Student (F-1) Visa
If your main purpose for coming to the U.S. is to study, you will need a student visa. A student visa allows you to study full-time, and you must continue to study full-time during your time in the U.S. in order to remain in the U.S. legally. A full-time English student must take at least 18 hours of class per week. Full-time students at SSL usually study 20 hours per week.
An I-20 is a document that means you have been accepted to study at an educational institution in the U.S. SSL is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. To apply for an I-20, you must complete the following four steps:
1. Send your application form through SSL’s website, or send in your application form by mail or fax.
2. Pay the application fee and mailing fee by credit card, personal check, or money order. Please note that students must complete a credit card authorization form if paying by credit card.
3. Send a photocopy of your passport picture page.
4. Send your financial documentation that shows you have sufficient money to study and live in Las Vegas (at least $4100 for each session you will study). This documentation can be any of the following:
A copy of your personal bank statement or your parents’ bank statement. If you send a copy of your parents’ bank statement, please include a letter signed by your parents saying that they promise to support you in the U.S.
A document from your government or other agency paying for your studies saying that this organization agrees to support you in the U.S.
If someone other than you or your parents will support you, you must include an affidavit of support (I-134) along with your application. Please contact SSL for more information and advice if this is your situation.
Once you have completed these steps, we will review your information for admission and send you an I-20 and acceptance letter to you within 3-4 business days.
A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
The program start date on SSL’s I-20 is usually a few days before classes begin, to allow time for testing, placement and orientation. Students may NOT enter after the start date on the I-20. (If you need to enter later, please tell us so that we can put the date on the I-20, allowing you to enter later.)
Students may enter the U.S. up to 30 days BEFORE the date on the I-20. For example, if the start date on your I-20 is 5/31/2015, you may arrive in the U.S. between 5/01/2015 and 5/31/2015. (Please be aware that housing may not be available if you enter more than one week before the beginning of classes.)
Applying for a Student (F-1) Visa
You can apply for a student visa at the U.S. Consulate in your country. For information about the new SEVIS fee (I-901) and useful links for obtaining a visa click here.
When you go to the U.S. Consulate in your country to apply for a student visa, you must take the following documents:
Your I-20 from SSL and your receipt of the SEVIS Fee.
Proof that you have enough money to live and study in the U.S. This can be a copy of your bank statement, a copy of your parents’ bank statement, or information from the person or organization that will support you.
Proof that you plan to return to your country after you study in the U.S. This can be evidence that you have a job, you will go to school in your country, you have family (a husband, wife or children) in your country, or that you own property or a business in your country.
Proof that you are a serious student. If possible, bring copies of your high school or university transcripts with you.
A study plan. Write a letter that describes your plan for studying in the U.S. Explain why you want to learn English, and what you plan to do after you learn English.
Study with a Tourist (B-2) Visa
If you enter the U.S. with a tourist visa, your main purpose for being in the U.S. should be tourism. It is not illegal to study part time with a tourist visa if your main purpose in the U.S. is tourism. It is against U.S. immigration regulations to study full-time with a tourist visa.
Study with Other Types of Visas
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., you may study full-time or part-time. With many other types of visas, it is not illegal to study part-time, as long as you comply with the regulations governing your immigration status. Please ask SSL if you have any questions about this.