All about USA Study Visa’s – Details Inside
If you have been admitted to a university in the United States, the next step in making your dream of studying in the USA come true is applying for a student visa. This guide will briefly describe the different types of visas available for students and provide a detailed process for applying for the F1 student visa, which is for students planning to study for a bachelor's or master's degree in the USA.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), 2,32,851 Indian students went to the USA for higher studies in 2021 - which is a 12% increase from the previous year. 37% of these students were females. Aside from this, candidates should also know the reasons why their US Student Visa gets rejected?
Below are 3 different types of student Visas to USA:
1. F1 Student Visa:
If you're planning to study abroad in USA for more than 18 hours per week, you'll need to apply for an F1 visa. This type of visa is required for all undergraduate and graduate programs, including MS, MBA, and other degrees. If you have a spouse or child who will be accompanying you to the United States on your F1 visa, they will need to apply for an F2 visa. And an important point to note here is, spouses would not be able to work in USA, on this type of visa but the advantage is they can accompany and also apply for their own study or work visa in USA.
2. J1 Exchange Visa:
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for scholars, students, and professionals who are pursuing an exchange program in the United States. J-1 visa holders are typically working professionals who come to the U.S. on an exchange program for a set period of time, usually 10 months. Exchange programs may include vocational training or research fellowship programs. Applicants for the J-1 visa will be notified by their respective institutions if they have been accepted into an exchange program. Family, i.e spouse & children might require J-2 visa and spouses would be able to work basis permissions attained in advance.
3. M1 Vocational/Non-Academic Visa:
The M1 visa is a type of student visa which allows for international students to attend vocational and technical schools. The application process for an M1 visa is similar to that of an F1 visa, with the exception being that M1 visa holders cannot overstay their welcome - upon entering the United States, their visas are time-stamped to reflect the duration of their stay.
Visa Cost Details:
Two different fee elements are associated with F1 student visa for the USA
1. SEVIS Fee (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) - $350 ( appx 28,500 INR)
2. MRV Fee (Visa Application Fee) - $160 (appx.13,000 INR)
Below is the detailed table showing fee specification for different types of student Visa to the USA.
*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.
Documents Required for F1 Student Visa Application
In comparison with the tourist or any other visa, student visa would require more documentation and there are few mandatory documents in addition to supporting documents such as financial and academic record. Below is the checklist of documents required before 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
· SEVIS Fee Receipt
· 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 TOEFL, GMAT, IELTS, etc.
Financial documents required, showing proof of funds to cover your next one year expenses:
· 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 multiple steps involved in applying for USA study visa.
· The first step in your visa process is receiving Form I-20 from your college. You can pay the SEVIS fee at any time during the application process, but it's strongly recommended that you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before beginning your US visa application.
· You can apply online through DS-160 form, post paying SEVIS fee and generating a receipt.
· Printout of the confirmation page to show during interview.
· Payment of the visa fee through NEFT or authorized bank locations.
· Schedule a Biometric and Interview appointment.
· For the Biometric appointment, you will need to appear in person to have your photograph taken for the visa and get your fingerprints scanned.
· At the Personal interview, the interviewer will ask you questions about your choice of college, finances, and intent of coming back. If they are convinced, they will keep your passport with them to get the visa stamped.
To make a note, F1 student visas are issued up to 120 days only before you start the course of study and on the same visa, student will not be allowed to get into the USA prior to 30 days before the course.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to live in the US with the applicant during their stay require F2 or M2 visas. A spouse on F2 status can't enroll as a regular student, but can take vocational or recreational classes, like cooking or tennis. Children on F2 status are allowed to attend elementary, middle, or high school as a full-time student, but not college.
For more details and understanding about the application process & counselling, please reach our expert overseas educational consultants at no charges. Mail us to [email protected] or call us at +916302604374