With a sharp focus on driving diversity, the unique service is helping students worldwide arrive on campuses of US universities
WASHINGTON, USA. June 8, 2023 - As US universities witness a rebound in overseas students, INTO University Partnerships is providing special assistance to international students with the US visa process, particularly in countries where success rates remain low.
Through its Pre-Arrival Success Services (PASS) program, INTO is offering visa support and guidance for international students at no cost to them with a focus on improving diversity on US campuses. Hundreds of students from Pakistan, Turkey, Vietnam, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan - among many others - have successfully received their visas with the help of PASS.
Unlike conventional light touch visa guidance, INTO’s PASS program is a dedicated and personalised service led by a team of experienced advisors. The comprehensive support includes one-on-one mock interview sessions, workshops and virtual webinars that cover each step of the visa application process.
“The US international student visa application and interview can be a complex and challenging process for many students. Our primary goal is to build confidence in students throughout the visa process as they prepare to embark on their educational journey in the US,” said Laura Nye, INTO PASS program manager.
Launched as a pilot in 2020 to help students from countries with low US visa success rates, the PASS program has rapidly grown to become a fully-fledged service. It has already helped more than 1000 students successfully receive their F-1 visas. On average, students have 50% greater likelihood of getting a visa with PASS program.
Topics covered in the PASS digital webinars and workshops include "How to apply for the F-1 visa," "Document review," "DS-160 visa application overview," "Interview advice and tips," and a "General Q&A Forum."
“Our program is designed to cover every aspect of the US visa process for students. We provide students with comprehensive information and the opportunity to address any concerns or questions they may have. We also facilitate connections with student experience teams at our partner universities and provide insights into campus resources. This ensures a smooth transition into university life, where students can leverage the available support,” said Ms Nye.
The one-to-one mock interview sessions with INTO’s US visa specialists equip students for their visa interviews. This immersive experience helps students build confidence and effectively communicate their academic plans and goals during their visa interviews.
Ebilayefa, an undergraduate pathway student from Nigeria at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), said, “The PASS sessions I did were very helpful to me because I was able to practice speaking confidently and naturally, not talking like I was rehearsed. My advisor helped me learn to think quickly on my feet because in the sessions we practised a lot of questions. Without PASS, I feel like I wouldn't have been prepared for the interview because I wasn't confident in myself, and my responses to questions were so poor. But with the coaching I had, I was taught how to answer questions effectively.”
Ziraddin, a graduate program student from Azerbaijan, enrolled at Long Island University Brooklyn, said: “After my support session, I felt more prepared and more confident about my visa interview. We reviewed key points and documents that I needed so I could be successful. I recommend other students complete PASS.”
Chris, an undergraduate pathway student from Kenya at Drew University, said: “Working with PASS was an added benefit to how my agent helped me prepare for my visa interview. My advisor helped me build on my confidence and talk through my answers about why I picked Drew.”
The innovative program is receiving strong appreciation from INTO’s university partners in the US as it helps them increase diversity on campus with talented students from across the globe.
Vince Milam, Director of Marketing & Recruitment at UAB said: “We truly appreciate all that the entire INTO PASS team does to help our students be more confident and successful at their interviews. We have a large confirmation pool from South Asia and other markets, and they truly need and respond well with support from the PASS team. We have even had students get refused 2 times and the PASS team have helped them be successful on their 3rd attempt. They provide such a valuable service.”
Oscar Del Rio, Director of Marketing and Recruitment at INTO Hofstra University, said: “The PASS team are a great support for our students. They are readily available for advice and provide students with valuable information and insight on the visa interview process. Their high-quality work is evident when speaking to students who have met with a PASS team member as they usually express their appreciation for the guidance received.”