Frequently Asked Questions

See what other international students who have studied in the United States have asked questions about.

Immigration FAQ

If I want to attend school in the U.S., what kind of visa is appropriate for me?

Before entering the United States, international students must obtain a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay.  For students planning on attending a university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or language training program would need an F Visa.  Students planning on attending a vocational school or other nonacademic institution would need an M Visa.

For shorter periods of recreational study not credited towards a degree or academic certificate, a B Visa (Visitor Visa) may be more appropriate.

Can I attend any school in the U.S.?

International students can apply to and attend any school in the U.S. that is certified within the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).  After accepting you, SEVP certified schools will send you Form I-20, Certification of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.

I’ve received Form I-20. What should I do to enter the U.S. for my studies?

After receiving Form I-20 from the school you plan on attending, check that your name and date of birth are accurate and also match the information on your passport.  If any information is incorrect, contact the designated school official (DSO) who sent you the I-20 and ask them to correct the information and send you an updated form.

After you verify that all of the information on your I-20 is correct, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before applying for the appropriate visa.  After paying the fee, you can apply for a student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

When your visa is issued, you are allowed to enter the United States to attend the school listed on your student visa and I-20.  The I-20 will list your program start date.  You can enter the country up to 30 days before your program start date.

Driving FAQ

What do I need to drive legally in the U.S.?

International students on F and M visas can apply for a driver license from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  Applicants will need to pass the written and driving tests before receiving their license.  Temporary visitors on a B visa may be able to drive legally using a valid driver license from their home countries for a certain period of time.

Can I drive my friend’s car?

This question is surprisingly difficult to answer in a straightforward manner.  Most of the time, if you are a licensed driver and possess car insurance on another vehicle, you can legally drive your friend’s car with permission.  If you are not covered by car insurance on another vehicle, you are not covered on your friend’s vehicle.  Driving without insurance is a crime in the United States.

Certain car insurance coverage may not transfer to other vehicles.  Some insurance companies may require you be added to your friend’s policy.  Laws may vary from state to state.  There are a lot of variables.  We would recommend contacting your friend’s insurance company to verify insurance coverage before driving the vehicle.

What should I do after a car accident?

Car accidents are scary.  Knowing what to do in the event of an accident before one happens can make a scary situation a little more manageable.

Take these steps in the immediate aftermath of a car accident:

  • Do NOT leave the scene!  This is very important!  Leaving the scene of a car accident is a crime in the United States.
  • If you are seriously injured, stay where you are and wait for emergency response.  Do not risk further injury to yourself or others.
  • If possible, move yourself and your vehicle to safety, out of traffic.
  • Contact the police.  Call 911 to reach emergency services.
  • Exchange insurance information and contact information with any involved drivers and witnesses.  Try to avoid talking about the cause of the collision.  Only talk about the cause of the crash with police officers.
  • Document the collision.  Take pictures of the accident scene and damage to vehicles.
  • Contact a car accident attorney who can help you seek medical attention and walk you through the car insurance claims process.

What happens if my Uber or Lyft is in an accident?

If you are an Uber or Lyft passenger when involved in a crash and have suffered injury, seek immediate medical attention.  Regardless of which driver is at fault for the collision, as a passenger, you are entitled to medical treatment.  You may wish to contact a car accident attorney to help you find medical care and handle the insurance claim process.