USA Student Visa Application Guidelines for International students seeking to study in USA.
How To Apply For USA Student Visa
The United States of America is one of the world’s top destinations for international students and international students are always welcomed in the United States. In fact, US educational institutions often receive more applications from foreign students than from US citizens.
The key to success in this country is a good education. In the US, you will have the opportunity to study in an excellent — and safe — environment. There is a vast choice of schools that provide quality education, from small colleges to large universities.
Why Choose the USA?
Students can choose between many different types of university programs in the United States, but there are many reasons why international students decide to attend schools in the country. The most prestigious universities offer bachelors through doctorate level studies, as well as professional and fine arts programs.
Students can enroll in a regular degree program, or gain practical work experience through an internship or initiative that is not usually available in their home country. The US has developed the most advanced educational facilities and most prestigious universities in the world.
US universities are considered to be among the best institutions of higher education, while its colleges and vocational schools are top-rated as well. Having come to understand the reasons to pick USA institutions, let’s proceed to discuss the steps to follow, in order to get a USA student visa.
Types of USA Student Visa
USA student visas allow you to pursue education in the United States. There are four types of USA student visas:
- F-1 visa (for academic studies)
The F-1 nonimmigrant student visa is for students who wish to study at a school within the US, and it is issued by a US Consulate in the country you are residing in. If you obtain this visa, you will be required to enroll at an accredited college or university in the US.
- M-1 visa (for vocational studies)
The M-1 student visa is for vocational students who wish to study at a school within the US, and it is issued by a US Consulate in the country you are residing in. If you obtain this visa, you will be required to enroll at a college or university in the US.
- L-1 visa (for sports training and international exchange programs)
The L-1 nonimmigrant student visa is for a special type of student. It is issued to athletes who wish to study at an American university in a dual capacity as an athlete and a student.
- J-1 visa (cultural exchange programs)
The J-1 nonimmigrant visa is for students who wish to study at an American university in a dual capacity as an athlete and a student and it is also used by cultural exchange participants.
Our focus in this guide is on the first visa (F-1 visa) for international students to successfully migrate.
What You Need to Apply for a USA Student Visa:
- A valid passport from your country and old passports to show travel history
- A completed DS-160 application form submitted online and receipt of $160 application fee
- A letter of admission from an accredited educational institution in the United States
- Proof of financial ability (bank statement) to pay for school fees at a US university, as well as living expenses for yourself and any dependents you may have (if applicable) during your stay in the United States. These documents must show that you have enough money to meet your expenses for one academic year (approximately nine months).
- Non-refundable visa application fee and application processing fee, as well as your passport photograph (if you are submitting a paper/printed form, instead of an online DS-160 form)
- You also need to show that you have strong ties with your home country and the way to prove this is to show that you have assets, bank accounts, job offers upon completion of studies.
- Recent digital photographs in colored format.
- Transcripts and documents to show your educational background.
- Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 international applicants to be collected after $350 SEVIS fee payment.
The above requirements are the bare minimum requirements to obtain your US student visa (F-1). In some cases, additional documentation may be required to prove that you have enough money to cover your expenses or that of your dependents during the course of your studies at a US university.
After providing the requirements, you will be interviewed to determine whether you are eligible for a USA student visa. During this process, you will also do your biometrics and your passport will be requested from you to evaluate your application.
USA Student Visa Processing Time
The whole procedure can be completed in about two months. The waiting time will vary depending on the time of year, your situation, and the country where you apply. Some applications may take longer than others to process, but the maximum time it can take is 60 working days.