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Antony Chacko
12 Aug 2015 466 2 mins Share

The US Visa Procedure - After Landing in the US

Explains the Procedure of Visa, while you are in the US. The Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials permit or deny admission to the US.

12 Aug 2015 466 2 mins Share
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After clearing the interview and receiving your visa, you are half way to the US. But these alone won’t qualify you to enter and exit the US. As soon as you land in the US it’s time to get through customs. Don’t worry; the process is usually smooth for international students when you have the right documents in hand. The F-class student visa approved to you might have to be extended or the status has to be changed; now let us look at the procedures involved, while in the US.

What Happens After Landing in the US?

Just a visa alone does not guarantee entry into the US. The Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials permit or deny admission to the US. 
  • You should have your Form I-20 and in advance of travel, you should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions on food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. 
  • Upon arrival, you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program and when allowed to enter the US, the CBP official will decide the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record Form I-94.

Can Students Stay Beyond the Authorized Stay Period?

It is very important that you leave the US on or before the last day you are authorized to stay as per your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Information of successful maintenance of your immigration status can be found on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.
Staying further than the authorized period of time, the DHS will position you out-of-status which is a serious violation in the US immigration law INA 222(g); qualifying you to never return to the US. 

What Items Do Returning Students Need?

When you apply for renewals, you must submit:
  • Form DS-160 Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application.
  • A valid undamaged passport and previously issued passports if any and more than one person is included in the passport, each person in need of a visa must complete separate applications.
  • One 2x2 photograph
    • In colour
    • Photograph sized in a way that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the photograph’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. 
    • Photograph should be taken within the last 6 months 
    • Should be taken in front of a white or off-white background
    • Should be taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
    • Pose with a neutral expression and eyes open
    • Should be taken in formals or business casuals
    • Uniforms should not be worn, except religious clothing
    • Avoid hats or anything that may cover the head, hair or hairline, unless worn daily for religious reasons. Complete face must be visible without any shadows cast by the head covering.
    • Earphones, headphones, hands-free devices, or any similar items are not acceptable in the photograph.
    • Spectacles without tinted lenses, hearing aid or similar articles may be worn for the photograph.
    • Glare on glasses is not acceptable in the photograph
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.
  • Transcripts, documents and certificates from previous institutions attended
  • Scores of TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GRE, GPA GMAT, etc.
  • Financial proof that you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your education and living costs.
    • If you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, income tax documents and original bank book and statements are to be submitted.
    • If you or your sponsor owns a business, business registration document, licenses, tax documents, bank books and statements should be submitted.
    • If a scholarship or a grant funds your education, original transcripts, documents, bank statements of the donor have to be submitted.
  • A new Form I-20 or a Form I-20 that has been endorsed on the back by the school official within the last 12 months has to be submitted.
  • If you were inside or outside the US and have not attended classes for more than five months, you will need a new visa to continue your education.
All the Best.
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