No matter how many opportunities other countries offer, the top choice for international students for education abroad is the USA. Indeed, it is quite expensive to study in the USA, but it is worth all the enriching experiences you are about to encounter. To attend an American university, you need to obtain a US Study Visa. Students find acquiring a study visa a very complex process, which is why we have divided the whole process into 8 easy steps. The step-by-step and easy process of obtaining a US student visa is as follows:
Obtain an acceptance letter from a US educational institution.
The foremost step is to apply to a US educational institution for the course you would like to study. Make sure to apply only to those institutions that are accredited by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) by the US government. It is because only these types of institutions admit students from different nations.
Obtain an I-20 form and pay the SEVIS fee.
Once you receive an acceptance letter from an SEVP accredited educational institution in the US, you will receive a SEVIS generated form:
- I-20 form if you are eligible for an M1 or F1 visa.
- DS-2019 form if you are eligible for a J1 visa.
This form will be required for your visa interview and also for paying the SEVIS fees as it has some important information like SEVIS ID, institution address, etc.
Find the nearest US embassy and identify the best visa for you.
Now, find the nearest consulate or embassy by searching online on the website of the US Department of State. Then, select the best visa for you. There are three types of student visas offered by the US:
M1 Visa - This type of visa is for those international students who wish to study nonacademic and vocational courses that are career-focused.
J1 Visa - This type of visa is for student exchange programmes with educational institutions in other nations.
F1 Visa - This type of visa is for those international students who wish to study at a college or university level, including language courses.
Fill out Form DS-160 online.
The next step is to fill out the online form DS-160, which is also known as the Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The following things are required while filling out this online visa application form:
Your latest passport
Your recent passport-sized photographs
Form I-20, or DS-2019
In addition to this, you might also need a CV, a travel itinerary, and other documents.
Pay the visa application fees.
Once you have filled out the form, crosscheck it to verify the details, and when you are sure, submit the form and pay the visa application fees. The visa application fee for US studies is 160 USD.
Schedule your visa interview.
Now, connect with the nearest US consulate or embassy and schedule your visa interview with them. You can either opt for an online interview or a face-to-face interview. The primary requirement for scheduling your interview is having an MRV fee number, which can be obtained by paying MRV fees. The visa application fees are MRV fees.
Collect all the documents and attend the interview.
There are certain documents that you need to carry with you to your visa interview. The list of those documents is given below:
- SEVIS fee receipt
- MRV fee payment confirmation receipt.
- Form I-20 or DS-2019 must be signed.
- DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode and application ID number
- A valid passport with an expiry date of 6 months beyond the stay period.
- Printed copy of visa interview appointment letter
- 1-2 photographs as per the required format
Additional documents that the embassy might ask for:
Scores of GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
Financial documents showing sufficient funds for your stay and education.
Transcripts from previous educational institutions
Pay the visa issuance fee.
Once you get the decision from the embassy, you can pay the visa issuance fees and then book your tickets to the US. Before landing, you are required to fill out a Customs Declaration form (CF-6059), and after landing, you have to fill out an Arrival/Departure Record I-94 form.