US Embassy Tel Aviv Student Visa Program Weizmann Institute Belfer Auditorium October 5, 2010
Student and Exchange Visitors Visa Program • Exchange Visitor: J Visa • Student Visitor: F Visa • Applying for a visa: before, during and after the Interview • Travel to and status in the United States • Additional Questions
Exchange Visitor Visa: Quick Facts • Exchange visitors must apply for (J) visas • J-1 applicants receive Form DS-2019 and complete DS-160. • US law requires that J-1 visa interviews be conducted in English.
Student Visa: Quick Facts • Degree seeking students must apply for visitor (F) nonimmigrant visa • F-1 applicants receive Form I-20 and complete DS-160. • US law requires that F-1 visa interviews be conducted in English.
Before the Interview • Gain acceptance to a SEVP certified school or exchange visitor program • The educational institution will submit your information to DHS to create a SEVIS generated 1-20 (for students) or DS-2019 (for exchange visitors)
What is SEVIS? • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) helps the US government keep track of international students and exchange visitors. • A specific number will be assigned to you and printed on your visa, beginning with N000.
Be Prepared • Apply early to give ample time for visa processing • Do not finalize travel plans or purchase nonrefundable tickets until the visa has been issued
For the Interview • Fill out the DS-160 electronically and print confirmation page. • 5 cm x 5 cm color photograph • Machine Readable Visa (MRV) green receipt. • Original DS 2019 (for Exchange Visitors) or I-20 (for Students).
For the Interview Cont. • Previous passports with US visas • Evidence of financial means: statement from your bank, proof of scholarship, etc. • If you have a scientific or technical background, bring copy of CV and letters of invitation from the sponsoring institution
Arrival and Departure • Participants must arrive within 30 days of the beginning of the program. • Participants will be able to stay for the duration of the program. • J-1 have 30 days to depart the US. • F-1 have 60 days to depart the US or transfer to another school.
Staying in Status • If you depart the US with an expired visa, you will need to obtain a new one before returning • It is important that you depart the US on or before the last day authorized by DHS • Violating US immigration laws may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future
Accompanying Family Members • Spouses and children may apply for "derivative" visas (J-2/F-2) • J-2 visa holders may study but may not work unless they have permission from USCIS • F-2 visa holders may study but may not work in the US.
Spouse Employment • Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization • Include copy of J-1 (principal alien’s) Certificate of Eligibility (Form IAP-66) • Filing fee ($340) and two passport photos • May be filed electronically – see USCIS website for more details
Required Documents for Departure • Passport with valid visa. • DS-2019 or I-20 in sealed envelope attached to your passport • Customs and Border Patrol officers will open the envelope when you arrive in the US. • Phone number of the point of contact at your program.
2 Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement • Exchange Visitor Program participants with the Fulbright Program will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement.
How Do I Open a Business in the US? • The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa • For aliens coming to the US to carry on substantial trade in services or technology or to develop and direct operations of an enterprise • DS-160 and DS-156E
How Do I Apply for a Green Card? • To apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative(s), U.S. lawful permanent resident, or by a prospective employer, and be the beneficiary of an approved petition.
What if we are European Citizens? • Citizens of Visa Waiver countries may travel without visas by filing ESTA applications • The purpose of stay in the United States must tourism or business for a maximum of 90 days