Help Najla Cover Cost of Application Fees for Physics PhD Programs

Update posted by Raffi Aftandelian On Mar 07, 2021

Dear Friends,

We would like to thank you for your contributions towards my fundraising campaign. In total we raised $1224. Also, I am grateful for your kind, supportive and encouraging words. Because of your generosity I have been able to apply to 10 top-notch schools (and to cover the cost of submitting my TOEFL scores to those schools) and also to cover the cost of submitting 7 additional TOEFL reports (to universities where I was able to secure an application fee waiver). Your kindness means a lot to me, I couldn't do it without all of you.

Your donations, I expect, will enable me to get into my dream school, to contribute to science, to create a future I wish for myself, and to be able to contribute to the well-being of others. Your faith in me and kindness have made it possible for me to pursue a PhD with more passion, commitment and hard work than ever before.

The admission decisions we have got so far (as of March 7th):

  • Waitlisted at Boston University
  • Acceptance letter from University of Notre Dame (fully funded, including a graduate assistantship)
  • Acceptance letter fro Dartmouth University (fully funded, including a graduate assistantship)

This news is very encouraging and I hope to be offered many more interviews and acceptances. I expect to hear back from schools by the middle of March or earlier. We will update you as soon as I get responses from the universities I have applied to.

Currently, I am seeking funds to cover the costs of seeking a US visa. Below you will details of anticipated expenses associated with securing a US visa.

If you or someone you know might be willing to help, I would much appreciate it. Do feel free to share this appeal with others. Thanks so much!

appreciatively,

Najla (and Raffi)


Anticipated expenses in seeking a US visa


The First step for applying for a US visa is to schedule an appointment by paying the Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) Fee. Since the US has no embassy in Iran, Iranians have to travel to a third country. Specifically, the US State Department recommends that Iranian nationals apply for visas in Armenia, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates. Their consular staff have the most experience in processing US visas for Iranians.

I have decided to apply to the US embassy in Armenia (Yerevan) because I don’t need a visa to travel to Armenia and Turkey has suspended their processing of non-immigrant visas. Also, at the time I scheduled my appointment for a visa interview the United Arab Emirates were still barring the entry of Iranians into the country.

The second step is to prepare the documents that are required for the embassy interview, such as notarized translations of high school and university transcripts (and diplomas), and booking a hotel room (currently as a COVID measure one needs to be in-country for at least 14 days before one can take part in a visa interview. This measure may change, however, and one may only be required to be in-country for 3 days before the interview takes place) and paying for tickets (including the departure tax and arrival tax in Armenia). Since I live in Ahvaz, first I have to travel to Tehran and then Armenia. So, in addition to the Tehran-Yerevan round trip ticket, I have to also buy an Ahvaz-Tehran round trip ticket. After the interview, it may take some weeks for visa approval . After the US embassy approves it and I get the embassy email I have to get back to Armenia and give them my passport in order to have the visa printed in my passport

However, in order to avoid this additional expense, usually people ask specific companies to do this work rather than returning in person. These companies are approved by the Iran government and the embassy and their job is to present a letter from the client indicating permission to pick up the passport and then to take the passport to Armenia and after the visa has been printed in the passport,they will deliver it to the client.

So, I will be paying a smaller fee by having the company take my passport to the US Embassy and having the visa printed in the passport.

After receiving the visa, I have to purchase an air ticket from Iran to the US ticket (including departure tax as well as arrival tax to the US). Also, I have to pay for four required Covid-19 tests (first before leaving Iran for Armenia, second time is 72 hours prior to interview at the US embassy, 3rd time before leaving Armenia for Iran, and last time before leaving Iran for the US).

Itemized Breakdown of Anticipated Expenses


2

Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) Fee

$350


4

Departure tax for leaving Iran

$16

Tax paid when crossing the border

5

Arrival tax Expenses for entering Armenia

$10

Tax paid for entering Armenia

6

Airfare from Ahvaz to Tehran (roundtrip)

$30

Najla resides in Ahvaz, Iran.

