In order to fulfill your dreams of studying and settling in America, you first need to apply for admission in an American university/college, receive the offer letter or invite and then head on to the visa process. In order to study in visa, you need to obtain a study visa. The study visa is issued after the student’s visa application gets approved by the university as well as the visa authorities. Thus, when you have your study visa in hand, you’re good to go and fly down to the city of your dreams. Here is a comprehensive guide to getting a Student Visa for USA.
First, here is the types of Student Visas issued for study in USA.
Types of Student Visas in USA
F-1 visa is for all study and language programs and courses with more than 18 hours a week, at any American Elementary and High School, Seminary and Conservatory, College and University. It includes all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the US.
M-1 visa is for all vocational, technical and other non-academic courses in America. M-1 visa students can stay in the US, only as long as the visa permits and have other limitations as well. These limitations include as not working off-campus, not allowed work more than 20 hours/week and can work only at commercial places.
J-1 visa, commonly known as the Exchange Visitor Visa, is for all exchange program participants such as students, teachers and visiting professors. J-1 also includes research fellowships and a brief period of vocational training, extending to not more than ten months.
The F-1 Student Visa
One of the most common visa type and the best suited to Indian students is the F-1 Visa. The F-1 visa is allocated to those students who wish to study any academic or language course in a university/college in the US. To receive the same, you have apply for the visa and submit the required documents. Once your application is processed, you are called for an Interview and thereafter you are given the student visa for USA. In fact, the visa can be extended as per further study or work opportunities.
The F visas have three categories- F-1,F-2 and F-3.
- F-1 is for foreign full-time study students,
- F-2 for the dependents such as partners or children of the F-1 students and,
- F-3 for across-the-US-border Canadian and Mexican students.
The F-1 visa is a welcome study visa for international students to the American universities and colleges. For those willing to pursue language courses and several other academic courses can enroll for this visa type.F-1 visa includes Curricular Practical Training as well as the additional, Optional Practical Training. Both the CPT and OPT trainings are valid for pre-completion and post-completion of the intended course.
Apart from this, the F-1 visa students can enroll for scholarships, on-campus placements and file tax for the income. However, the F-1 visa students are conditioned to complete the entire course of their study. The visa-holder can stay only sixty days after the visa expires, that is the completion of the course.
F-1 Student Visa Eligibility
Any visa, be it F-2 or otherwise, needs the following documents as proof-
- Admission approval
- Language test scores
- Proof of finances
The eligibility conditions for F-1 student visa for USA, are-
- Nationality– The students should have a nationality other than American.
- Invite– Must have admission letter/offer approved by the university as it forms the very basis of the visa.
- Funds– Finances to complete and fund education.
- Insurance– Health Insurance and medicare backups.
- Others– Assets back home, family, business, etc to demonstrate strong home-ties.
How to Apply?
In order to receive the student visa for USA, you need to apply for one. For this, you need to go by the following steps-
- Apply for Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) university and get approved for admission.
- Obtain the I-20 Form from the university/college, under the SEVP.
- Apply for SEVI, fill the form and pay the fees.
- Login on to the US Visa Application site. Fill in the form.
- Apply for the Student Study Visa with the required documents at the US Consulate Office or Embassy.
- Book the Appointment and appear for the same at the Visa centre.
- Register with your fingerprints and photograph on the Appointment Day.
- Appear for the Interview along with the needed documents.
Visa Document Requirements
Visa, as mentioned before rests on the admission documents, language test reports and the proof of funds to sponsor your stay and study in USA. The required visa documents are as follows-
- Valid Passport
- Recent Photographs
- Payment of $160 Visa Application Fees.
- Proof of Visa Application Fees
- I-20 Form or the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status form
- DS-160 Form or the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application form
- For male candidates, in the age group of 16-45 years, DS-157 form needs to be filled.
The Interview Day
The interview tests your readiness for the course and eligibility for the F-1 visa. it’s a mixture of personal further as career-motivated questions about your academic qualifications, the purpose for course choice, career plans, finances, and support, etc.
Keep in mind that if the documents submitted are found to the false or tampered with, it straightaway results in cancellation of application. additionally, make certain you answer the question asked. Giving haywire answers or in a casual or unacceptable tone or gestures can lead you to a denial.
On the interview day, you have to carry all key documents.
- Your passport
- DS-160 form confirmation page that has a 10 digit barcode number on it.
- Visa payment receipt
- I-20 Form, etc.
If your visa has been approved, you’ll be asked to pay the visa fee for providing the visa. make certain, you go ready for that too. For this, your passport will be taken and your fingerprints will be done too. However, if the visa has been denied, you will be given specific reasons. The essence behind denial is ineligibility, of which sort or type, you’ll learn. you’ll be able to then work on those reasons and re-apply.