The United States remains one of the most popular locations for foreign students from all around the world. Last year, the United States welcomed nearly 200,000 Indian students, demonstrating the importance of Indian students in the American economy.
However, obtaining a study visa in the United States is not a simple procedure. Following all of the stages might be tedious, especially if you are unfamiliar with the intricate immigration regulations of the United States. Obtaining a study visa to the United States sometimes appear to be an insurmountable process. Keep reading.
Types of USA Study Visas
Applying for a student visa to the United States is a critical step. However, you must first identify what form of student visa you require.
There are three categories of study visas in the United States. These are:
Types of USA study visa
F-1 visa: This visa is granted to students who wish to pursue academic studies. The educational institution, however, must be accredited by SEVP. Students with a F visa can only work part-time, up to 20 hours per week.
J-1 visa: This is a student exchange visiting visa. The J1 visa is issued to those who seek to engage in job and study-based exchange visitor programmes in the United States for a limited period of time.
M-1 visa: This visa is intended for students attending non-academic schools. The vocational institution must be approved by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This visa does not enable you to work.
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How to apply for the USA study visa if you are an Indian?
To apply for the most common visa, the F Visa, you need to follow these steps:
How to apply for the usa study visa if you are an Indian?
Step 1: Obtain an admission letter from the school institution.
To begin, you must apply to the college or institution of your choice. Keep in mind that the institution and course must be accredited by the US Government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
You can find it on the official US website. You will be enrolled in the SEVIS system after you receive your acceptance letter.
Step 2: Obtain the I-20 form.
You will obtain the I-20 form after enrolling in the SEVIS system. The paperwork qualifies you for both the M and F visa types.
Step 3: Pay the SEVIS application cost.
The appropriate SEVIS charge must be paid. For an F-1 visa, the SEVIS cost is $350. The SEVIS fee can be paid at any moment during the application procedure. However, it is best to make the money before completing the DS-160 form. The SEVIS fee must be paid at least 72 hours before the visa interview.
Step 4: Fill out the DS-160 visa application.
The following step is to fill out the DS-160 visa application form. You must complete the form correctly. Even minor mistakes might result in visa denials. To complete the application form, you must have the following information:
- Personal information (name, phone number, address, and date of birth)
- Educational credentials and other information about the passport
- Travel arrangements
- Information about the person that is accompanying you
- Evidence of funding
- Sponsor information (if you have one)
- Background information Health-related information
- SEVIS Number
Step 5: Print the confirmation page
The DS-160 visa application form is only available online. You will be required to sign it online. The application must then be uploaded.
You will then be taken to a confirmation page. A barcode number, barcode, and the application ID number are all included on the page. You must make a copy of this page.
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Step 6: Pay the required visa payments.
You must pay the visa costs after completing the form. The F-1 type visa costs $160 in fees. Indians can pay in cash or through any approved financial institution. You can read the directions on the US embassy’s website for further information.
Step 7: Schedule a visa interview.
The next step is to arrange for a visa interview. The interview must take place at least 120 days before you begin the course. You must come on time for the interview. Also, be kind and direct in your responses.
Step 8: Schedule the biometric appointment
In the biometric appointment, you have to visit the designated biometrics center as advised by your immigration consultant. There, your fingerprints will be taken, and a clear photograph of your face will be captured. Make sure that you follow the photograph instructions carefully:
Your passport photo must be:
- In colour
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
- With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Taken in clothing that you normally wear daily:
- Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
- Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
- If you normally wear a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.
- Glasses are not acceptable in your photo. If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with your application.
- Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160confirmation page.
- Application fee payment receipt.
- IELTS/TOEFLScore Card
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students
- Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from your previous institutions
- Proof of funds: Bank statements, scholarship, etc.
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Cost and Processing Time
|Visa Type||Total Application Cost||Process Time|
|F1 Visa||$510||3-6 weeks|
|J1 Visa||$160||7 days|
|M1 Visa||$160||4- 6 weeks|
The Do’s and Don’ts you need to consider
Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for a Study Visa in the United States:
1. Schedule mock interviews.
The visa interview is an important aspect of obtaining a student visa in the United States. You should practise mock interviews. You can choose either option to succeed in the interview. To begin, you might seek the expert advice of visa professionals. They will thoroughly prepare you. Second, you can accomplish it on your own. It will be necessary for you to conduct an internet search for example questions and answers.
2. Dress formally and confidently.
Clothing has a huge influence. Before attending the interview, you must dress formally. The clothing you wear must demonstrate your earnestness in acquiring the visa. Furthermore, you must be confident in your responses to the questions. Make no mistakes. If you did not hear the question correctly, repeat it. Make sure your tone is also courteous.
3. Pay close attention.
The US embassy recommends students to pay close attention to the visa officials. You must focus on the questions being asked. Read the application form to ensure that you can respond quickly. Your response must be brief and convey your goal. This is your time to persuade the authorities that you require the visa.
4. Adherence to the regulations
All of the criteria must be followed. You are not permitted to bend or skip them. When completing the visa application form, you must check all of the boxes. Make certain that your responses are correct and complete. The photos criteria must also be satisfied. Check that the images are current and meet the requirements.
Don’ts while applying for a student visa in the United States:
1. Do not look for links.
Do not try to persuade the consulate with your contacts. The consular official has final responsibility over visa approvals. During the interview, you must impress them. Using political or other assistance is a terrible idea. It may give you extra problems. Furthermore, it may cause your visa clearance to be delayed.
2. Do not make deceptive statements.
Dishonesty will not work in your favour during the immigration interview. Instead, you must be truthful, kind, and transparent. If you lie and are detected, you may not be able to obtain the visa. To be safe, avoid going that path.
3. Do not bring any forged documents.
There are strict rules regarding false documents. The US consulate declares that anyone with fake papers will be banned from the USA for life. It is a harsh restriction and can have a massive impact on your life. The rule was enforced to caution students against fraudulent immigration agents. Always submit or carry valid and legal documents.
4. Do not put up a fake accent
When you speak with the visa officers, talk normally. Do not use fake accents to impress visa officers. But, make sure that you are fluent in the English language. For that, indulge in daily English conversations and ensure that they can hear you correctly.
The USA study visa is a dream come true for thousands of Indians. These students are eager to have better job prospects. But, applying for a USA study visa can become daunting very quickly. Not knowing the exact details can lead to silly errors. The common mistakes can have huge consequences, including visa denials.
So, here’s the gist of the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Get the letter of acceptance from the educational institution
Step 2: Get the I-20 form
Step 3: Pay the SEVIS fee
Step 4: Apply for the DS-160 visa application form
Step 5: Print out the confirmation page
Step 6: Pay the necessary visa fees
Step 7: Arrange a visa interview
Step 8: Schedule the biometric appointment
Other Important Frequently Asked Questions
Is it simple to obtain a student visa in the United States?
It is, in fact, the case. Although the procedure may appear to be hard, hundreds of thousands of applicants get accepted to US universities each year. As a result, it is one of the simplest visas to obtain.
Who can support me to study in the United States?
Parents, Blood relatives or a combination of both, such as one parent and one blood relative, can also sponsor your tuition in the United States.
Which nation makes it the simplest to obtain a student visa?
Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand are all represented.
How much can I make as a student in the United States?
Working as a student in the United States can earn you $7.25 per hour. Working 20 hours per week will earn you at least $ 145 each week. That works out to almost INR 10,575 each week!