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PRESENTER: You have to move it to the side – to the right
Yeah. A bit more
Can you move the light and you push it this way?
You have to move it to the right
Yeah. A bit more Can you move the light
[NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE] PRESENTER: Okay Welcome everybody here [INAUDIBLE] Jerusalem, and also those of you who are joining us on the internet Today, we have a very special event going on We have some consular experts from the Consular Section
We have Ms. Teresa here and [INAUDIBLE] comments online [INAUDIBLE] I’m sorry. I’m sorry And this is going to be specifically about studying in the USA and talking about the student visa process; what you need to do, what you need to bring to your interview, and the rules and regulations that my expert colleague will get into And then at the end feel free to ask questions Don’t be shy. Okay? And if you don’t know how to say it in English, that’s okay, we have people here who can translate into Arabic, but don’t be shy [INAUDIBLE] Okay? All right So with that, I’ll give it to Teresa and let’s go PRESENTER: In the United Sates, international education is actually very [INAUDIBLE] It’s actually a very large industry The vast majority of students who go to study in the United States are actually funded from [INAUDIBLE] sources So it’s a very big source of revenue for a number of universities, for American businesses, and [INAUDIBLE] – the Department of State is really committed to [INAUDIBLE] international students from abroad to the United States to study From our perspective, international students have huge [INAUDIBLE] United States not just in terms of diplomacy, but in terms of industry and research and [INAUDIBLE] So I’m gonna talk a little bit about what is a visa and how does it work I’m gonna talk about the [INAUDIBLE] – so I’m gonna talk a little bit about what is a visa and how do they work I’m gonna talk about different types of visas that are available for students to study in the United States, and then I’m gonna talk a little bit about something that’s [INAUDIBLE] consulate here about the visas the we issue, and finally I’m going to open it up for questions for you guys and also from the internet If you guys don’t understand me, please let me know We can translate it into Arabic [INAUDIBLE] I probably can’t explain it in Arabic, but our colleagues can All right? Okay So there’s actually three types of visas for studying in the United States The vast majority of our students use what’s called an F visa That’s for full-time undergraduate or graduate study in the United States – kind of our default visa for students [INAUDIBLE] high school students who are on exchange programs [INAUDIBLE] A J visa is for exchange visitors [INAUDIBLE] institutions in the United States, maybe by the State Department, maybe if you’re going to study in the United States as a high school student [INAUDIBLE] scholarship – those might be J visas And the M visas are for vocational training For example, if you’re going to study in the United States, and you want to be a chef and you’re going to culinary school, you’ll probably travel on an M visa instead Okay? So in order to get a visa, what do you have to do? When you come to the Consular Office to actually do your interview, that’s actually the last thing – okay – that’s actually the last step in a long list of things that you have to do The first thing that you have to do is get into a school in America [INAUDIBLE] or any other people, such as choose a school, which program of study to send in the applications and, finally, to be admitted Once you’ve been admitted into a school and they say please come study with us, that’s when you start gathering all your documentation for your visa, and that’s the step I’m gonna talk about here You need a bunch of paperwork and your school will send that to you In addition to that, there are some fees that you have to pay online, and your school, your school’s international office can walk you through all that Once you’ve paid those fees, you can come to us for your consular interview And there are a couple of things you need to qualify for that visa All right? First, we need to fix that bit and have all your paperwork in line After that, you’re gonna have to prove to your consular officer that you actually intend to come back when you’ve finished your studies So you can’t go on a visa for a year of study and stay in the United States for a long time Consular officers will have questions about your plans when you come back What do you wanna do when you graduate? Tell me about your family that lives here Things that show that you’re gonna study in the United States and that after your studies are finished, that you’re gonna reestablish your residence here in Jerusalem You’re also going to need to show that you have
sufficient funds for one year of study So if you have a scholarship, and your scholarship is paying for all your studies, then you’re set to go But if you don’t have a scholarship, and many students don’t, you’ll need documents to show that your family can pay for your studies And there’s a lot of different ways to do that And then, finally, you’re going to need to convince the consular officer that you really do intend to go study in the United States and that you’re capable of doing the full course of study that you intend to study So for example, if you are going to culinary school, you need to convince the consular officer at the interview that you actually intend to go to culinary school [INAUDIBLE] of study to become a chef, or that you intend to become [INAUDIBLE] four years to become a [INAUDIBLE] or whatever that might be So you got into your school, you got everything – all your paperwork ready – you’re scheduling your interview with me [INAUDIBLE] I’ll be done by then But – if I stand here, can you guys – okay This kind of an overview of what I just said Make sure you show up to your interview with all of your documentation There’s more information on our website that talks about [INAUDIBLE] and then just be prepared to articulate what it is you wanna do in the United States Right? Why do you want to go to the United States to study? Why