Visa Quotas

Reality: There is NO limit to the number of student visas that consular officers issue – the more, the better! If you are serious student, they want you to have the opportunity study in the U.S.!

Income Qualification

Reality: There is NO “magic” income level required to get visa.

Relatives in the U.S.

Reality: Having relatives in the U.S. does not automatically qualify or disqualify you from getting a visa – even if they help finance yout education.

English Proficiency

Reality: You do NOT need to demonstrate English proficiency if you intend to study English in the U.S. For other applicants, English proficiency is one factor that consular officers use in evaluating the overall competence of student visa appicants.

There are “Right” Answers in the Visa Interview

Reality: There are no right answers! The most important thing is to BE HONEST in describing your personal circumstances.

Academic Qualifications: Only the Very Best Get a Visa

Reality: You have to demonstrate to the consular officer who interviews you that you are a serious student who is well-informed about the admitting institution. You also have to demonstrate that you have a well-thought-out plan and have researched your major and the courses you plan to take.

Future Plans: Must Describe in Great Detail

Reality:You do not have to prepare a detailed presentation of what you plan to do after you return to Vietnam. You only need to be able to talk in general about a plan that is plausible and realistic.

You Must Return to Vietnam Immediately After Completing Your Degree

Reality: You can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work for up to one year upon completion of a degree program in order to gain practical experience in a field related to your major. (This applies to each degree program you complete – BA, MA, ect.)

Work: International Students Are Not Permitted to Work, Any – time, Anywhere

Reality: It is possible to work while you’re a studying in the U.S. under certain circumstances (i.e., on-campus, 20 hours per week during the semester and 40 hours when school is not in session, or off-campus through a school co-op program).

Working with An Education Agent Will Increase My Chances of Getting a Visa

Reality: No! Do not believe anyone who tells you they can help you get a visa. Do not pay money for fake documents. Consular officers are trained to recognize fake documents and lies. Just do your best to respond to the consular officer’s questions and tell the truth.

This information originally appeared in a pamphlet entitled "U.S. Student Visas - Myths & Realities" published in 2009 by the Institute of International Education in Vietnam with the approval of the consular sections of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi( and the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC (

For further information, please visit:

Travel.State.Gov: Students Visas:

The Basics on U.S. Visas: