The Visa Hour – Student Visas and SWT (Summer Work Travel)

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The Visa Hour – Student Visas and SWT (Summer Work Travel)

ANDREA: Welcome to the latest episode of The Visa Hour Today we will discuss student visas and summer work travel I’m Andrea from the Consular Section, and I’m joined by my colleague, Khan, from EducationUSA Philippines to answer the questions we gather online KHAN: As Andy mentioned, I am Khan from the Philippine American Educational Foundation, representing Education USA in the Philippines To join us this afternoon, you can submit your questions by posting them on Twitter using the hashtag #TheVisaHour, or by posting them on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/Manila.USEmbassy Or on our Google Plus page, Google.com/+USEmbassyManila At this point, we are now ready to start answering your questions ANDREA: Here’s a question from [INAUDIBLE] on Facebook “Can a high school student apply for a visa? “What are the courses he or she can take? “What are the required documents, and for how long will the program abroad take?” Anybody can apply for a student visa to go to the United States It just depends on whether they are accepted into a program Would you like to tell more about that? KHAN: Yes I think a visa application will have to come in much later If you are looking at pursuing studies in the U.S., it’s really more about what you would like to pursue as a student in the U.S. and what would fit you and what you are expected – or what you are planning to do with what you would like to pursue in the U.S That would help you prepare yourself to apply for a student visa ANDREA: And by the time you come see me for a consular interview – for a visa interview – you should be able to talk about why you chose the school, what your plans are for study KHAN: Um-hm ANDREA: Next question KHAN: Alright, Mae [INAUDIBLE] on Facebook asks, “I am 20 years old, and I just graduated this year “While looking for possible paths I can take as a “fresh grad, I came across this and became interested “I plan on taking a second degree in the U.S “or try summer work and travel to broaden my horizons “I would like to know how the U.S. Embassy “student visas for summer work travel will be able to help young adults like me in such a venture.” ANDREA: Mae, that’s a great question You talk about two different kinds of visas in that question, the student visa and the summer work and travel, which is known as the J visa For a student visa, you can certainly apply to take a second degree in the U.S As long as you’re accepted at that school, you would apply for the student visa For the summer work and travel, that’s available for college students or final-year students about to graduate And that’s an opportunity to work abroad and exchange cultures KHAN: Alright, so next question ANDREA: On our next question, Grethel Garcia asks on Facebook, “Hi. I’m a first-year college student and I want to travel “in the U.S. And I have some prepared documents for “tourist visa. Can I apply for summer work travel? And what are the requirements for the student visa?” Well, Grethel, you can have a tourist visa and a student visa at the same time But you need to make sure that if you are supposed to go study in the U.S on your student visa and you enter before you are supposed to be doing your studies, you’ll have to exit on your tourist visa and come back in on your student visa A lot of students do that They’ll go for vacation in advance, and they’ll just quickly pop up to Canada or down to Mexico and re-enter on their student visas Another way is to apply for adjustment of status through USCIS through the Department of Homeland Security But that’s a long, involved process You will have to make sure your papers are in order and make sure you don’t get caught out of status KHAN: Okay. Our next question is from the Facebook visa wall The question is, “I got denied twice Will it be difficult for me to get a student visa if I apply again?” I get this ANDREA: You get this question a lot? I know. We get it all the time Definitely if you’ve been denied before, it can be a hurdle that you have to overcome, but it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get a visa Every application is looked at anew, and you should use that opportunity to explain what your purpose is and think about your prior refusals, and maybe there’s something you didn’t explain to the officer at the time, or how your circumstances have changed KHAN: So it is important that they actually establish that something – or their circumstances have changed before actually considering applying again? ANDREA: Yes Or, unless their circumstances haven’t changed, but maybe they didn’t – the purpose of travel to the

