funds. Awards may consist of scholarships, loans, grants and/or employment. In USA, student can receive aids like TA/RA/Fellowship or GA.
Funds and scholarships are provided in limit. Therefore, students are encouraged to complete their applications early as  priority is given to earlier applications.
Many opportunities for grants for graduate study are available from public and private institutions. Information about these outside sources of funding may be available in a student's academic department. To assist you in identifying these external sources of financial assistance, we are providing the following information
Students are supposed to get scholarships and aids not only from their respective universities/college, but there are also some external sources for funds. The fund providers are:

General Graduate Fellowship Sources
Peterson's Grants for Graduate Study, 4th edition, 1995.
A Selected List of Fellowship and Other Support Opportunities for Advanced Education for United States Citizens and Foreign Nationals, 1993. Information listing a number of grant opportunities. Includes a list of the names (and addresses) of thirty-three publications. This information is no longer available in booklet format. Homepage address is: http://www.nsf.gov/  or EMail address: Pubs@NSF.gov .
Chronicle Financial Aid Guide, 1996-97, Chronicle Guidance Publications, 1996.
http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/ 
Money for Graduate Students in the Humanities, 1996-98, 1st. ed., Schleicher, Gail A. & R. David Weber, Reference Service Press, 1996.
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Loans 1996: A Guide to Education-Related Financial Aid Programs for Students and Professionals, 11th ed.,  Sandra, ed., Gale Research, 1995.

Fellowship Sources for Minorities 
Dan Cassidy's Worldwide Graduate Scholarship Directory, 5th Ed., Cassidy, Dan, Career Press, 1995. 
http://www.careerpress.com/ 
The Graduate School Funding Handbook, Hamel, April Vahle, University of Philadelphia Press, 1994.
http://www.upenn.edu/ 
Directory of Financial Aids for Minorities, Schlachter, Gail Ann, Redwood City, California: Reference Service Press, 1997.
The Black Student's Guide to Scholarships: 600+ Private Money Sources for Black and Minority Students, 4th ed., Madison Books, Lanham, MD, 1996.

Fellowship Sources for Women
Directory of Financial Aids for Women, 1991-92, Schlachter, Gail Ann, 1991, published by Reference Service Press, Redwood City, California. 
The Higher Education Money book for Women and Minorities, Bruce- Young, Doris Marie, Young Enterprises, Washington, DC, 1997.

Additional Opportunities
Award for Graduate Students who obtain External Support:  This program provides supplemental research funds for individual students who are successful in obtaining fellowship support for a research project in excess of $6,000 per year from an external agency. Awards are made in the amount of $1,000 for the student and $1,000 to his/her advisor. Appointment to an institutional training grant or the granting of an academic scholarship does not qualify a student for this support program. Money is to be used for research support purposes only.
Requests should be in memo format and addressed to Gloria Heppner, Associate Vice President for Research. Memos should include a brief description of the research project, projected budget, and advisor's name. Please include a copy of the award verification with the request and deliver to to 4032 F/AB or fax to 577-3626.

Spin Searches: SPIN WWW is the World Wide Web version of the Sponsored Programs Information Network database and is currently available to WSU researchers connected to the University network. SPIN WWW contains thousands of federally and non-federally funded research opportunities. The listings are current and include funding opportunities for graduate student research and fellowship information. Instructions for accessing this service and other assistance are available from Vance Brice land in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 577-2294 or http://spin.infoed.org/wwwspin/spin_start.html.
Living Cost for International Students in United States of America
The cost for Tuition Fees for international students varies from $5000 to $30000 per year. The cost of living in USA depends on location. For example States like Washington, California and area around New York is expensive.
In general Students from countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Taiwan - the cost of living may vary from $4000 to $9000.
It is assumed that students will live in shared Apartments, Live out of Campus and have less Telephone bills and other expenses are at bay. Most of (nearly) all expenses can be met while working on campus Jobs. The hourly pay for on Campus jobs Pay from $5.15 to $15 per hour. Foreign Students can work for 20 hrs per week and 40 hrs per week during summer. Students may be allowed to work out of campus (Internship) after nine months of their arrival at the university.
Students not receiving any aid must come being prepared for tuition fees and Living cost for initial 2-3 months. Also note that the universities of states like Alabama, Texas, Florida etc have always shortage of part time jobs. So students Planning to go to the universities of these states must either have Scholarships or adequate Funds. Its better to contact current students via email for latest information. For many universities students can pay the fees of their last semester even after graduation.
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