Obtaining Your Visa
Once you have been accepted by Cambridge College and received your I-20, you will need to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for your visa. We recommend that you do this as soon as you receive your I-20, as visa wait-times can be very long in some countries. However, please note that you cannot apply for a visa more than 120 days prior to the start date on your I-20.
To pay your SEVIS I-901 fee, please visit the SEVP I-901 Payment website. Please print out your receipt and keep it for your records.
To find the website of your particular Consulate or Embassy for visa appointments, please click here. Select the city and country where you will apply for a student visa ("non-immigrant" section) to learn what the procedures are for your particular consulate.
Typical Required Documents:
Please note: Requirements can change frequently and may differ from consulate to consulate. Be sure to check with your particular consulate or embassy for requirements. This list is intended to be a guide only.
......... Form I-20, signed by you and the Designated School Official at Cambridge College
......... Passport valid for at least 6 months into the future
......... Cambridge College acceptance letter
......... One 2 x 2 inch passport-quality photograph
......... Receipt for visa processing fee
......... Receipt for SEVIS I-901 fee payment
......... Evidence of ties to your home country (See Understanding the Visa Process link)
......... Evidence of financial support
......... Evidence of sufficient knowledge of English during the interview
......... Evidence of academic credentials qualifying you for admission (such as TOEFL, transcripts, etc.)
Understanding the Rules for U.S. Visa Applications
1. You must be able to prove to the Consular Officer that you intend to return to your home country at the conclusion of your studies.
2. You must have a definite academic objective. You must know what you are going to study and how it will benefit your future in your home country.
3. You must be able to demonstrate your qualifications for the program into which you have been accepted.
4. You must be able to describe why you selected Cambridge College, and why you applied for the major for which you have been accepted.
5. You must be able to demonstrate adequate finances to pay for your academic and living costs for the duration of your program of study. You may not plan to use employment as a means of support while you are in the U.S.
Whenever possible, please have documents to support your statements.
If your visa application is denied:
Do not try to argue with the consular officer.
Politely ask the officer for a list of documents you should bring in order to overcome the refusal.
Try to get in writing the reason you were denied
Notify us with complete details of everything that was said at your interview
If possible, tell us the name of the consular officer and send a copy of any written answer you may receive.
Cambridge College will make an effort to assist you in obtaining your visa, but cannot guarantee a successful visa interview for any student. The responsibility of preparing for and successfully conducting a visa interview is the student's.
Helpful Internet websites:
The following websites offer advice and instructions when applying for non-immigrant visas:
The Five Secrets of Applying for a U.S. Student Visa
Tips for U.S. Visas: Foreign Students
US Department of State, Visa Home Page
Visa Wait Times
Tips for Conducting a Successful Visa Interview
Here are some tips you should consider when preparing for an interview with a U.S. consular officer:
Ties to Your Home Country: Under U.S. law, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas, such as student visas, are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. You must therefore be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the United States. "Ties" to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence: job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc.
English: Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with native speakers before the interview, but do not prepare speeches.
Speak for Yourself: Do not bring parents or family members with you to the interview. The consular officer wants to interview you, not your family.
Know the Program and How it Fits Your Career Plans: If you are not able to articulate the reasons you will study in a particular program in the United States, you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study, rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future professional career when you return home.
Be Brief: Because of the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute of the interview. Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point.
Additional Documentation: It should be immediately clear to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated. Remember that you will only have 2-3 minutes of interview time at the most.
Employment: Your main purpose in coming to the United States should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work on-campus during their studies, such employment is not available at Cambridge College. Work permission after graduation as well is considered incidental to their main purpose of completing their U.S. education. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program.
Dependants Remaining at Home: If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.
Maintain a Positive Attitude: Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.
If you have immigration-related questions not addressed on this website, please feel free to contact the International Student office by phone (+1-617-873-0142) or by email (email@example.com).
If you experience any problems when using this site, please contact the IT department.