consular officer, or didn’t explain that – their nonimmigrant visa purposes All these visas today, the student visas and summer work and travel, they’re all nonimmigrant visas So you have to show that you have a residence here in the Philippines that you’re not going to abandon and that you have the intention of leaving the United States at the end of your time KHAN: Alright. Sounds good M. J. DeGuzman asks on Facebook, “Summer work and travel program “is only allowed during summer break, March to June, “for the Philippines “What if the school changes their summer vacation “from June to September or May to August? “Will you still allow students to join the work and travel program? What is the procedure for approval?” Yes, because in the Philippines, there is now a move by 2015 or 2016 to adjust the calendar year for the Philippines ANDREA: And that’s a great question I’ve heard people be concerned about that here But different countries around the world have different times when the school’s on summer break And, as long as they are on their summer break for that school and they have a sponsor who’s sponsoring them, they can apply for that program If you’re interested in a J1 summer work and travel visa, you do need a sponsor And I urge you to visit the J1 visa website, which is J1Visa.State.gov You can also link to that through our Embassy Manila website KHAN: Okay. There you go ANDREA: Chi [INAUDIBLE] from Facebook has another question “I’m a 35-years-old single mother and graduated with a “vocational course in massage therapy “Am I capable to have a student visa? And what course? What would be the requirements?” Well, that’s a tricky question, Chi, because I’m not sure what you wanted to study in the States So anybody can be a student It doesn’t matter if you are a single mother or if you’re 35 years old and you’re trying to restart your career You just have to make sure that you apply to a school that makes sense for you, that has a sensible plan, that you have the means to support the tuition and pay for the fees. And you apply for the visa KHAN: And I do get that question also a lot “What course can I take in the U.S.?” It’s not for us to really answer what you would like to pursue in the U.S You’d have to explain to us what you want to pursue If you’re 35 years old and have already completed some form of program here in the Philippines, why would you like to go to the U.S.? Are you starting anew? And what – basically what are your reasons for studying again? So it would have to be you to decide what program you want to get into ANDREA: And Chi also raised another good point As a single mother, she would actually – if she was given a student visa – could bring her child as a derivative So you can bring your spouse and child on a student visa And children who are K through grade 12 can actually study in the U.S., attend school, on that derivative status But spouses and partners are not able to work or study in that status? KHAN: As a dependent ANDREA: As a dependent of a student on a student visa KHAN: Alright ANDREA: This question is from The visa wall as well I got an email from HTIR work study program in the U.S.A If, for example, I have low income here in the Philippines, can I still qualify for this program? What if I have someone to sponsor me? Would it be enough for me to qualify in this program? Do you have any familiarity with the program? KHAN: I’m not familiar with the HTIR It says work-study program We’ll have to get back to you on that and do a little research Or, better yet, maybe you could put a follow-up question while we are on this Visa Hour, and we’ll try to catch up and answer what you really mean with your question ANDREA: Well, I mean, as far as the work study goes, you can definitely work while you’re studying But there are strict regulations about it KHAN: On a student visa ANDREA: On a student visa There’s optional practical training There’s curricula training You have to be a grad student for some of them, or you have to be after your first year of studies All work while you’re on a student visa has to be approved by KHAN: The university ANDREA: …the university and the Department of Homeland Security And we have more information on that on our website KHAN: Okay. On to our next question from Roma [INAUDIBLE] on Facebook. “Good day Are fourth-year high school “students eligible to apply for SWT? “I would like to take biology as my pre-med course “and then pursue medicine “What scholarship programs can I apply to with regards to the

“field of study I want to pursue after graduating secondary school?” Are fourth-year high school students allowed to ANDREA: Unfortunately, Roma, high school students are not eligible for the summer work and travel program You must be enrolled at a post-secondary [INAUDIBLE] for your bachelor’s program However, you could always apply for a student visa to continue your studies in the United States, do a pre-med or biology at a university in the United States Alternatively, if you are traveling in the U.S. – like if you’re traveling for the purpose of vacation, you could also maybe take a short course of study that’s just for your interests, that’s not for credit And finally, as for scholarships, that depends on the school you apply to KHAN: Yes, exactly ANDREA: You have resources about that KHAN: I was going to say that In terms of scholarships to apply to, try to look for the program that you want to pursue and find a school that fits what you’re looking for If scholarships would be on top of your list in terms of the criteria you’re looking for in a school, then