The Educational Visa Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, and the Immigration Department. The purpose of this document is to provide an outline and general description of the process involved in sponsoring a student on an education visa. Haiti Lifeline Ministries (HLM) can provide general information regarding the Educational Visa Program but can only be an intermediary for those that wish to host students that have aged out of Centre Children International d'Haiti in Croix-de-Bouquets, Haiti. Students who wish to be in the Educational Visa Program through HLM must be vetted through our educational division, The Oasis Project (TOP). 

There are several types of visas available for non-immigrant visitors. General information about the visas and their requirements can be found at the following web address:  http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/study-exchange/student.html. In order for students to be eligible they will need to submit their transcripts and complete TOP Student Program Application. After reviewing the information below, please contact The Oasis Project Director, Sara Vincent (sara@haitilifeline.org), for further information regarding the application process.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I am a haitian student interested in obtaining an educational visa what can i expect?

Click HERE for more information.

 

I am interested in hosting a student?

Prior to applying as a host family thoughtfully consider the questions below: 

  1. Do I have the finances to host a person?
  2. Can we afford to help them in the Visa process?
  3. Do I have the transportation and time to commit to them?
  4. Do I have the space in my home to give them privacy from the rest of the family?
  5. How long will we be committed to this person?

 

How do we apply to host a student?

Haiti Lifeline Ministries (HLM), as the intermediary agent, requires families who are interested in sponsoring a student to first go through an application process that allows the Board of Directors and The Oasis Project Director an opportunity to get to know more about the interested party.  The HLM Board of Director reserves the right to deny a family’s application if there is concern for the well being of the student. Please remember that this application and HLM's responsibilities as an intermediary agent extend only to students that have aged out of Centre Children International d'Haiti in Croix-de-Bouquets, Haiti.

Click HERE to apply to host a student.

 

Which students are eligible for the educational visa program?

The Lifeline Orphanage Director and The Oasis Project Director are jointly responsible for screening potential candidates to the Visa Program.  The Educational Visa Program demands a lot of time and work on behalf of the student, as such, candidates must be committed to their academic success and should be goal oriented.  Therefore, only those students whom the Lifeline Director and Oasis Director feel will meet those goals will be selected. 

Additionally, most schools require a visa candidate to submit their transcripts, academic history, and many also require an interview before accepting a potential student.  This means that even if a candidate is nominated for the Educational Visa Program, it is ultimately up to the host family to find a school willing to issue an I-20 visa.  To determine if a student from the Lifeline Orphanage is a potential candidate, please contact The Oasis Project Director, Sara Vincent (sara@haitilifeline.org).

 

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?

There is an approximate time frame of 4-6 months depending on the speed at which the host and home government operates.  An I-20 Visa can be issued up to 120 days prior to starting an education program but students cannot enter the U.S. until 30 days before starting school.

It would be appropriate to plan one academic year ahead.  For example, if a student begins the application process in early 2016, there would be a good chance they could be moved through the process by the start of the 2016-2017 school year.  If the application process starts in the summer, it would be appropriate to assume the earliest a student would enter would be at the beginning of the second semester of 2016-2017. 

This time frame is entirely dependent upon the student qualifying for a student visa.  If the student visa is denied during the visa interview, the process must be restarted.

 

How much does it cost to host a student?

Here are the fees associated with the Student Visa Program:

 

Which schools can a student attend?

A non-immigrant student can attend any school that is accredited to issue I-20 visas.  Most public schools and larger private schools have non-immigrant education programs. Home schools are not accredited schools. Check with your local school’s admissions office to confirm their accreditation.

Students may only attend public schools for one academic year and host families have to pay the student costs associated with that school. Non-immigrant students can attend private schools for as many years as it takes to complete their education program. Prior to applying for a visa, a non-immigrant student must already be accepted into a school. 

For more information about schools, visit http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/study-exchange/student/foreign-students-in-public-schools.html

For more information concerning extensions, visit https://www.uscis.gov/visit-united-states/extend-your-stay

 

Which documents are needed for the educational Visa Program?

There are several documents that are required before a student can enter the US. The first step in the process is for the student to obtain a Haitian Passport. This is done by the Orphanage Director and included in the initial passport fees. Once the student has a passport, the host school can begin the process of preparing an I-20 visa form. The next step is to apply for a visa appointment through the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. The Lifeline Orphanage Director is responsible for applying for the visa online. Host families only need to pay the $160 fee for the visa application and send a copy of the school generated I-20 to the Lifeline Orphanage Director. Once the Visa application fees are paid, an interview at the U.S. embassy in Haiti can be scheduled. At that interview, additional documents may be requested (financial statements, school admittance letter, etc.)

Document List:

  • Passport
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) and confirmation page
  • Application fee payment receipt (SEVIS)
  • Student Photo (must be within six months of application)
  • I-20 form – issued by host school
  • Additional documents – Evidence of:
    • Your academic preparation – grade cards
    • Statement of intent to depart US upon completing of the course of study
    •  Payment for educational, living, and travel costs

One of the requirements of the student visa is that a candidate must show how they will pay for their education and living expenses.  It is incumbent on the host family to provide a written statement detailing how school tuition will be paid, and how the students’ living expenses will be provided for.  

DS-160 Visa Application: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

SEVIS Application Fee: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/