are you paying all this money to go to America when you could go to Jordan, or Turkey, or France? They’re much less money You know? So be prepared to explain why are you going to the United States and how is that going to meet your educational goals? Yes, ma’am QUESTION: So if I want to go to the United States and become a nurse, during my interview [INAUDIBLE] experience that I’ve got in hospitals or other places in that area? PRESENTER: Yes, that would be very helpful If you’re going to work as a nurse, have you volunteered, [INAUDIBLE] study English, have you already studied English here and participated in English language programs If you’re going to study to be a chef, talk about your experience as a cook Help the consular officer better understand the whole picture of you and why you want to go to the United States Okay? I’m going to talk about some of the myths in here [INAUDIBLE] The first is that we set a limit on the number of foreign students This is actually not true As many student visas as we can issue, America is happy to take you Last year, we [INAUDIBLE] – in 2012, we issued half a million student visas Right? That’s a lot That number grows every year If we could issue a million of them, we would happily do so for you guys to go to America, study in America, contribute to American universities and to American society, and do research, and create new opportunities That’s what we want to happen QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: No. No There’s no limit to the number of student visas that could be issued in one year at all An agent can improve my chances of getting a visa How many of you applied for visas to go to the United States before? Okay Very often here in Jerusalem and Gaza and the West Bank, people go to travel agents to fill out their paperwork for them and help them get visas In reality, this is something for yourself to get approved Pay the fee and the travel agent just goes online and fills out a form and clicks submit [INAUDIBLE] Visa agents don’t actually have an insight into the process – they can’t – having a third-party help you doesn’t actually help you get your visa And what we’ve discovered here in this particular post in Jerusalem is it often hurts people because you guys didn’t all articulate your educational goals, right – you’re studying hotels – you can probably go to the United States and say, “I want to study hotel management and this is everything I’ve done and this is why.” A third-party who puts your application together doesn’t have that insight into why you want to go So that’s a thing to think about that these third-party agents here, especially, do not improve your chances of getting a visa Visa applicants need to document a minimum income level Again not true
You do need to show you can pay for your first year of studies So if you’re going to go for a year, and your program costs $20,000, you need to show that you have $20,000 to pay for your program, plus enough to live on, so that you’re not gonna have to work during your first year to pay for your studies Okay? It doesn’t matter if your family makes 6,000 shekels a month, or 4,300 shekels a month, or 25,000 shekels a month, but you need to show that you can pay for those studies All right? Only academic superstars get visas Also untrue Your prior academic performance is one of many factors a consular officer is gonna look at So if you come and say – QUESTION: We have a question from Amir Harfouche online who wants to know what’s the language level required PRESENTER: There is no language level required to study in America We have many people who go specifically to learn English who have no English at all Many American universities have a minimum level, so before you can start your regular academic programs you will need to study English first to get yourself to that level and then enter into a normal academic program in the United States Thank you And, speaking of which, so you don’t have to have studied English first If you were going to go – if you wanted to study English, a consular officer might expect you to have shown you took some steps to do that first before dropping $20,000 to go live in the United States, but it’s not a requirement and we know students that have done that Again, your grades, one factor out of many, but all you have to do is show that you are [INAUDIBLE] academic studies in the United States And, in America, you have a big range, right? We have Harvard University, but we also have many community colleges, we have technical colleges, we have vocational schools, [INAUDIBLE] vocational programs, and so your grades don’t – you don’t have to be an academic superstar in order to get into these programs The consular officer wants to hear the “right” answers That’s kind of true, I guess. But there is no right answer What a consular officer wants to hear is a whole picture of why you want to go to America to study and what that’s going to do for you in the long-term The consular officer wants to hear about your family ties and what you’ve done before in your field of study and why you’re going to the United States as opposed to another country But there’s not a set of right answers and wrong answers, especially since we have [INAUDIBLE] educational programs in the United States There’s not one size fits all to get an education visa You only get a visa if you have family in the United States Also not true It’s true that, here particularly, there are a lot of people who do have family in the United States Students often live with family members while they study, but it’s not a prerequisite It’s not something that’s going to make a big difference in the decision of a visa that you have to have family Again, the consular officer is going to ask all sorts of questions about your family; where they live, what they do, [INAUDIBLE] But you don’t have to have a brother or a sister, a cousin or an uncle in the United States in order to get an F visa International students are not permitted to work while visiting the United States on a student visa Also not true There are some restrictions on it So you can’t go to the United States on your student visa and go to school for eight hours a week and work at the grocery store 40 hours a week But you can get student jobs, particularly on campus job opportunities If you’re going to a four-year university, for example, to get your undergraduate degree, you can apply for a work permit and [NO AUDIO] of study QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: There are some strict rules and restrictions on it [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] usually you can go out and find a job at a department store or [INAUDIBLE] something It has to be something under the auspices of [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] 20 hours a week? QUESTION: Yeah PRESENTER: All right, last question