definitely, you’d have to choose schools which offer scholarships And so, applying for scholarships, you’d have to, again, look at schools which offer scholarships in the program that you would like to pursue ANDREA: And I just mentioned short courses of study This next question is from an email He asks, “Can I use my visitor visa to take a short course in the United States? Or do I need the student visa?” Well, generally if you’re going for a course of study that’s going to result in credit, academic credit, or a certificate or a degree, you need a student visa If you are traveling, have a valid visitor visa, and you’re going on vacation, as I said, and you’re going to take less than 18 hours a week of a course – maybe an art course or a film course, any type of course that will not result in any academic credit or certificate, you can use your tourist visa for that purpose KHAN: Okay. Alright Our next question is also frequently asked “Do I need to show that I have cash immediately available to “cover the entire period of my intended stay? – Or my intended study in the U.S.” So, for example, it’s an undergraduate degree and it’s going to take me four years to complete it, when I apply for a student visa, do I have to show proof that I have money to cover for all the four years? ANDREA: That’s a good question What you have to do is when you are enrolled in a school and you come in for your visa appointment, you will receive an I-20 from your school On that I-20, it will list the cost of tuition, books, living expense in the United States And it’ll list for each year Consular officers need to see that you have the means to pay that full amount for one year and that your family or whoever’s paying for it has sufficient means to pay subsequent years We don’t need to see you have all the money for all four years or all two years or all six years, depending on the program But we do need to see at least for the first full year and, for instance, that if your father is paying, that he has a certain job or he has an income that can support that KHAN: It’s continuous ANDREA: That continuous income source And you don’t need to – some people think they need to bring stacks of cash to show they have the money or a check or something You do not need to bring that We just need bank documents, other things, being able to explain the source of income during an interview KHAN: They would be able to show probably that not all their savings will go to fund the program ANDREA: Exactly. If you’ve got an uncle who is paying for it, he can’t deplete his entire savings or send his entire annual income to pay for your studies He needs to be able to support himself still So that’s one of the factors you should look at when applying to schools is, can you afford the school? Is the tuition the right thing for you? KHAN: Alright “What is a J1 internship, and how can I apply?” ANDREA: Okay. That’s a great question because there’s a couple types of J’s We’ve already talked about the summer work and travel J, but there’s a J1 internship and a J1 trainee visa too The J1 internship is for students who are still in college or within 12 months of graduating from college And the trainee is if you’ve already graduated and have one year of professional experience KHAN: Okay ANDREA: There’s more information about these programs, as I said earlier, on J1Visa.State.gov, or on our website, Manila.USEmbassy.gov For these programs, you need to have a sponsor, which you can locate through those websites But you have to meet those minimum qualifications One is an internship and they’re year-long programs I want to note specifically, because we get a lot of applicants who are hotel/restaurant management applicants for interns and trainees And what you’ll present at the time of the visa interview is a training plan You’ll work with your sponsor on a training plan what you’re going to be doing in the U.S

For hotel/restaurant management applicants, you need to show that your training plan consists of three separate departmental or functional rotations that are quite different The purpose of these visas are to really give you that professional development experience that enhances your education KHAN: Okay ANDREA: New question’s come in “Is it true that I can still be denied a student visa, even when I already have my I-20?” Yeah, people get upset if they find out they don’t qualify because they’ve been accepted at the school And I know that can be really disappointing for applicants But your I-20 just shouldn’t mean that you’re necessarily qualified for the visa It’s the consular officers like myself that have to judge whether you have immigrant intent, whether you have the financial means to pay for the studies, and if your intentions are credible student But I think that as long as applicants are able to plan for the interview and talk about why they chose that school – out of all the schools that are out there, why they want to go to the U.S and why that individual school is the best school for them, the course of study Maybe there’s a great professor they’ve read about is there But take the time to prepare for the interview and explain your plan and it shouldn’t be