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USA Student Visa Guide

USA Student Visa Guide

Updated on Apr 6, 2020
Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli

Study Abroad Expert

1.3L Views
CONTENT ID: 762

USA Study Visa: The USA continues to be the top choice for students planning to study abroad. If you are among the few who aspire and have already got admission into your aspired university, applying for Student Visa is the next important step to realizing your  dream. This  examines briefly the various types of visa and attempts to give a detailed process of applying for the  – applicable to students planning to take up their  as well as . Apart from this, candidates should also know

Types of USA Study Visa

There are three types of student visas to the US:

1. F1 Student Visa

  • Students applying for a program that requires more than 18 hours of study in a week require an . This includes all undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs like MS, , etc.
  • Spouses or children accompanying F-1 visa recipients will travel on an F-2 visa. Please note that spouses are not able to work but may accompany and/or apply for their own visa to the U.S. to work or study.

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2. J1 Exchange Visitor Visa

  • The  is for students, visiting scholars or lecturers pursuing an exchange program. For example, Fulbright scholars and many students on short-term study abroad programs from Indian universities will travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa.
  • J1 visa is usually sought by a working professional who goes to America on an exchange program, hence the name Exchange Visitor Visa. These may include a 10-month vocational training or some research fellowship, etc. Whichever be the case, the applicants would be notified for the same by the respective institutions. 
  • Spouses or children accompanying J-1 Visa recipients will travel on a J-2 Visa. Please note that spouses are able to work when permission is obtained in advance.

Learn more about F1 Visa:

3. M-1 Vocational/ Non-Academic Student Visa

  • The M1 visa is a type of student visa which is reserved for vocational and technical schools. While the process for applying to the F1 visa and M-1 is similar, the difference is that on entering, the M1 visas are time-stamped and students cannot overstay their visit.

快穿系统女主深吻hAlso, read about  and student visa for prominent international study destinations:

Check out a video on USA Visa counseling session by in-house Shiksha counselors. This video covers important topics like Steps to apply for a visa, documents you need to carry at the time visa interview and experts handling students' queries.

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 ALERT

Due to COVID-19, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement department has permitted  to electronically send Forms I-20 to students on their email addresses listed on SEVIS. For minor students, the email address may belong to their parent or a legal guardian.

Considering the Coronavirus pandemic, SEVP has lifted the restriction on mailing physical Form I-20s and is allowing schools to email I-20s directly to the students temporarily. The emailed Form I-20 will now be considered official for the purpose of applying for the visa by the US embassy. It also means, currently, students need not pay shipping fees until further notice.

快穿系统女主深吻hAn electronically received I-20 can be

  • A scanned version of a physically signed form I-20, or
  • A digitally signed form I-20 that includes a digitally reproduced copy having a physical signature
  • A digitally signed form I-20 using electronic signature software

快穿系统女主深吻hStudents can pay their I-901 fees, so that when the embassies reopen, they will get the visa appointment at the earliest.

Working on USA Student Visa

During the first year while studying, students cannot accept off-campus employment. They are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week. During holidays and breaks, they may work up to 40 hours per week. The student can work for a commercial firm that provides services to the college, such as a bookstore or cafeteria.

You might want to know about:

Cost of Visa

快穿系统女主深吻hThere are two fees associated with for F1 student visa for the USA

  1. which is at present at $350
  2. Visa Application Fee (MRV Fee) which is at present $160 (at the exchange rate of INR 70)

Here is the breakdown of different types of Student Visas

 

Type of Visa

 Type of Fee

F1

J1

M1

SEVIS Fee*

Amount

$350

$220

$350

Accepted modes of Payment

Credit Card
快穿系统女主深吻hMoney Order/ Demand Draft

Payable in

Dollars at the applicable exchange rate as determined by the bank

MRV Application Fee/ Visa Application Fee

Amount

$160

$160

$160

快穿系统女主深吻hAccepted modes of Payment

NEFT Online Transfer
Instant Money Transfer by Mobile - IMPS
快穿系统女主深吻hBy Cash at 

Payable in

Payable in INR at the Exchange Rate Fixed by the Consular Office (At present the exchange rate is fixed at $1 = INR 70)

*Spouses and dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if they are going to the U.S. on F-2 or J-2 visas. For more information about the SEVIS program, you can read .

