Why study in USA:
Student visa requirements in the US
Applying for a US student visa?
The US Government provides an opportunity to all Indian students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a student visa first. The visa you need will depend on your age and the type of study you wish to pursue in the US. Here’s an overview* of the types of study visas and their application requirements:
The US Government offers three different student visa types:
|S.No.||Types of student visa||Description|
|1||F-1 Student Visa||to study at an accredited US college or university or to study English at an English language institute|
|2||J Exchange Visa||for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study|
|3||M Student Visa||for non-academic or vocational study or training in the US|
*For detailed information, please visit the US Government’s Department of State website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html).
As a primary step, you must first apply and be accepted by a US school or university that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once accepted, you will receive a Form I-20 from the institution’s international student office, which is a paper record of your information in the database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Documents required for a US student visa
When applying for your student visa for the US, you will generally need:
- A valid passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US (unless exempt by country specific agreements)
- Acceptance at a SEVP approved school and your Form I-20
- Application fee payment for the SEVIS
- Non-immigrant visa application and the Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Your photograph in the requested format, and number
Some additional documents that might be required include:
- Academic preparation documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates
- Evidence that you have sufficient funds to maintain your living expenses throughout the period of your stay in the US. This may include:
- Bank statements
- Financial undertaking by a sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs
- A scholarship program
- Evidence that you will leave the US once you have completed your course of study. This can be in the form of an air ticket out of the US to your home country
You may also have to appear for a personal interview at the US embassy or consulate.
*Please note that these are the basic requirements, speak with your IDP counsellor for a detailed list of documents required for visa processing
F-1 Student visa
Most students who wish to pursue their studies overseas opt for the F-1 Student Visa. There are three major steps to its procedure, being:
|Step 1||SEVIS fee and I-20 form collection||Once you pay the SEVIS fee, you are given an I-20 form from your new school or college. Duly fill the form and bring along for your F-1 interview.|
|Step 2||VISA fee and form collection||Pay your visa fee at the designated bank and collect the visa form. Duly fill the form and bring along for your interview.|
|Step 3||VISA interview||Schedule a visa interview with the US embassy in your country. The waiting time may vary depending on the visa type. Once you complete the interview successfully, you’ll receive your visa 120 days in advance.|
P.S: You can move to the US only 30 days before the start date of your program.