Q: What do I need to qualify for an F1 Student Visa?

Answer: To qualify for an F-1 student visa:

 A) Your academic program must meet the following criteria:

It must be offered by a SEVP – certified school.It must be an academic or language program.It must be a course of study that is more than 18 hours per week.

 B) Additionally, in order to apply for the F-1 student visa, you must provide proof of the following:

That you’ve been  accepted into a qualifying program by a SEVP qualified school.That you have a home outside of the U.S. with no immediate plans to permanently leave that home.That you intend to leave the U.S. upon the completion of your studies.That you have the necessary funds to pursue an educational program to which you’ve been accepted.That you have a clean criminal record and are in good health.

Q: How do I get an F-1 VISA?

Answer: If you are eligible for admission, UNAM San Antonio will issue you an acceptance letter, a Form I-20 and instructions via certified mail. After you receive the I-20, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online. Apply for an interview (for a student visa) by contacting your U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country.

Q: What is an I-20?

Answer: The I-20 is the document showing you have been accepted into a SEVP – certified school for full-time study. You will need the I-20 to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You will also need to bring your I-20 with you when you travel to the U.S.

Q: What documents do I need in order to obtain an I-20?

Answer: The documents you need to submit to UNAM San Antonio are the following:Affidavit of support. 

(you can use the print or digital form directly from our website)

Account and/or bank accounts or any other financial evidence.International

Admissions questionnaire.  (you can use the print or digital form directly from our website)

Copy of the passport page where the photo appears.

Q: Why is an I-20 important?

Answer: The I-20, also called a “Certificate of Eligibility”,It confirms that a non-immigrant has been admitted to a U.S. school that is approved by the U.S. government to enroll non-immigrants. The I-20 is issued by the DSO (Designated School Official) at the school the student intends to study at and is required by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate to obtain an F-1 visa status. In addition, F-1 students must maintain a valid I-20 by studying full-time to remain legally in the U.S.

Q: Does the application have a deadline?

Answer: UNAM San Antonio has rolling admissions, which means there are no specific deadlines. However, you should allow at least 2 weeks for UNAM San Antonio to process your application and to issue your I-20. The process may take longer if you originally submit an incomplete application. Once you receive your I-20 you should allow from 6 to 8 weeks to receive your F-1 visa.

Q: How will I receive my I-20?

Answer: Once your documents are reviewed; you will receive your I-20 by -EShip-Global- express mail within 2 weeks or less. We strongly recommend that you refrain from making travel plans until you have received your I-20, passport, and visa.

Q: For what duration will my I-20 be valid?

Answer: The duration of your I-20 is pre-determined by the course you will take. If you end your course before your I-20 expiration date and do not re-enroll, your DSO (designated school official) will shorten your I-20 to reflect your early end date. If you want to extend your stay, you will have to pay for an extension (ask your DSO), all requests must be made before your last day of study, there are no exceptions to this policy. After your last day of study you will be permitted a grace period of 60 calendar days to transfer to another school or depart the U.S.

Q: Can I change schools after receiving my I-20?

Answer: You can change your start date anytime before entering the U.S. Simply contact your DSO at UNAM San Antonio to confirm your new start date as soon as you know about the change. At that time, we will mail you a revised I-20 to show your new study dates, you must pay the application fee and the mailing service. Failure to notify UNAM San Antonio about these changes may cause problems for you at the Port of Entry and/or U.S Embassy. Once you enter the U.S., you cannot postpone your start date. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Q: What is the estimated cost of getting an F-1 VISA?

Answer: If you have not received your F-1 visa, you can change schools or locations at any time. Simply contact your DSO at UNAM San Antonio to confirm the new school or location and a new I-20 will be mailed to you from the new school or location. Your original I-20 will be cancelled, so you should not use it at the U.S. Embassy or Port of Entry. If your visa has been issued, you can change schools or locations, but you may need to get a new visa before entering the U.S. American law requires the name of the school on your I-20 to match the name of the school on your visa for successful entry to the U.S. If the names do not match because you changed schools or locations after getting your visa, you may be denied entry to the U.S. Check with your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate to see if a new visa is required before travelling to the U.S.