a problem KHAN: So definitely an I-20 is not a guarantee ANDREA: It’s not a guarantee Or, in the alternative, the document for the J is the DS-2019. It is not a guarantee You still have to qualify for the visa But it’s the first step Absolutely KHAN: Is this for real? Tony Gonzago on Twitter asks, “I have two kids “studying in UP Diliman “They are interested to study in the U.S “But I don’t have the funds So I guess it’s on scholarships.” Well, two kids in UP Diliman, they’re most likely in college Get in touch with us at PAEF EducationUSA And I think this particular situation needs a thorough answer I need to know their background, what are they interested in So it would be better if you could give us a call at the PAEF office to set up an appointment with an EducationUSA advisor ANDREA: That’s excellent, but also I think that maybe even if they can’t come up with the money for tuition for a full four-year course of study or a graduate degree that maybe they’re able to finance a summer work and travel experience or a trainee or an internship experience that’s one year and you put – you pay in advance with the sponsor But when the students are there, they do earn money and it almost evens out So that may be a good opportunity for getting that experience in the United States KHAN: Not actually pursuing a four-year degree in the U.S., but just to get out and study abroad and work broadens your horizons ANDREA: Yeah. Getting that experience in a U.S institution. Absolutely This next question is from Facebook Sweet Caroline Lebow asks, “Do you give student visas to those “who have already completed a four-year bachelor’s degree and “still want to pursue a new career to broaden their knowledge? “Particularly a two-year course in culinary in a community college in the U.S.A.?” Well, Sweet Caroline, this has a lot of parts to the question First we’ll tackle the – do we give student visas to people who have already completed a four-year bachelor’s degree? Absolutely, if what you want to study makes sense, whether you want to get a second bachelor’s or you’re going for a master’s and then a PhD If you want to get – now if you want to change your career, broaden your career knowledge in a culinary or community college, an associate’s degree, which is sort of – it’s different It’s not a complete bachelor’s degree If you’re able to explain to the consular officer why you want to broaden your knowledge, how this fits in your plan Maybe you have a bachelor’s degree in business and you want to do the culinary because you want to open a restaurant That’s a plan that makes sense KHAN: Yes. So for as long as it makes sense ANDREA: Yeah, your plan makes sense and you have the background to do it and the means to do it and you’ve picked a school that fits that, absolutely KHAN: Alright. Neff [INAUDIBLE] on Facebook asks, “What is CPT and OPT? Is there a chance for students to get full-time jobs in the U.S.?” I think Andy mentioned earlier about CPT and OPT CPT is the curricular practical training, and OPT is the optional practical training The CPT happens during your course of – during your program Let’s say you’re pursuing a graduate study of two years – a graduate program of two years The CPT can be done in-between the two years of your master’s program, while the OPT is done after the program has been completed

So you work full-time in the sense that you are reporting now to the institution where you are doing your training However, you are still on a status of a student What’s important with the CPT and the OPT – these have to be approved by the university – this has to be approved by the DHS – and that you still maintain the status of a student in the U.S ANDREA: Right. And that student status that you’re maintaining must be as a full-time student – so a minimum of 12 credit hours – and you also have to be in good academic standing KHAN: Yes ANDREA: And that reminds me of a point If you’re renewing a student visa – you’ve left the U.S to come home for vacation and you’re going back and you need to renew your visa – when you come in for the appointment, make sure that you bring your transcript, most recent transcript, so we can see that you’re still in good standing and you took a full credit load to be able to renew the visa KHAN: I do get a question about renewing student visas when they come for vacation Do they really have to – for example, their student visa expires while they are in the U.S. for some reason They probably didn’t finish the program in maybe two years They need an extension; their visa has expired Do they need to return to the Philippines to renew the student visa? ANDREA: They don’t need to return to the Philippines to renew the visa When you enter on a student visa, you’re admitted for the duration of your status So as long as you’re enrolled full-time student in good academic standing – you’re allowed to stay for that time, even if your visa has expired Now, if you leave to come back [CROSSTALK] from vacation and you realize your visa’s expired, you will need to present your I-20, make a new appointment, fill out the online application and come in for a new visa KHAN: That’s right. Okay ANDREA: And that actually