You must have your entire future planned to get a visa It’s a good thing because I definitely still don’t have my future planned and [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHTER] So you don’t have to know what you’re doing – [INAUDIBLE] I think I’ve said this several times, you just have to have an idea of how your education fits into the [INAUDIBLE] Why are you going to the United States? Why are going to study what you’re going to study? Why did you choose the University of Oklahoma and not the University of Kentucky? Right? You have to be able to articulate the choices you made and what you want to do next You don’t have to have a 15-year plan, or a 10-year plan, or even a five-year plan [INAUDIBLE] and mention how that’s gonna help you with your long-term goals You must leave the United States immediately after your studies It’s true that you must leave the United States However, you don’t have to do it right away After you’re done with your degree, you can apply for an extension to your visa for a year or sometimes more of training and work in your field So if you get a nursing degree for example and you want to do on the job training for a year, you can apply for special programs in order to allow you to stay in the United States and work and do on the job training at the same time All right, so kind of wrapping things up The first is, we can issue a student visa up to four months before your program begins So if your program is going to begin in August, which is the next academic school year, you can start applying for that four months in advance, which is April-May – right around the corner Even if you do it in advance, you can’t go to the United States until right before your program starts So one month before your program starts, you can get on a plane [NO AUDIO] scholarship, that scholarship is going to pay for your studies Right? [INAUDIBLE] You can go out and get coffee, or [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: Yeah, you can travel You just need to attend your classes And most scholarships are based on your grades, so if you want to maintain a certain level of your grades in order to keep the scholarship, but if you want to travel on the holidays, or travel in the summer, or come back home for the summer and then go back, you can do that Of course There isn’t – no, it’s not a silly question, but yes Yes QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: There are high school exchange programs in the United States where you can [INAUDIBLE] You would have to apply to them just like you do with a university program I don’t know the answer – I know that being a consular officer in the visa section we regularly issue visas for those types of programs, but maybe Stacey can tell you about how those work PRESENTER: Well, it’s similar to a university program in that we issue [INAUDIBLE], I’ve seen private schools give scholarships to students [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: A lot of people studying in the university
often have J visas so that you don’t have to pay that tuition [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: I do want to just address the last point here: most visa applicants receive their visas within a few days, but some cases can take much longer [INAUDIBLE] It actually takes us 10 days to get your visa back to you QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: [INAUDIBLE] program late, it’s gonna take us a week, and occasionally it’s gonna take us much, much longer Every once in a while [INAUDIBLE] system, and the visa will take several months So, again, apply early Prepare in advance Be ready for that interview four months before you [INAUDIBLE] and then be ready to travel [INAUDIBLE] Okay A couple of last points [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHTER] You bring your knowledge so you can benefit your communities [INAUDIBLE] So, finally, you guys can apply for visas I’m gonna reiterate this one more time If you went to a third-party, [INAUDIBLE] is not gonna increase your chances to get a visa [INAUDIBLE] companies here who have special relationships with us, although many [INAUDIBLE] do In reality, they have the same relationship with us [INAUDIBLE], except you know yourselves much better and you can save yourself a chunk of money by just doing the application yourself And with that, I’m gonna open up the floor with any questions for you guys or our online followers QUESTION: I have a question So does my spelling have to be perfect on my application? Sometimes I get nervous and I might type something and not spell it right PRESENTER: No And I’m sure you guys know [INAUDIBLE] You can correct that on your application so that your application matches your passport [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: So I have another question: Where is the consulate? I went to apply for the visa [INAUDIBLE] Where is the Consular Section? PRESENTER: Well, you guys know that the Consular Section used to be here in this building several years ago and now we’re out in [INAUDIBLE] It’s a bigger facility There’s lots more space There’s parking places, which there aren’t really here But that’s where you have to go You can also apply in Tel Aviv, if that’s more convenient [INAUDIBLE] And right now the wait time for visas is just a couple of days [INAUDIBLE] Any other questions? QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE]
