A visa is an official document issued by a consulate abroad allowing a person from a country outside of the US to apply to enter the United States. Click here to see what the estimated wait time for your city according to the US Department of State. A visa can be either a multicolored stamp or a computerized document with a picture of the person for whom it was issued. It is important to remember that a visa stamp in a passport is not automatic admission into the United States, if you do not have the right type of visa for your immigration status, you will not be allowed to enter the United States. There are two types of visas that Lawrence Technological University international students use to enter the United States:
F-1 or F-3 Visa - Non Immigrant Student
To obtain an F-1 or F-3 Visa, a student needs an I-20 issued by Lawrence Tech as evidence that you are accepted to be a student. The I-20 form is used to apply for F visa stamps at US consulates abroad and is also required if you leave the US and need to reenter. A student with an F-1 Visa may stay in the U.S. as long as he or she is a full time student and is allowed an additional 60 days after completion of the original program outlined on the I-20 to prepare for departure from the U.S. or transfer to another program or school. The F-3 Visa is for Canadian students who wish to commute to the U.S. to take courses part-time at LTU.
J-1 Visa - Non Immigrant Exchange Visitor
To obtain a J-1 Visa, a student needs a DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) issued by Lawrence Tech. It works similarly to the I-20 in that it is needed to apply for J visa stamps at US consulates abroad and is also required if you leave the US and need to reenter
Dependents - Both F-1 and J-1 students may bring their spouse and unmarried children under age 21 to the US for the duration of time that they are studying at LTU, provided they are financially supported.
There is a lot of important information to know about being an international student in the United States. The United States government also has specific information that you should read before beginning the application process.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Students and Exchange Visitors
U.S. Department of State: Student Visas, Obtaining a U.S. Visa
Education USA also has a vast collection of information for students interested in studying in the United States. They may even have an advising center near you where you can find out more about the steps to becoming a student in the United States.