goes along with if you change schools KHAN: Oh yeah ANDREA: …too. So if you change majors, you don’t need to Change schools – as soon as you leave to go back, you will need a new visa and a new I-20 So don’t forget that Neff has another question “If I have an I-130 petition application, can I still apply for a student visa?” An I-130 is an immigrant visa petition Now this can be a little bit complicated because when you’re applying for a student visa, you’re saying that you have no intention of immigrating However, it will not preclude you from qualifying It’s not an automatic no It doesn’t preclude you from qualifying for a student visa What you do have to establish to the consular officer’s satisfaction is that at the end of this course of study, you plan on returning to the Philippines So maybe your situation is that your aunt and uncle or a parent filed a petition for you, but it’s not current yet and won’t be current for several years And so you have no immediate intention of immigrating Just be up-front with the officer, declare that in the interview so everything’s on the table and just explain your situation about how you don’t plan to immigrate at this time KHAN: And they would have an idea of whether it’s still going to take a long time for them – for the petition? ANDREA: We have access to that information, and also, if you don’t declare it, consular officers will see it and they’ll wonder what you may be trying to hide So honesty is the best policy always KHAN: Right. Again, you can still submit your questions on Twitter, using the hashtag #TheVisaHour, or by posting them on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/Manila.USEmbassy, or on our Google Plus page, Google.com/+USEmbassyManila Alright. Catherine Navarro has a question “Is the A visa for study purposes only, “and is there an age limit? “What if I am already a graduate and am I still eligible “to apply for this visa? “As you posted, summer work travel means we can work at the same time and travel in different parts of the U.S.” ANDREA: Okay. There’s a lot of questions built in here First is – you mentioned the A visa Well, an A visa is actually for officials to travel to the United States So if you’re going to study, you would need an F visa or a J visa. Can we go back to the question? Thank you If you are graduating, you can still apply in your final year for a summer work travel visa But you do have to – especially if you’re just about to graduate, you have to be able to explain to the consular officer your plans and prove that you will return at the end of your program We don’t want you graduating and going to the U.S for the summer work and travel and staying on permanent summer work travel

The summer work and travel visa, yes, you can work at the same time and travel around the U.S The problem is you’ll be working mostly full-time so you won’t have time to travel too much But at the end, you actually will have up to 30 days to travel around What I do recommend is that you – if you want to go up to Canada or go down to Mexico, you don’t do that until you’re ready to leave the U.S because once you leave KHAN: You cannot re-enter ANDREA: …on those 30 days, you should be staying in the U.S KHAN: Okay ANDREA: And similar with student visas You can stay up to 60 days after the program ends And again, [CROSSTALK] if you’re going to tour – after you graduate and you complete your studies and your OPT, your optional practical training, just make sure that you don’t go in and out once you leave the U.S. at the completion of your studies You won’t be allowed back in on that student visa KHAN: So it’s like a grace period after you complete your program? You’re given a time to explore the U.S ANDREA: Exactly KHAN: If you didn’t get that chance during your program ANDREA: Exactly KHAN: Okay. But that grace period is only for within the U.S. You cannot ANDREA: Once you exit, you can’t come back in KHAN: Alright ANDREA: Can’t come back in KHAN: Okay. Another question ANDREA: Our next question from email is, “How many classes do I have to be enrolled in to maintain my F1 status?” That depends on how many credits per course typically I mean, the minimum is 12 credit hours, so it may be – depending on if you’re a four credit course or three credit course, around four courses Check with the institution, but a minimum 12 credit hours KHAN: Alright. Let’s have our next question “I entered the U.S. on a “student visa to pursue business administration “I decided to switch majors and now I’m holding a new I-20 “I plan to come home for the holidays, “but I don’t know if I can re-enter using my student visa Do I have to apply for a new one?” ANDREA: Okay KHAN: Change of majors ANDREA: Well, you’re just – you’re changing a major You’re not changing schools So you don’t need to If your visa has expired, you will need KHAN: To reapply ANDREA: …a new one What you should do, though, is you should make sure if you know you’ll have a new I-20 that when you return to the U.S you have your old one as well so they can see that at the port of entry And make sure you always hand-carry your I-20s in your luggage so you can present them to the immigration officer at