Study abroad in the United States: student visa
To study at the National University, international students need a so-called F-1 Visa (Student Visa). This visa allows students to be enrolled as a full-time student at an American university. The time period of the granted visa depends on the length of your time studying abroad. Due to the innovative “one-course-per-month-system” at National University, the visa will be adapted flexibly to the study abroad period. In general, students also have a so-called “grace period”, in which they can remain in the US before and after their studies. This “grace period” is valid for 30 days before the start of the term (course) and 60 days after the end of your studies, which are often used for travel.
F-1 Visa – How and when do I apply?
Once the application documents have been submitted in full and the evaluation by National University has been completed, the students will be sent the so-called I-20 by post. This immigration-relevant document serves as an official confirmation for a seat and is required in order to apply for the student visa. The visa application can only be submitted after receiving the I-20 document, at the earliest 120 days before the beginning of your studies in the US. The application process for the F-1 visa is divided into two parts. Online application and interview at the U.S. Consulate.
You shouls schedule about two hours for the online application. During the procedure, we recommend to save your information from time to time to make sure not to lose the information. The International Student Office will also send you a step-by-step guide on how to apply online for the F-1 visa.
The online procedure includes usual immigration-related questions, as well as personal data about previous travels, purpose of stay and address abroad, planned return journey, etc. Please be also informed that the payment of visa fees is also part of the application process. Here, a so-called DS-160 form must first be requested and created, which is required to make the actual visa application. Furthermore, you will be asked to pay the so-called SEVIS fee. It is important that you bring both payment confirmations to the appointment at the embassy or consulate.
U.S. Consulate Appointment
Following the online procedure, students are asked to make an appointment at the nearest US embassy or consulate (Frankfurt, Berlin or Munich). This is the last step during the online application. After reviewing all documents like the I-20 immigration document, your passport and a short interview, students will then receive their F-1 visa by one of the two following options:
– Collect the visa in one of three mail boxes in Frankfurt, Berlin and Munuch (free of charge)
– Receive the visa by mail to your home address (a fee of currently 18,03 EUR will apply) – More information can be found here.