How important is it to send information [INAUDIBLE]? PRESENTER: Well, you can’t get your visa until you send in all that information So if you still want to travel to America, and we ask you for more information, for whatever reason, we might ask you for more financial documents, we might ask you for information about your parents, we may ask you for lots and lots of things We won’t continue to process your visa application until we have all the documents we asked for So the sooner you get them to us, the sooner we can process your visa application and issue your visa QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: It depends on what passport you have They go from 3 years, 5 years, to 10 years QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: I’m sorry? QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: [INAUDIBLE] that’s for a regular [INAUDIBLE] visa For a student visa, I believe [INAUDIBLE] So if you’re going for a four-year program, four years on a Palestinian passport, four years on a Jordanian passport, or four years [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: So I had my interview last week and I forgot some paperwork from the school, and they told me that they couldn’t talk to me and that I had to come back Does that mean I was refused? PRESENTER: No, it doesn’t And, actually, we can talk to you without your paperwork, but we won’t finish processing your visa until you have everything So just like I mentioned a few minutes ago, make sure you send us your I-20, your financial document and anything else the consular officer asked for [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: Can my friends come with me to my appointment because I will be real nervous? PRESENTER: No The only people that can come to your appointment is you If you’re under 18, one parent can come with you, but if you’re over 18, you’re in there by yourself Just like [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: That’s what I’m here for Sure. Yeah [INAUDIBLE] Yes QUESTION: Okay, we have a question from Ahmad Yasseen online Ahmad’s F-1 visa was revoked/cancelled and he wants to know if he can apply for another one PRESENTER: Yes, he can I would say, if he wants to go to the United States and [INAUDIBLE] can do so, is to apply for another visa QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: Yes He probably got a letter – a physical letter in the mail, mailed through our courier service [INAUDIBLE] explaining the exact section of the law under which his visa was revoked It’s a Department of State rule If people in the United States revoked it then he can also write to us We have an email address on our website If you guys go onto our website there’s an email address where you can send questions about your specific visa and what happened to it, and we’ll get back to you within a day or so Yes QUESTION: Okay, we have another question online from [INAUDIBLE] who wants to apply for exchange programs He knows students who are engaged in community service activities are more likely to be accepted He has no past experience, but just really interested What should I do to get more likely get accepted? PRESENTER: More likely to get accepted into a program or more likely to get a visa? QUESTION: I get the sense that it’s more likely to be accepted into a program, or maybe – QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] second part of this question
We can’t necessarily state [INAUDIBLE] ahead of anybody else because it really depends on what type of exchange program he’s applying to [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: If it’s interesting, he should do it anyway QUESTION: Okay We have another question from Amir Amir wants to know where he can submit his DS-160 form PRESENTER: Amir, you can do that through our website Do you have the exact address, Asha? PRESENTER: It’s usconsulate.gov and then he needs to go fill his CEAC, which is ceac.state.gov and complete the DS and submit it online PRESENTER: Thank you Okay, so there you go – ceac.state.gov, fill out the form and submit it PRESENTER: Okay Any more questions? QUESTION: We do have one other question from Sohad Farah He wants to know why is it impossible to get a tourist visa? PRESENTER: It is not impossible to get a tourist visa I issue tourist visas to Palestinians, and Jordanians, and Jerusalem residents, and Israelis every day However, just like for student visas, you have to comply with the law and you have to convince a consular officer at the time of interview that you intend to come back; that your ties here [INAUDIBLE] And, unfortunately, that’s not the case with 100% [INAUDIBLE] One more question? [INAUDIBLE CROSS TALK] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: I can’t speak to your specific case, we Americans, my job here is to facilitate [INAUDIBLE] So we want you to go to the United States and be tourists and [INAUDIBLE] American economy and see your family members who are living in the United States We want you to be able to travel At the same time, our job is also protecting America’s borders, which means that we have to be convinced that your ties here are strong enough to bring you back after your trip So when you go to your interview, that’s what you need to do – is to tell your story and show the consular officer the truth, which is you want to go for your cousin’s wedding, you have a way to pay for it, and that you’re gonna come back and continue doing what you were doing before All right? QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: There are no documents that are required Our website lists several documents that are helpful, such as letters from your employer, bank documents showing that you have enough money, or your family has enough money to pay for your trip If you’re going for medical travel, for example, information from your doctors, and appointments in the United States There’s no one specific document that’s required, or one specific document that’s gonna show the consular officer and guarantee you a visa Unfortunately, that’s [INAUDIBLE] Did that answer your question? QUESTION: [INAUDIBLE] PRESENTER: Okay Any more questions?
We have one last question from – QUESTION: I think we’re good online PRESENTER: All right, thank you very much for coming today I hope I answered your questions I hope to see you all [INAUDIBLE] But thank you all for coming AUDIENCE: Thank you