the port of entry KHAN: Okay ANDREA: Nothing will ruin your first experience in the U.S than having those documents in your checked baggage KHAN: Alright. “Can I participate in another J1 program after my current program ends?” On a J1 as well? ANDREA: Sure. I’ve seen people – typically, I’ve seen people go for a summer work and travel and then convert to come back, finish their studies, and then do a trainee or an internship if it’s less than one year after graduation They really enjoyed their time on their short summer work and travel, which is only about three months They finished their studies here And then they want to go back for more training KHAN: So work and another ANDREA: So you are not precluded – as long as you continue to show that you don’t plan to immigrate, that you plan to return at the end of your program And also explain how this makes sense after you’ve already done a program, what you can get out of the subsequent program KHAN: Yes. Because you’ve already been in one program before ANDREA: Yeah KHAN: So what makes this one different? ANDREA: Yes. Exactly “How long can I arrive before my J1 program begins? “And how long can I stay in the U.S. after it ends?” Well I sort of touched on this For KHAN: J1 ANDREA: J1 and students – you can enter up to 30 days ahead And after, you can stay up to 30 days on a J and 60 on a student visa KHAN: Alright. That’s a different situation with applying for a student than a J1 visa, right? They can only enter within 30 days before their programs start However, how many days can they apply ANDREA: In advance? KHAN: In advance for a J1? [CROSSTALK] ANDREA: That’s great You can actually apply up to 120 days before the start date KHAN: Four months ANDREA: And really, you should start well in advance I mean, typically, people spend a lot of time putting together applications, researching, working with you and your services to find the right school and the plan But as soon as you have applied and you’ve gotten your I-20, if it’s 120 days before, schedule the appointment Go to our website, Manila.USEmbassy.gov, and fill out the application form Make sure you’ve got your documents together to show you’ve got the means to pay for the program if it’s a student visa. Get your passport Make sure your passport has at least six months validity on it and that it’s not damaged If it has less than six months validity by the time you’re going to travel to the U.S or it’s damaged in any way, you’re going to want to get a new passport

KHAN: Say that again. Six months validity ANDREA: That your passport has – expiration of the passport KHAN: At the time that your program starts, right? ANDREA: You’re getting ready to travel KHAN: But not four years beyond? ANDREA: Right KHAN: Okay. Alright That makes sense I mentioned earlier about setting up an appointment to see an advisor at the PAEF office EducationUSA advisors in the Philippines are trained to provide educational advising to those who are planning to pursue post-secondary education in the U.S So it’s only college bachelor’s, master’s, PhDs that we’re trained to do advising on ANDREA: Excellent KHAN: So we have another question here “Will my B1/B2 visa be cancelled if I apply for a student visa?” ANDREA: No. Not at all You can hold both at the same time because it’s – the visa letters and the classes signify the purpose of travel So there may be a time when you’re not going as a student; you’re traveling for tourism, which is if you’re going before the start date on your I-20 before your program starts, you would need to enter – if it’s more than those 30 days in advance, you would need to enter on the tourist visa KHAN: Okay. I guess it’s just important to declare at the port of entry what your purpose is ANDREA: Exactly KHAN: And use the corresponding visa ANDREA: Yeah. We have a lot of different visa classes Somebody mentioned earlier A, and I said that was for officials. And we have many different visa classes, and they all depend on the purpose of the travel So sometimes you can have many kinds of visas in your passport at the same time KHAN: Good. Alright ANDREA: Great Next question – I was just going to talk about this It says, “What is the SEVIS fee? “Is it different from the visa fee? Please explain.” Absolutely Before you can – the visa fee, everybody knows, it’s for all the nonimmigrant visas You need to go on and pay the application fee before you apply or any type of visa, be it a J or student visa, F, or a B1/B2 tourist visa For the SEVIS fee, before you apply for an F or even an M – we have an M, which is a type of vocational student visa – you must apply and be accepted by the SEVP, which is the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and an approved school in that And that’s who will – which will generate the I-20 form, which has the name of the school, your major, how long you will stay, and the cost of the program All students, their spouse, and minor children, if they intend to reside in the United States with the student, must be registered in this program And there’s a fee that’s mandated by the U.S Congress to support this program And basically the SEVIS program keeps track of students to make sure