A student visa for the United States of America (USA) continues to be a highly coveted document, with the country still being one of the top choices for international students. Applying for a student visa for the USA from India or any other country is the first step towards achieving the dream of studying at leading institutions there. Here are all the basic aspects that you should know before applying.
Read More: Student Visa
Student Visa for the USA- Types/Categories:
Want to know how to get a student visa for the USA? You should first learn about the various types of visas that are available.
F1 is for students applying for educational programs that need 18+ hours of study every week. This covers undergraduate and graduate courses like MBA, MS and others. F1 visa holders are eligible to apply for permission to work off campus for up to 12 months, which is known as Optional Practical Training (OPT). This allows the students to work, in a profession that is related to their field of study. Children and spouses are allowed with these applicants on F2 visas. Spouses cannot work in the US unless they separately apply for study/work in the country on their independent visas. The application fee for F1 visa is $160.
The Exchange Visitor Visa is meant for visiting lecturers, students, and scholars as part of exchange programs. Several students from international universities or Fulbright scholars often visit the US for various programs for example. This is also suitable for working professionals who are visiting the country. Accompanying spouses and children can go on the J2 visa only. Spouses may work if permission is garnered beforehand. The application fee for J1 visa is $160.
This student visa for the USA is for technical and vocational institutions.
application procedure is the same, although the key difference is that these visas come with time stamps. M1 visa holders are not allowed to work throughout the duration. The applicants will have to provide evidence of sufficient funds for living and tuition costs for the entire period. The application fee for M1 visa is $160.
Resources for USA Visa
- USA Study Visa Requirements
- J1 Visa
- M1 Visa
- Difference Between L1 and H1 Visa
- F1 Visa Interview Questions
- What to do After F1 Visa Rejection
- F1 Visa Documents Checklist
- SEVIS Fee for F1 Visa
- Post-Study Work Visa in USA
- OFC Appointment for US Visa
Student visa for the USA from India- Fee and charges:
The student visa fees for the USA includes the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) charge which is $350 and the visa application fee which is $160. The MRV charges are the same for all three types of student visas while the SEVIS charge is only different for the J1 Visa at $220.
How to Get Student Visa for the USA- Application Process:
These are the steps to be followed:
· The entire procedure begins with receiving the receipt of Form I-20 from your institution. The SEVIS fee may be paid anytime throughout the application process, it is advisable to pay this prior to starting your application itself.
· Post getting the receipt for SEVIS fee payment, you may apply for the DS-160 visa form which is readily available online.
· Print out the confirmation page and carry it to your interview
· Pay visa charges via authorized Citibank or Axis Bank branches or NEFT.
· Book your Biometric and interview appointments. You will have to visit personally to get the photograph taken for the visa and scan your fingerprints for the former.
· The interviewer will pose queries about your educational choices, funds, institution, intention to return to your home country and other aspects of the personal interview. If convinced, your passport will be kept for stamping the visa.
F1 visas may be granted around 120 days before the your course begins. However, you cannot enter the US with this visa before 30 days of the first day of the course.
USA student visa requirements- Documents needed:
Several documents are to be submitted as USA student visa requirements for Indian students. Here is a guide on the documents that may be required for your application.
a. A valid and original passport with six months of validity beyond your proposed tenure of residence in the USA.
b. Receipt of SEVIS fee payment.
c. Printed DS-160 copy which is the application form.
d. Form I-20 given by the institution where you are enrolling for the course.
e. Appointment letter (copy and original).
f. Payment confirmation receipt for visa charges.
g. At least three years’ bank statements indicating ample funds for covering tuition fees and living expenses.
h. Original mark sheets or provisional certificates.
i. Salary or pay slips.
j. Score sheets of examinations such as GMAT, TOEFL or IELTS.
Read More: Why choose to study in the USA?
Students should offer supporting financial papers to demonstrate ample funds for covering the total expenditure for the first year at least. Proof of available funds for the remaining duration should also be shown. These documents include tax returns or Form 16 for the last three years, last three years’ passbook or bank statements, certified CA’s statement, loan approval letter from the concerned authority or banking institution and scholarship letter if applicable.
Those on F1 visas may have eligibility for up to a year of optional practical training or OPT after graduating. This means that they may work for 12 months after finishing their courses. This is a temporary employment opportunity, giving ample scope to aspirants to get more experience in their chosen professional fields. They will then have to apply for work visas.
Read More About: Study in the USA from India
USA Study Visas- Where You Should Apply:
You can fill up the forms at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html or https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/.
Here is the list of centers for the Biometric interview:
· S-1 American Plaza at Hotel Eros by Hilton, International Trade Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi-110019.
· Number 3, Cenotaph Road, Teynampet, Chennai-600018.
· Trade Centre, G Block, Ground Floor, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai-400051.
· 31, Shakespeare Sarani, Jasmine Tower, First Floor, Kolkata-700017.
· 1-8-384/385, S.P. Road, Gowra Grand, Begumpet, Secunderabad, Hyderabad-500003
Read More: A guide to settle in USA from India!
1. U.S. Embassy- Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110021
2. U.S. Consulate General- 220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, Chennai-600006
3. U.S. Consulate General- C-49, Bandra-Kurla Complex, G-Block, Bandra East, Mumbai-400051
4. U.S. Consulate General- Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Begumpet, Chiran Fort Lane, Secunderabad, Hyderabad-5000035. U.S. Consulate General- 5/1, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata- 700071
1. How long does it take to get a student visa for the USA from India?
Student visa can be issued up to 120 days before the student’s course begins. Students on F or M visas are not allowed to enter the US earlier than 30 days before the start date of their program. If they want to enter earlier than 30 days before their start date, they are required to separately apply and qualify for a visitor (B) visa.
2. How much bank balance is required for a US student visa?
Although there is no fixed minimum bank balance for US student visa, a student should have more than $10,000.
3.Who can sponsor for a student visa in the USA?
For a USA student visa, the student is required to show sponsorship from family members, government, and grants from government or private organizations. A student can have more than one sponsor to demonstrate the total amount required.
4.Is an F1 visa easy to get?
Getting a F1 visa isn’t a cake walk. F1 visa is issued to students willing to pursue their higher education in the US. To get an F1 visa applicants need to fulfill specific criteria like having an acceptance letter from any educational insutution, fulfilling English language criteria and others.