International students (non-U.S. citizens or immigrants) need a non-immigrant or student visa to study at Lake Superior College.
After you have been accepted, (if you don’t have a non-immigrant visa) make arrangements to have your acceptance packet and I-20 form shipped to you. You’ll use your I-20 to apply for your non-immigrant F-1 or M-1 student visa.
The following non-immigrant visas qualify you to study here: H-1, H-3, H-4, J-1 (au pair), K-1 or R1. Send a copy of your non-immigrant visa with your application. If you do not have a non-immigrant visa, apply for an F-1 or M-1 student visa.
Student Visas – know the difference between F-1 and M-1.
The F-1 student visa is the most common visa for students who want to study in the United States and is the visa route for transfer to university.
The M-1 student visa is used for vocational programs that are fixed and do not have a core academic curriculum. Students with an M1- visa can only remain in the US for one year and cannot transfer to university.
International students admitted to Lake Superior College will be issued an I-20. Once an international student has received their I-20, they can obtain the F-1 or M-1 student visa through their embassy.
If you are an international student transferring from another U.S. college or university, your I-20 will be issued once you have been admitted and your record has been released to Lake Superior College.
You are strongly urged to remain in your home country until you obtain your student visa.
Your local embassy or consulate has specific instructions for scheduling an appointment. Wait times can be several weeks or longer, especially during summer months. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your I-20. View approximate VISA wait times at consular locations.
Check out Education USA for tips on successfully completing the visa process. While this is an optional step, international students who use this service are more prepared and successful in obtaining a student VISA than those who attempt this alone. There is a $200 fee for a membership. Education USA is run by the United States Department of State, so it is like the United States is assisting you in preparing for the visa interview. This fee does not guarantee admission into the US, but it will help you in advising on how to prepare for your visa interview and what the document requirements will be. There is a high rate of rejection for students that don’t use this service. It is highly encouraged to use this service. The service gives the Department of State an opportunity to meet and get to know you better. There is a less than 10% success rate, particularly with students from Africa, without using this service. The visa requirements and interview process change frequently. Education USA can help you to keep up-to-date as changes happen.
Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee
You will receive your SEVIS ID Number on your I-20 Form in your acceptance packet. You cannot pay the SEVIS fee without this number.
New students must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before applying for a student visa or entering the U.S. This fee is assessed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is not administered by Lake Superior College. This is a separate fee from the Education USA fee. For details, visit the I-901 SEVIS Fee website.
SEVIS ID Number: Locate on your I-20 Form
School Code: SPM214F00962000
Locate the nearest US Embassy or Consulate
- Embassy/Consulate information is available at US Embassies website.
- You must find an Embassy/Consulate in your home country
Your local embassy or consulate has specific instructions for scheduling an appointment. Wait times can be several weeks or longer, especially during summer months. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your I-20 Form. Approximate VISA wait times at consular locations can be found at the Student Visa website.
Documents needed for your visa interview
All visa applicants must provide the following documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of the interview:
- Valid passport
- I-20 document
- Documented proof of financial support for at least one year
- Proof of SEVIS Fee payment (receipt)
- Visa application forms (available from U.S. embassy/consulate)
- Any other documents requested by your embassy/consulate (check with your local embassy)
- Academic Records
Importance of Name Consistency
To avoid problems or delays in obtaining your visa and entering the U.S., use the same name on all immigration documents, exactly as it appears in your passport. Do not use “nicknames” or shortened names on any of your documents. This includes your passport, I-20, entry visa stamp, I-94 card (a document you complete in the airplane before your arrival) and any additional documents that you acquire after your arrival in the U.S.
Prepare for your visa interview
For your visa interview, you must be prepare to answer confidently and clearly in English the following questions:
- Your area of study (be familiar with your chosen program of study
- Your reason for wanting to study in the U.S.
- Proof of sufficient funds and how your funds are able to cover all of your expenses for a minimum of one year.
- Your reasons for returning home after you complete your studies, which could include:
- Evidence, where possible, of the strong ties you have to your country.
- It could include having relatives in your country.
- Having a job offer awaiting you when you return.
- Proof of property ownership.
- Emphasize specific future educational, employment or career goals that will be carried out in your home country.
- When applying for a non-immigrant visa, the U.S. Consular Officer that interviews you will assume that you plan to immigrate to the U.S. permanently unless you prove otherwise. During the interview, you will need to prove that you will study temporarily in the U.S. and plan to return home after your studies are completed.
- The address where you live or plan to live. Please use the school’s address as the address where you will first report. Email [email protected] as soon as you are aware of where you will be living. While Lake Superior College does not have housing on campus, you will have to be prepared to answer this question.
Be familiar with the requirements of the Student Exchange Visitor Program.
If you are granted a student visa, this does NOT guarantee entry into the US. Your student visa gives you permission to knock on the door of the US and ask for permission to enter the country. It is the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at the border that grant permission to enter the country.
We recommend practicing your visa interview with family and friends. Answer all questions truthfully but only provide information related to the question asked.
If your visa is denied, ask the consular affairs officials to provide you with a written explanation of the denial. Then contact Lake Superior College through email. Address the email to [email protected] and write “Visa Denial” in the subject line. Include your Lake Superior College student ID number and your full name, and if you plan to interview again the following semester in the email message.