7

Notarized translated documents for visa application

$70

Notarized translation of high school and university transcripts and diplomas

8

Airfare from Tehran to Yerevan (roundtrip)

$496

While Tehran is very close to Yerevan, there are no direct flights available at the moment. As a consequence, flights between the two cities require an out-of-the-way stopover, making the flight more expensive than might be expected.


9

Hotel accommodation= $35.00 per night

For 14 days= $490

For 3 days= $105

Two different totals are listed here because currently as a COVID measure one needs to be in-country for at least 14 days before one can take part in a visa interview. This measure may change, however, and one may only be required to be in-country for 3 days before the interview takes place

10

Meals= $10 per day

For 14 days= $140

For 3 days= $30













11

Visa pickup

$48.50

Pickup and delivery of the visa by a vetted third party service

12

Iran departure tax

$24

For a flight from Iran to the US. Later this year there will be a 50% increase in the tax.

13

Airfare from Iran to US (one way)

$650

As of this writing, it is not clear which school I will have chosen, so this is an estimate.

14

US arrival tax

$13.40

https://2009-2017.state.gov/ofm/resource/imp/tax/2...


Required Covid-19 tests:

1st time= before leaving Iran for Armenia= $12

2nd time= 72 hours prior to interview at the US embassy= $28

3rd time= Before leaving Armenia for Iran= $28

4th time= before leaving Iran for the US= $12







Add a Comment

Update posted by Raffi Aftandelian On Mar 07, 2021

Dear Friends,

We would like to thank you for your contributions towards my fundraising campaign. In total we raised $1224. Also, I am grateful for your kind, supportive and encouraging words. Because of your generosity I have been able to apply to 10 top-notch schools (and to cover the cost of submitting my TOEFL scores to those schools) and also to cover the cost of submitting 7 additional TOEFL reports (to universities where I was able to secure an application fee waiver). Your kindness means a lot to me, I couldn't do it without all of you.

Your donations, I expect, will enable me to get into my dream school, to contribute to science, to create a future I wish for myself, and to be able to contribute to the well-being of others. Your faith in me and kindness have made it possible for me to pursue a PhD with more passion, commitment and hard work than ever before.

The admission decisions we have got so far (as of March 7th):

  • Waitlisted at Boston University
  • Acceptance letter from University of Notre Dame (fully funded, including a graduate assistantship)
  • Acceptance letter fro Dartmouth University (fully funded, including a graduate assistantship)

This news is very encouraging and I hope to be offered many more interviews and acceptances. I expect to hear back from schools by the middle of March or earlier. We will update you as soon as I get responses from the universities I have applied to.

Currently, I am seeking funds to cover the costs of seeking a US visa. Below you will details of anticipated expenses associated with securing a US visa.

If you or someone you know might be willing to help, I would much appreciate it. Do feel free to share this appeal with others. Thanks so much!

appreciatively,

Najla (and Raffi)


Anticipated expenses in seeking a US visa


The First step for applying for a US visa is to schedule an appointment by paying the Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) Fee. Since the US has no embassy in Iran, Iranians have to travel to a third country. Specifically, the US State Department recommends that Iranian nationals apply for visas in Armenia, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates. Their consular staff have the most experience in processing US visas for Iranians.

I have decided to apply to the US embassy in Armenia (Yerevan) because I don’t need a visa to travel to Armenia and Turkey has suspended their processing of non-immigrant visas. Also, at the time I scheduled my appointment for a visa interview the United Arab Emirates were still barring the entry of Iranians into the country.

The second step is to prepare the documents that are required for the embassy interview, such as notarized translations of high school and university transcripts (and diplomas), and booking a hotel room (currently as a COVID measure one needs to be in-country for at least 14 days before one can take part in a visa interview. This measure may change, however, and one may only be required to be in-country for 3 days before the interview takes place) and paying for tickets (including the departure tax and arrival tax in Armenia). Since I live in Ahvaz, first I have to travel to Tehran and then Armenia. So, in addition to the Tehran-Yerevan round trip ticket, I have to also buy an Ahvaz-Tehran round trip ticket. After the interview, it may take some weeks for visa approval . After the US embassy approves it and I get the embassy email I have to get back to Armenia and give them my passport in order to have the visa printed in my passport

However, in order to avoid this additional expense, usually people ask specific companies to do this work rather than returning in person. These companies are approved by the Iran government and the embassy and their job is to present a letter from the client indicating permission to pick up the passport and then to take the passport to Armenia and after the visa has been printed in the passport,they will deliver it to the client.