Documents Required for F1 Student Visa Application

USA Study Visa Process: Student visa requires you to carry a lot more documents than you would for a tourist visa, by comparison. You need the mandatory documents along with supporting documents of financial and academic records. Make sure you refer to this checklist before going to the consulate for the visa interview.

  • A valid passport with a validity date at least six months beyond your period of stay.
  • A printed copy of DS-160, the online application form
  • Interview appointment letter (original and copy)
  • Form I-20 sent by the college (where you are going to study)
  • Visa fees payment confirmation receipt
  • Bank statement for at least three years showing that you have enough assets to pay for the first year (could be of parent or guardian)
  • Pay/salary slips
  • Original mark sheets/provisional certificates
  • Score sheet of exams like , , , etc.
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Supporting  for F1 Visa

For the USA, students need to show proof of the amount of funds they need to cover for the first year's total expenses. It includes tuition fees, living expenses, and other expenses (like books). Apart from this, students also need to show proof of the readily available funds for the rest of the tenure of their education.

Evidence of Financial Resources required for F1 Visa

  • Tax returns for the past 3 years (Form 16)
  • Bank statements/passbook for the past 3 years
  • Original pay/salary slips and letters of employment
  • Statement from certified CA
  • Scholarship letter (If the applicant has received it)
  • The loan approval letter by the bank or the concerned authority

How to Apply for US Student Visa (F1 Visa)

There are several steps to apply for a USA Study Visa:

  1. Your visa process starts when you receive Form I-20 from your college. Though you can pay the SEVIS fee anytime during the application, it is strongly recommended that you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before you start your US visa application.
  2. After paying the SEVIS fee and getting a receipt, you can apply for a DS-160 visa form. It is an online application form.
  3. Print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
  4. Pay the visa fee through NEFT or at authorized AXIS bank/Citi bank locations.
  5. Schedule a Biometric appointment and Interview appointment.
  6. For the Biometric appointment, you will be required to appear in person to get your photograph clicked for the visa and get your fingerprints scanned.
  7. At the Personal interview, the interviewer will ask you questions about your choice, of course, college, finances, and intent of coming back. If s/he is convinced, they will keep your passport with them to get the visa stamped. Here is a guide to help you prepare for your .

Remember, F1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days before the starting date of your course of study. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on F1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.

Dependents

Spouses and children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany the applicant in the US for the duration of his or her stay require F2 or M2 visas. A spouse on F2 status cannot enroll for a full course of study but can attend classes that are vocational or recreational in nature like pursuing a hobby or interest, such as cooking or tennis. Children on F2 status are allowed to attend elementary, middle, or high school as a full-time student. They may not enroll in a full-time course of study at a college or university.

快穿系统女主深吻hThe spouse and children of students cannot accept employment at any time during their stay-period on the F2 Visa.

Additional Information

快穿系统女主深吻hF1 visa holders are eligible for up to 12 months of OPT (optional practical training) on completion of graduation. That means you can work for a year after you finish your studies. It is a temporary employment permission-giving students the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study. After that, you will be required to apply for a work visa if you have to continue working in the US. You can remain in the US up to 60 days after the completion of your course even if you don’t have a job offer or haven’t applied for OPT.

