Traveling to “land of opportunities” for future studies is a dream of many people as standards and quality of education is the best in the world. I am one of those lucky people who wished to study in America and finally landed in United States for this purpose. But it was not an easy task as rules and regulation for obtaining a student’s visa is hard. But troubles do not end with getting a student visa as after coming to United States, one finds himself entangled in other difficult rules.
I myself experienced all these difficulties and hardships before arrival and after arrival in United States.
When I applied at the United States consulate in my native country, I had to produce certain security documents in addition to my I-20 Form (Admission letter from my institute), funding document and passport. Although these security documents were necessary to clear the security conditions but it took me many days to get these from local authorities.
Additionally, I wanted to come to America thirty days prior to the start of my course date in order to accommodate myself in the American environment and learn the culture and values of Americans.
But again it was not a simple thing as I have to get a visitor visa first and it was also required to register with Department of Homeland Security office upon my arrival in United States. After one month, before beginning any studies, I must obtain a change of classification through Form I-539 (application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status). As these rules were hard to understand and were harder to follw, so I decided to end this venture. I believe that these procedures are cumbersome and forces one not to apply for a visa thirty days prior to the corse start date.
I also believe that student must come earlier (more than thirty days) to United States to get an acquintance with the local customs, traditions and environment. There is another condition for F-1 visa that students must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution. But sometime Institute does offer long duration courses in Language Proficiency but does not give it full time course status to these courses. This creates a lot of problem in getting student visa and students in this case only gets visit visa.
I think that Language courses must also be included in the category of full time courses or the Visa rule about these courses should be relaxed and a student visa should be issued for these. There is another part of the visa application process; an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants. I believe that this interview process is an extra thing as students waits a lot to be called for interview. Again a communication barrier is another problem because students can not convey the real information due to language inability.
He can not understand the questions of the Visa Clearance Office in the right context. This results in the failure of getting a visa. The immigration rules related to medical check-up and vaccinations is another problem that students face. I myself have to undergo a lot of difficult procedures. I believe that vaccination is necessary and United States has the right to allow only the healthy person to enter in its territory but these procedures must be simplified. Another hard rule is related to employment.
According to the F-1 rules, maximum of 20 hours/week is allowed while the studies are in progress whereas during annual break periods one can work up to 40 hours a week. I believe that students must be given more time so that they can earn enough to partially support their non-curricular activities. It does not mean that their studies should be sacrificed but they should be allowed according heir spare time. Students should use this money to visit various parts of America and to get knowledge of American culture and geography. Another employment rule is related to on-campus job.
One can not take jobs outside the college or institute premises. I think that this regulation is unfair as only few jobs are available on the campus. Furthermore, every international student tries to get job on the premises. This makes the situation difficult. So it is not possible for every student to get a job on his/her own campus. I think that this rule should be relaxed and students should b allowed to work in the surroundings of the university or institute. Again after one year, students are allowed to work off-campus bit it needs the approval of the institute.
I believe that this procedure again creates difficulties for the students. Although jobs in the local surroundings are not rare but they are processed so quickly that after getting an approval from institute, they remain no more available. Although I suffered from only a few of these hard rules but most of the prospective students become a victim of one or more of these rules. So I think that these rules should be altered in order to take care of the students’ needs. Government must take initiative to accommodate the students and their genuine requirements.