So, I will be paying a smaller fee by having the company take my passport to the US Embassy and having the visa printed in the passport.

After receiving the visa, I have to purchase an air ticket from Iran to the US ticket (including departure tax as well as arrival tax to the US). Also, I have to pay for four required Covid-19 tests (first before leaving Iran for Armenia, second time is 72 hours prior to interview at the US embassy, 3rd time before leaving Armenia for Iran, and last time before leaving Iran for the US).

Itemized Breakdown of Anticipated Expenses


2

Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) Fee

$350


4

Departure tax for leaving Iran

$16

Tax paid when crossing the border

5

Arrival tax Expenses for entering Armenia

$10

Tax paid for entering Armenia

6

Airfare from Ahvaz to Tehran (roundtrip)

$30

Najla resides in Ahvaz, Iran.

7

Notarized translated documents for visa application

$70

Notarized translation of high school and university transcripts and diplomas

8

Airfare from Tehran to Yerevan (roundtrip)

$496

While Tehran is very close to Yerevan, there are no direct flights available at the moment. As a consequence, flights between the two cities require an out-of-the-way stopover, making the flight more expensive than might be expected.


9

Hotel accommodation= $35.00 per night

For 14 days= $490

For 3 days= $105

Two different totals are listed here because currently as a COVID measure one needs to be in-country for at least 14 days before one can take part in a visa interview. This measure may change, however, and one may only be required to be in-country for 3 days before the interview takes place

10

Meals= $10 per day

For 14 days= $140

For 3 days= $30













11

Visa pickup

$48.50

Pickup and delivery of the visa by a vetted third party service

12

Iran departure tax

$24

For a flight from Iran to the US. Later this year there will be a 50% increase in the tax.

13

Airfare from Iran to US (one way)

$650

As of this writing, it is not clear which school I will have chosen, so this is an estimate.

14

US arrival tax

$13.40

https://2009-2017.state.gov/ofm/resource/imp/tax/20129.htm


Required Covid-19 tests:

1st time= before leaving Iran for Armenia= $12

2nd time= 72 hours prior to interview at the US embassy= $28

3rd time= Before leaving Armenia for Iran= $28

4th time= before leaving Iran for the US= $12







Add a Comment

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Best of luck, Najla!

Cher

Backed with $100.00 On Mar 09, 2021

photo

Hi Najla. I received your update email from Raffi. That’s super exciting about the interview invitations from Hopkins, Tufts and Dartmoth!!! As well making it on to the waitlist at Boston and a full funded acceptance to Notre Dame! Congratulations friend! These are top notch schools. I don’t have a whole lot to give financially at the moment but hope this tiny bit helps maybe toward securing a visa. I’ve also posted your campaign to my facebook page and am keeping my fingers crossed that this brings in something for campaign. Best of luck and keep up the good work Najla.

Mitchell Hambley

Backed with $20.00 On Feb 21, 2021

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Anonymous

Backed On Jan 25, 2021 Amount Hidden

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You've got to have a dream, If you don't have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true? :-)

Michael Brackney

Backed with $55.00 On Dec 27, 2020

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stuart salvara

Backed with $20.00 On Dec 11, 2020

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Hats off to you Najla for following your dreams and not being afraid to reach out to your community for support in the process. I'm honored to give the small amount I can and will be sharing your funding page on my facebook account. Raffi is a dear friend of mine and I'm glad to learn that, like I have many times in the past, others are benefiting from his incredibly intelligent, collaborative and generous ways. I wish you the best of luck Najla. Sincerely, Mitchell

Mitchell Hambley

Backed with $25.00 On Nov 02, 2020

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Best of luck!

Anonymous

Backed with $50.00 On Oct 31, 2020

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Good luck, Najla!

J&J

Backed with $100.00 On Oct 20, 2020

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Anonymous

Backed with $150.00 On Oct 20, 2020

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Best of luck to you!

Cheryl Johnson

Backed with $100.00 On Oct 19, 2020

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