Q: Can I change my start date after receiving my I-20?

Answer: The approximate expenses are the following (subject to change):

$80.00 (USD) – visa application for UNAM San Antonio (non refundable)
$35.00 (USD) + – express mail service, this may vary according to the country and/or area. (non refundable)
$350.00 (USD) – SEVIS
$160.00 (USD) – Interview Embassy / Consulate (non refundable)

Q: Will UNAM San Antonio assist with goverment forms?

Answer: No, UNAM San Antonio and its representatives are not permitted to assist you with completing any government documents. You are solely responsible for submitting your U.S. Visa application.

Q: What if I am denied an F-1 VISA?

Answer: If denied your visa, you should ask the Consular Officer the reason for denial before you leave the Embassy. You have the right to request the denial in writing as well. If the reason for denial was caused by a mistake on your I-20, ask your DSO at UNAM San Antonio, the school can revise your I-20 and write a support letter to help you get your visa during a second interview. If no reason or a different reason is stated, the school will likely be unable to assist you further. In most cases, the government’s decision is final.

Q: Will I get a refund if the visa F-1 is denied?

Answer: If you are denied you will not be issued a refund.

Q: When can I enter the United States (U.S.A)?

Answer: You can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20. If you attempt to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before your start date, you may be denied entry and if you do enter the U.S. you will be classified as “out of status” and risk your termination of your I-20.

Q: What documents will I need to enter the country?

Answer: If these documents are incomplete or missing, this may result in a delay.

Please do not pack these documents in your luggage you must have them with you:

Your signed Form I-20
UNAM San Antonio Letter of Acceptance
A valid F-1 Visa
A valid Passport (passports should be valid for 6 months beyond your course end date)

Q: What is an I-94 and why is it important?

Answer: The I-94, also called “document of arrivals and departures”, is the record of entry and “the time allowed until his departure”, students who enter by sea or air, have their entry status electronically recorded online and you should immediately check your “ Electronic I-94”, if you enter by land, you will receive a paper I-94 attached to your passport / visa at the port of entry. The Officer of the port of entry shall indicate on the I-94 the date allowed, which confirms the period of time that you can legally remain in the United States. Regardless of whether the I-94 is in paper or electronic form it should always state the correct date you entered the United States, all holders of F-1 visas must have a “D / S” or “Duration of Status” in your I-94. Please note you can only study as long as permitted by the expiration of your I-20. If the I-94 is inaccurate, speak immediately to someone at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol or if you are already outside of the Port of Entry, speak to your DSO upon reporting to school.

Q: Can I travel with my family?

Answer: Yes, but we will need to indicate on your I-20 that you are travelling with dependents. Please provide us with their full names (as written on passport), date of birth and relationship to you. You may bring your spouse or unmarried children under the age 21 on F-2 dependent visa. (Dependents may not work on an F-2 status)

Q: Can I work during my studies at UNAM San Antonio?

Answer: No, as an F-1 student, your primary purpose for staying in the U.S. must be full-time study, so that you can achieve your academic and/or career goals. If you are found to be working without government approval, your employment will be considered “unauthorized”. This will result in immediate termination of your I-20 in the SEVIS student tracking system. If this occurs, you will no longer be eligible to study with UNAM San Antonio; you will not receive any refunds and you must leave the U.S. immediately.

Q: What if I fail to meet the full-time study requirements?

Answer: If you do not meet the school’s full-time study requirements, you risk losing legal status with the following consequences:

Your I-20 will be terminated.
You will no longer be eligible to study at the school.
You will not be eligible for a refund.
You will be required to leave the U. S. immediately after termination of your I-20.

Q: What procedure do I follow if I am ready to travel?

Answer: If you already have your visa, and are enrolled for an UNAM San Antonio course; you have your travel ticket and your suitcase made, send an email to your DSO the day of your arrival in the United States and introduce yourself to your DSO on the first day of class.