Obtaining Your Visa
If you are accepted to MUM, you will receive your acceptance letter and documents for your F-1 student visa application (Form I-20 | Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).
You can attend an visa interview starting 120 days before your chosen entry. We recommend you to complete your admissions as early as possible to leave the maximum time to get your visa and prepare for traveling.
For F-1 visa applications:
Documents provided by Maharishi University in the Acceptance Packet:
- Acceptance letter
- “Dear Visa Officer” Letter
- I-20 form
- Financial Aid Award Letter
- Prepayment Receipt*
Documents the student must provide:
- Financial Verification Documents (Bank Statements, Sponsor’s Affidavit of Support) with a recent date
- Prepayment Receipt*
- SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt and Visa Application Receipt
- Employer letter stating position will be held (for students admitted to MBA in Accounting or ERP programs)
All documents must be originals — photocopies or facsimiles will not be readily accepted. Those items with (*) are included in the acceptance packet if applicable to the student’s program.
The following points are from Gerald A. Wunsch and Martha Wailes and are adapted from the website of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Carefully read all of these points before applying for your student visa.
- 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. Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language.
- Ties to home country — Under U.S. law, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. You must be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the USA. 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. The interviewing officer may ask your specific intentions of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-range plans, and career prospects in your home country.
- Know the program and how it fits into 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 USA relates to your future professional career when you return home.
- Be concise — Consular officers make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. What you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the visa officer short and to the point.
- Supplemental documentation — Remember that you will have 2–3 minutes of interview time, if you’re lucky. It should be clear at a glance to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated.
- Not all countries are equal — Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the United States as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. If you are an applicant from one of these countries, you are more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after your study in the USA.
- Employment — Your main purpose of coming to the USA should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program. If your spouse is also applying for an accompanying F-2 visa, be aware that F-2 dependents cannot be employed in the United States. Be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in the United States–Volunteer work and attending school part-time are permitted activities.
- Dependents 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. If the consular officer thinks that your family will need you to send money from the US in order to support themselves, your student visa application will likely be denied. If your family does decide to join you at a later time, it is helpful to have them apply at the same post where you applied for your visa.
- Stay positive — If you are denied a visa, do not argue with the officer. Instead, ask them for a list of documents they would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.