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    Got my F-1... hurray!

    Yep, ten days ago I had my visa interview and the lady was kind enough to grant me a visa. Now you may consider me a lucky chap considering the fact that my I-20 had been issued by a Community College.

    You'll consider me further lucky 'cause I did not have a single Bank Statement... which proves false all the importance every1 gave to that piece of document (See Note).

    My case:
    I got admitted to a Community College in NJ, in an AS degree majoring in 'Liberal Studies'. Affidavit of Support was filled by my Uncle who's a U.S. citizen and an Associate Professor in the same college. My father owns a biz here in Lahore, which can't even afford to maintain a bank statement worth showing to the visa counselor.

    My Documents:
    Covering Letter
    I-20
    Affidavit of Support
    Uncle's income statement from Employer
    Statement of Understanding (Financial Support)
    Father's letter and biz card
    Tax documents (father's biz)
    High School Transcripts
    TOEFL score report
    Uncle's listing among faculty (website print-out)
    Extra curricular certs (not shown)
    Property Docs (not shown)
    College General Info - site print-out (not shown)
    Program of Study Info (not shown)
    Foreign Student Requirements (not shown)

    My Interview:
    Asalaam-u-Alaikum
    (Because a Pakistani girl was sitting infront, the American lady was sitting behing her. She was the one asking the questions on the directions of the American lady, who could hear my replies.)
    Walay kum Salaam
    (Give the I-20, passport & covering letter)
    F-1?
    - Yes
    Have you ever been outside Pakistan?
    - No
    Who's supporting financially?
    - Partially Uncle...
    (Give the Affidavit, Statement of Understanding, Faculty listing page, Income Statement)
    - ... and partially my Father.
    (Give my father's letter, tax docs. Studies Uncle's doc carefully...)
    Does your Uncle teach there?
    - Yes, in the same college.
    What would u do with this degree?
    - I'd help my father in his biz by taking subject like Biz, Communication, Info. Sys. etc.
    Show your transcripts.
    (Give the high school transcripts & TOEFL score report.)
    Has anyone in your family been abroad?
    - Yes, my father has been to the U.S. He's also been to the U.K. where he studied for four years in the same field he's doing biz now.
    OK, give him the slip.
    (The Paki girl gives me a slip and tells me to collect the passport at 3:30. I thank both of 'em, pack my docs and leave the window... 10 steps later the guy behind me in the line calls me, the Counselor has to say somethin... my heart starts pounding, reaching the window I find that I had left my Affidavit with them, I grab it and run like hell. The end.)

    That's it. Although it proves wrong all the hundreds of informational pages I had been reading on the we for the last one year & the advice I got from guppies, but, they did play a role in my success. Things like putting up a smiley face, being confident, getting a folder and arranging docs for easy retrieval, to the point answers etc. etc. wouldn't have been possible without them. Thank you all who helped me. I owe you one.
    But then again, they also told me that it is highly unlikely to get a visa without a bank statement and with an I-20 from a community college. I don't know... but I did get it. And I'm like mad happy.

    Bye,
    Haydur.

    Note: I've written this message in detail to help others. But, I will not take any responsibility if things I've written are proven wrong in your case. Every - EVERY - case is different, and looked upon differently by the Visa Counselor, may be he'd ask you for a Bank Statment, but I wasn't. The Bank Statement is and will remain the most important document for U.S. visa applicants from Pakistan. So go prepared, there's no weighing machine at the Embassy gate, take as many documents as you want, but they shoud be worth their weight. But still, this will not gaurentee a visa, I saw ppl with only like 7 pages given a visa, and others with alot of 'em denied. Be yourself. Just beleive in God & in your luck and be confident.

    ------------------
    You can only paint with the colors you're given...
    ...so get what you like and like what you have.


    [This message has been edited by pakistan99 (edited June 22, 2001).]

    #2
    Originally posted by pakistan99:
    You'll consider me further lucky 'cause I did not have a single Bank Statement... which proves false all the importance every1 gave to that piece of document.
    Congratulations Haydur.

    But dont think that your case proves all the advice given to you as wrong. When passing on advice to other prospective applicants, I hope you wont advise them to go without a substantial bank statement just because you didnt have to show it. Yours was the exception, not the rule.
    And your bank statement was not needed because your uncle sent in his letter of support. So that was your bank statement right there..your uncle.
    Other than that, its true that if a visa is to be granted, they usually dont fuss with too many questions or sidetracks.

    Best of luck in ur degree program

    Which college in NJ are u going to?

    Comment


      #3
      I'd be joining UCC (Union County) in Cranford.

      And thanks for the wishes. This is gonna be some adventure!!!

      bye,
      Haydur.

      Comment


        #4
        Congratulations Haydur!

        Thanks for sharing the entire story and thank you too for putting up the disclaimer because although we can always offer advice and comments, each and every case is assessed individually. No two are ever the same.

        When are you headed for Jersey then?