Where to Apply

快穿系统女主深吻hThe process of getting an F1 visa is completely online.  Below are the resources to fill out your forms –

For Biometrics interview you need to visit –

  1. Delhi -
    S - 1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower
    Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110019
  2. Mumbai -
    Trade Center, Ground Floor, G Block,
    Bandra Kurla Complex,
    Bandra East, Mumbai - 400051 
  3. Chennai -
    No 3, Cenotaph Road,
    Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600018
  4. Hyderabad -
    1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P.Road,
    Begumpet, Secunderabad - 500003
  5. Kolkata -
    Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor)
    Kolkata – 700017

US Embassy and Consulates Addresses -

  1. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi
    Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021
  2. The U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay)
    C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
  3. The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai (Madras)
    220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
  4. The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata (Calcutta)
    5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
  5. The U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad
    Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003

If you are a meritorious student you can also apply for various scholarships available at the institute/university you are applying to. There are various . Scholarships are considered as one of the best ways of financing your education. International students worry about managing funds while they are planning to pursue their studies abroad. Also, various universities/institutes offer scholarships to students. It can be need-based or merit-based. Experts also suggest students to check for different types of scholarships available for them. Below are some of the most popular scholarships for students going to study in the USA:

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About the Author

Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli

Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad application...Read Full Bio

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Comments (33)

PG Aspirant2 months ago

I'm a post graduate in commerce and wish to do a course in finance and work in USA post , my work experience is in customer service , please provide me with some details on how to go about the process please

Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert2 months ago

Dear Emmanuel, please go through the below link and check out the complete application process for applying to universities abroad.

PG Aspirant3 months ago

快穿系统女主深吻hwhat will be the last month to apply for us universities to get admitted in fall time

Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert3 months ago

Dear Varshith, it will be better if you check the university's deadline where you are applying and plan accordingly.

PG Aspirant3 months ago

快穿系统女主深吻hCan you please provide me a best way, in which I can go US for study of some Masters degree, complete the degree and could start working there. And after working for 1-2 year could get a permanent resident visa ?

Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert3 months ago

Dear Simona, you just can't go for any MS degree, moreover, in order to be eligible for post-study work rules you need to go for a STEM degree. Also, please elaborate on your query, and tell us which course you want to pursue and your education background, so, we can assist you better.

UG Aspirant4 months ago

快穿系统女主深吻hI'm complete my school can I study in Australia 9118552841...........

Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert4 months ago

快穿系统女主深吻hDear Shivam, please elaborate on your query, give your academic background and what you want to study further, so, we can assist you better.

PG Aspirant5 months ago

I’m 13 year old can I study in us

Piyush Kohli
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert5 months ago

Dear Nandini, first you need to complete your schooling and then you can apply to US universities.

PG Aspirant6 months ago

My que is if I have 5 year student visa nd I want to come back India for somedays nd again want to go back to us !
Is it possible?

Sandeep Kumar Barik
Sandeep Kumar Barik
Counseling Expert for USA5 months ago

Dear Dhrumil,
Yes, you can come to India while you are on a student visa and go back to USA for studies. You can come back during schedules breaks.

PG Aspirant11 months ago

Hi,
I am going to attend US VISA interview.
have a query reg funding documents
Can i show my funding in multiple bank ? , For example: Some fund in My father account in BANK 1, Some in BANK2 and some in my account in BANK3. ?

快穿系统女主深吻h Thanks in Advance

Sandeep Kumar Barik
Sandeep Kumar Barik
Counseling Expert for USA5 months ago

Dear Deekshit,
Yes, funds in multiple accounts would not be a problem. It is advisable to have maximum three sponsors. Let us know if you have any queries.

PG Aspirant11 months ago

I want to study in USA for Post Graduation i dont know the process can anyone help me

UG Aspirant12 months ago

快穿系统女主深吻hhlw i'm manpreet i would like to ask about the pte becose i got 7 band score in this exam that is 65 points and i would like to get admission USA university, so pte is acceptable in USA or not please suggest me best opetion for it.

PG Aspirant1 year ago

I have a query about the stay in USA. I'm not planning to stay in campus but planning to stay in my family friend's place. So what proof should I bring to the interview if I need to prove them that I would be staying there or will dat be a problem that I'm staying outside the campus?

Swameeka Medhi
Swameeka Medhi
Study Abroad Expert1 year ago

Hi Aishwarya, a letter from your friend and his/her parents/guardian will be required. Also, check with the university firstly. For some universities it is mandatory that you stay in campus during the first year.