Visa and Immigration Information

Check documents

Check Documents: 

Before applying for your Visa, you must make sure all the documents sent to you by Grand Valley are correct. Pay special attention to the spelling of your name, your date of birth, your major and your funding source.

SEVIS fee

SEVIS fee: 

This is a mandatory $200 fee imposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If you will be applying for an F or J non-immigrant visa, you must pay the SEVIS fee before going for your visa interview. You will pay your SEVIS fee at FMJfee.com, either online or through Western Union.

Visa Appointment

Visa Appointment: 

Once you have the receipt for your SEVIS fee, you should visit the US Embassy website in your country and apply for a visa appointment.
 

Visa application questions

Visa Application Questions: 

You must be prepared to answer questions relating to the following topics: -Family background: Your parents, your work and your previous studies -Academic background -Future academic goals -Financial matters -Grand Valley: Where we are located -What you plan to study at our university -Prove intent to return home
 

Visa interview tips

Visa Interview Tips: 

1) Prepare in advance. Make sure all of your original documents are in order and ready to give to the immigration officer if asked for. Do not give documents that are not asked for. The two primary reasons that students are denied a student visa are:

a) Lack of sufficient and continuing financial support - You need to make sure you have an ORIGINAL bank statement that shows more than enough financial support.

b) The consular officer feels you are an intending immigrant to the U.S. - You need to have ties to your home country, giving you reason to return. Remember, it is the assumption of the officer that you are an "intending immigrant" and by way of the interview and your documents, you need to prove to them that your intention is to get an education and return home.

2) Dress well. If it looks like you don't care, the officer will notice.

3) Speak clearly to the officer, look them in the eye, and answer all questions precisely. Hesitating or thinking about an answer may signal that you are unprepared for the interview or possibly not a serious student. Know why you chose the university, why you chose your major area of study, and also be prepared to tell what you feel you will do when you finish. A few answers that will more than likely result in a "denied" visa:

Q: What are you going to study? 

A: I told the school I wanted to study Business, but I am not sure I know what I want to study. 

Q: Why did you choose this university? 

A: I like where it is located. It seems nice. 

Q: What are you going to do when you are done? 

A: I hope to get a job to get some experience. 

If your visa is denied, contact Kate Stoetzner or Chris Hendree with the reason for denial to see if they are able to petition for reconsideration.

If you are granted your visa, contact Kate Stoetzner or Chris Hendree and make arrangements to book tickets.

On flight

On flight: 

Be sure to have your immigration documents on your person, NOT in your checked luggage. Because the Grand Rapids International Airport is not a large airport, your connecting flights will be in other, larger cities. You will go through customs in these larger cities and will need all documents with you.

You may not receive an I-94 on your entry to the US. In order to print your I-94, please follow these instructions: Get I-94 Number 

You will fill out your I-94 in your own handwriting on the plane. Handwriting is extremely important. Example. Also, keep in mind we write Month/Day/Year Example: January 14, 2012 is 01/14/2012

Sample documents

Sample Documents: 

DS-2019 Form 

I-20 

I-94