Ask the U.S. Consul November 2016

Visa photo

Question: I would like to study in the United States but don’t know where to start.  Could you give me some information about applying for a student visa and how to apply to a U.S. college?

Answer: This is a good question to ask now as the U.S. Embassy’s 2016 College Fair continues today, November 6th, at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain.  Students, parents, teachers and guidance officers are welcome to attend and meet with representatives from higher education institutions in the United States and Canada.  Attendance is free to the general public and more information is available on our website at:

The first step to studying in the U.S is to research your educational options. Be sure to do your research based on the subject that you would like to study.  The U.S. Embassy has many resources available to help you in your research including the Information Resource Center with a full time education advisor and the EducationUSA website at You can make an appointment with the full time educational advisor by emailing  Follow us on Facebook to get the latest information.

Important factors that can help you to determine the best school for you include, but are not limited to; entry requirements, tuition and living costs, the availability of scholarships and financial aid for international students, and the region where the school is located.

After you’ve completed your research, and have made your selection, the next step is to send in an application to your school of choice.  Each school has different application requirements but most will require your secondary school grades, standardized test scores (such as SATs), letters of recommendation and an essay.  When you are accepted by the U.S. school, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and are required to pay the SEVIS fee.  The school will also issue you a document called the I-20 form.

The I-20 form is necessary for all international students coming to the United States to study and is an integral part of your student visa application. Having paid the SEVIS fee and being in possession of the I-20 form, you are now ready to proceed with your non-immigrant Student visa application at the U.S. Embassy.

Details about the application process are available online at and Student visa appointments are available everyday!