that they’re staying in status while in the United States So each student who is issued a form I-20 or if it’s a J, a DS-2019 is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP And you have to pay it It’s your responsibility to make sure you’ve paid it And spouses and children do not have to pay the fee, but the applicant who intends to be the primary applicant, the principal applicant, must pay that fee Sometimes we see applicants coming in who haven’t paid the fee and we cannot issue the visa until you’ve paid that fee KHAN: Alright So the SEVIS fee is a requirement to apply for a student visa, right? Or a J visa? ANDREA: Yes. It is a requirement Before we can issue the visa, we have to see that it has been paid And for more information on that, you can go to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, the Student Exchange Visitor Program website, to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 fee, as it’s known KHAN: Right. Okay Alright, from Facebook again, “Can I apply for a student visa “while I am in the U.S or do I need to go back to the Philippines to apply for my student visa?” Yes, I think I hear this question a lot from – you know, we have students, advisees, who will travel to the U.S for summer, try to look for schools and then, you know, they find a school and then probably they want to apply to that school already Do they have to return? ANDREA: Well, they need to return for their visa So they can absolutely start the process and apply to the school while they’re in the United States And they should come back to get the visa KHAN: So definitely they would have to apply for a student visa from the Philippines ANDREA: Where they’re from, they should come back, ideally KHAN: Right. I’m curious, though We do have other nationalities in the Philippines But they are allowed to apply for student visa while they are here? ANDREA: Exactly. So, for instance, if you have – ideally you should be applying for a visa in the country you’re from However, certain circumstances prevent that These days, it’s – we’re all connected, so I have applicants who are here because maybe their parents are assigned to a mission here or their parents are

working here and that’s why they’re here, even though they’re originally from another country As long as you explain that in the interview and it makes sense that you are not – that there’s not some other reason for you to be applying here Because we need to be able to verify that you have the financial means, and if we’re looking at bank documents from another country, it’s hard for us to judge and to interpret your ties Also, again, what are your ties back to this country if you’re applying here and you’re not from here? But, again, there’s many circumstances where it might make sense, like you’re already going to school here but now you want to go and do a summer work-travel program or do – you’ve gotten your degree and you want to do a J1 traineeship That would make sense You shouldn’t have to travel halfway around the world back to your home country just to apply We will take any applicants KHAN: So similarly, with us, when other nationalities are only here for a visit or for a vacation, they seek advice to study in the U.S We would rather direct them to the advisor from their country because interpreting their academic credentials is going to be really not within our expertise ANDREA: Yeah. I mean, it’s not that we can’t do it, either one of us, but we’re really not the experts in those areas and your chances would be better from a place that could really understand your circumstance and your background and that you’ll be able to more clearly explain your plan KHAN: Alright ANDREA: Well, unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to answer all of your questions KHAN: That was quick ANDREA: We want to thank everyone who asked their questions from Facebook [INAUDIBLE], Roma [INAUDIBLE], [APPLAUSE] Sweet Carolina Lebow, M.J. DeGuzman, Neff [INAUDIBLE], Catherine Navarro, Aaron Black From Twitter, Tony Gonzaga Again, thank you everyone KHAN: If you want to know more about studying in the U.S., join me in the Facebook chat tomorrow at 4:30 in the afternoon Just visit U.S. Embassy Manila’s Facebook page You may start posting your questions and I will answer them tomorrow. Education U.S.A Philippines also is on social media So we’re on Facebook, Facebook.com/EducationUSA.Philippines On Twitter, Twitter.com/EducationUSA_ph So you can post your visa questions on the visa wall of our Facebook page at ON.FB.ME/VisaWall ANDREA: And, of course, don’t forget to visit our visa blog, VISAtisfied Voyager at Blogs.USEmbassy.gov/Philippines You can watch the on demand version of this episode on our YouTube channel, www.YouTube.com/USEmbassyManila KHAN: Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Manila.USEmbassy ANDREA: Follow us on Twitter as well www.Twitter.com/USEmbassyManila Add us to your circles on Google Plus at www.Google.com/+USEmbassyManila KHAN: And check us out on Instagram Search for U.S. Embassy Manila ANDREA: Again, thank you for joining us, and see you next month for the next episode of The Visa Hour KHAN AND ANDREA: Bye [APPLAUSE]