        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Muzna:

          When are you headed for Jersey then?
          I'd be (Insha-Allah) leaving within the next couple of weeks.

          Thanks,
          Haydur


          ------------------
          You can only paint with the colors you're given...
          ...so get what you like and like what you have.

          Comment


            #6
            Hey Congrats Dude!

            Study hard and make everyone proud.

            Comment


              #7
              Haydur:

              Whats a "covering letter?"??

              Whats "Statement of Understanding (Financial Support)"??

              What did your "Father's letter" say??

              Also, Affidavit of Support was just a writeup on the sheet with his signature or an official form??

              It seems to me that you showed affidavit of support in couple of different formats.. Please post and elaborate so other can benefit...

              thanks..

              Comment


                #8
                Covering Letter:
                A covering letter is just like a formal application for a visa. It contains your "statement of purpose" to study in the U.S. What would u do with this degree. Why you you've chosen this University? Your academic background? etc. etc. Although it's not a well known document among Pakistanis, it is of a lot importance and should be send along with your visa application form. Here is a sample provided by an indian.

                Statement of Understanding:
                This is infact a College form. It is signed by both the student and sponsor. It contain different terms and conditions i.e., 1) TOEFL is not accepted nor required and every student has to attend ESL classes. 2) It is the resposibility of the student of maintain status. But the most important term was that the 'sponsor' understood that he was (after signing the Affidavit) bound by U.S. to provide financial support to the student. The document was included in my admission pack I received from the college. It was infact a copy of the real thing, but even this was worth showing to the visa counselor.
                Note: If you do not have a 'statement of understanding', I recommend that you have your sponsor write a letter on his/her letterhead explaining his relationship with you, what support he would be giving, how he would be giving it and why was he giving the support in the first place.

                Father's letter
                My father's letter was on his business letterhead. It explained the current market position of our business, it's history. The fact that I have to take hold of the business in the coming years and that I needed proper education in order to do so. Rough estimates of the business worth plus our property's market value. And that although I was being sponsored by his cousin, but he was 'willing' to financially support me aswell.

                Affidavit of Support:
                And affidavit of support is a U.S. Goverment, Department of Justice, official document called the AoS form (I-134) (download it). But, the document seems to designed for U.S. citizens only. So, if your sponsor is not an American citizen, I recommend that you get a statement from your sponsor on his/her letterhead or a stamp-paper. It has to be in English or you'll have to get an authorized translation. And don't forget to get it notarized by a public notary. My AoS was notarized by a U.S. notary.


                I hope all this helps,
                Haydur.

                ------------------
                You can only paint with the colors you're given...
                ...so get what you like and like what you have.


                [This message has been edited by pakistan99 (edited June 24, 2001).]

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks Haydur.. that was a very informative write up.

                  Ghalib

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just visited your homepage http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif

                    I must say you are a funny and intelligent boy. I hope you have a great future ahead of you.
                    Just a few words I would like to say....Life in states is very challenging...it either makes you or breaks you...look forward to a lot of changes, responsibilites and the best time of your life i.e ur university years. You r stepping into a world of challenges and I'm pretty sure u will love it.....just keep focused and keep looking ahead. Good luck!

                    ciao
                    BoSS

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Mr. Pakistan99.. you just said yourself as you presented your Uncle's Documents which gives me the picture that he is sponsoring you... then you don't need to show your dad's bank statement....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mbmagsi:
                        Mr. Pakistan99.. you just said yourself as you presented your Uncle's Documents which gives me the picture that he is sponsoring you... then you don't need to show your dad's bank statement....
                        Actually what I've been trying to explain is that I did not have a bank statement of my father's biz (which is sort of like my secondary sponsor). But, my uncle, who is my primary sponsor, didn't either provide me with a bank statement. So, in simple words, I did not have ANY bank statement. Simple.

                        Bye,
                        Haydur.

                        ------------------
                        You can only paint with the colors you're given...
                        ...so get what you like and like what you have.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The bank statement is just an indicator of means of support, your uncle's affidavit along with his salary letter makes up for it.

                          People have gone in with statements of investments and stocks/shares etc and had the same effect.
                          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just remember one thing, USA is not what you might have in mind. PPl wonít help you until and unless you show them that you are capable of some thing. And keep your mind focused in your studies, lot of things here will distract you and you will get off track very easily. This is a place that will make you or brake you and you will see that when you get here. PS itís not easy after College either

                            Comment


                              #15
                              since you are going to a community college, things to keep in mind are

                              1) make sure you keep your GPA pretty high so you can transfer to a good uni later

                              2) all things being equal transfer out of community college sooner rather than later, finances permitting.

                              3) Start targetting unis that you would want to transfer to in the beginning of your second year in community college. The application deadlines are sometimes 6-8 months in advance of the semester you would want to transfer. Do visit target unis and get an idea of life, academics, placement assitance etc avilable to students.
                              The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                              Comment

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