For entry into the United States, all foreign nationals must possess a visa stamp from the United States.  A U.S. visa stamping may only be granted or renewed at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the United States. It is possible for a foreign individual to stay in the United States after their visa stamp has expired if their immigration papers are still current. Once within the United States, US Visa Stamps have no purpose and do not serve as evidence of a visitor's authorization to work.

Canadian Citizens 

Canadian nationals do not need a visa to enter the United States. Canadian citizens, on the other hand, are needed to enter the United States in the proper immigration status (F-1, J-1, etc.). As a Canadian citizen, you should carry all of the necessary documents at border crossings (either at the airport or on land) so that you may avoid being categorized as a tourist or visitor. A student or worker cannot get a B1/B2 visiting visa. "Landed Immigrants" from Canada are needed to receive a U.S. visa stamp in order to enter the United States.

The Visa Application Procedure

The U.S. Department of State website has all the information you need to apply for a visa and arrange an interview.

●    Consulate or Embassy of the United States of America in your area
●    A list of local consulate websites may be found on the US Department of State's website. In order to avoid any confusion, please check the website of your local US Embassy or Consulate for detailed details.

The Documents You'll Need to Show During Your Visa Interview (valid at least six months into the future)

●    Eligibility Certificate (for F-1 your I-20, for J-1 your DS-2019)
●    Please provide the proof of your financial aid (letter of departmental funding, bank statements, etc)
●    Student ID or Appointment Letter required as proof of enrollment 
●    Receipt for SEVIS Application Fee (F-1 & J-1 only)

Waiting times for visas at the U.S. Consulate in your city

The length of time applicants must wait for a visa appointment varies widely based on where they apply and what time of year it is (the Christmas holidays and May, June and July can be busy times of year). An estimate of the current processing time at a US Consulate in your area may be found at US Department of State Visa Wait Times. The earlier you apply, the better your chances are. Up to 120 days before to your specified start date, U.S. Consulates are only able to accept appointments.

What to do if your visa gets refudes?

Maintain your composure and request a written explanation for the rejection. It's best to write down as much as you can recall about the interview after you've been rejected (i.e. the questions you were asked, the answers you provided and any supporting documentation that you provided to the consulate). 

The Office of International Student Affairs (OIS) will analyze your visa interview summary and advise you on a course of action after your refusal. Reapplying for a visa is an option, but only if you can produce fresh and persuasive evidence.


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