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US Visa: Types, Eligibility, Fees, Application Process (2024-2025) 

Written by  Vishesh Chogtu

Published on Wed, January 17, 2024 11:45 AM   Updated on Thu, January 18, 2024 8:31 PM   8 mins read

US visa is very important for students wishing to study abroad. Now after the easing of travel restrictions, IIE Survey, observed an increase in the number of international applications to US universities. Over 4000 American universities would be available to Indian students who choose to study there in 2023. Even though admissions there are extremely tough, the USA student visa is still the third-most requested visa globally. The US student visa application process is challenging, just like admissions. Consequently, Only 85% of US student visa applications were approved in 2023.

Read along to know everything about US visa!

source: AdmitKard

US Visa Appointment

Students who wish to visit the United States of America to pursue their studies would need a US Student Visa to do so. SO to successfully schedule a visa appointment for the US with the US Embassy and obtain their visa pass, students who are interested in learning about the US Visa Procedure from India need to follow the procedures listed below. More worthy students can now migrate to the US, thanks to the streamlining of the US Student Visa Application procedure over time.

Step-by-Step Procedure for US Visa Appointments:

Step# 1. submission of the DS-160 application form

Step# 2. creating the CEAC barcode, 

Step# 3. Payment of  the application fee for the US visa, 

Step# 4. and scheduling the appointment date

Step# 5. Examine the status of your US visa appointment.

US visa passport tracking

You can track your visa passport by following this method. If your passport’s status reads “Origination Scan,” it has left the embassy or consulate and is currently travelling to the delivery address you specified. . When the status reads “Ready for Pick Up,” you can pick up the passport from the designated delivery location.

Keep in mind that the Embassy or Consulate cannot assist you in determining the delivery status of your passport. Do not make the same inquiries to the Embassy.

You can send out an email. [email protected] is an address where you can send an email. Put the current passport number in the subject and/or body of the email exactly as it was stated when the appointment was made. There is no need to cite any supporting content, such as a signature. You’ll get an automated response with the status.

Application process for US visa

There are multiple sequential processes involved in the application process for a US student visa. The following are the fundamental processes of applying for a visa:

Step 1: Complete the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application online.

Step 2: Upload your picture using the appropriate format: 51x51mm

Step 3: Print the application form’s confirmation page and keep it with you during the interview.

Step 4: Make an appointment for an interview at the closest US Embassy or Consulate in your home nation. Students can apply at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad, but it will be difficult to obtain a visa in that situation.

Step 5: Pay the 160 USD (11,900 INR) non-refundable visa application fee.

Step 6: Pay the one-time SEVIS charge for a continuous duration of F1, M1, or J1 status in 

Step 7: Gather the necessary paperwork for the visa interview.

Step 8: Attend the visa interview; after receiving word that your application has been approved, travel to the USA to begin your studies.

Types of US visa

Depending on the purpose of the trip, the length of the course, and the number of applicants, there are many types of US visas. Depending on the type of programme and length of the term, there are three more categories for US student visas. The three categories of visas for studying in the US are the F, M, and J visas.

F Visa

Full-time students apply for F- visa. For Indian students, F-1 visas are valid for up to 5 years. F-1 visa holders who are international students may work a part-time job on campus for fewer than 20 hours per week. Three subcategories of the F visa are the F-1, F-2, and F-3 visas. The varieties of F visas and their advantages are shown in the following table:

F Visa TypesEligibilityBenefits
F1 visaInternational students enrolling to a full-time program in a SEVP approved US institutePart time employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Temporary employment permission provided, students can attend 12 month OPT after graduation
F2 visaDependents of F-1 visa holders, usually family members like spouse or childrenF-2 visa holders can study part time postsecondary programs and full time elementary courses in USA
F3 VisaCanadian students staying in their home country while attending full-time or part-time programs at US institutesF-3 visa applicants can avail US Green Card. This allows them the work permit in USA

M visa 

Non-academic students who are enrolled in vocational programmes or training in the USA are granted a M visa. With a M visa, you can stay in the USA for up to a year. The three separate M visa categories are listed below:

M Visa TypeEligibilityBenefits
M1 visaStudents pursuing vocational and non-academic programs in USAPermission to work in USA (with certain restrictions), access healthcare, driver’s licence, banks and other facilities in USA
M2 visaDependents of M-1 visa holders, generally spouse or childrenM 2 visa holders can pursue education in elementary and vocational schools in USA. They can travel in and outside of USA anytime.
M3 visaMexican and Canadian national commuter vocational students

J Visa

Students enrolling in exchange visiting programmes in the USA are given the J visa, which is a US visa for exchange students. J-1 and J-2 are the two types of J visas that can be obtained.

J Visa TypeEligibility
J1 visaNonimmigrant individuals studying an exchange visitor program in USA
J2 visaDependents of J1 visa holders

US visa Photo Size

Photo size for US visa is 2×2 inches (51x51m)

US visa fees

The following table lists the different levels of US visa application fees:

Fee TypeCost in USDEquivalent Cost in INR
Non-petition based nonimmigrant visa$16011,900
Petition based visa$19014,132
Border Crossing Card Fees$16011,900
SEVIS Fee for F visa applicants$35026,000
SEVIS Fee for M visa applicants$35026,000
SEVIS Fee for J visa applicants$22016,360
SEVIS Fee for special J visa categories$352,600
SEVIS Fee for Government visitorFree of costFree of cost

US visa interview

The interview for a US visa resembles a job interview in certain ways. The questions that are frequently asked during the interview for a US student visa are listed below.

Q1. Why do you want to pursue a degree in the USA?

Q2. You applied to how many US universities?

Q3. From which universities did you get an offer of place?

Q4. Could you give me some information about the company and the curriculum you chose?

Q5. Have you been to the USA before?

Q6. Do you have any friends or family in the United States?

US visa requirements

 A US student visa requires the following fundamental paperwork:

  • Valid Passport for Travel to USA: A passport which is valid for 6 months beyond the period of stay in the USA.
  • Confirmation page of form DS-160 for nonimmigrant visa applications.
  • Form I-20: Students must present a form I-20 that has been signed by both them and school representatives. The applicant’s spouse and children are also eligible to receive an individual I-20 form.
  • For students who must pay costs of USD 160 prior to the interview, an application fee payment receipt is required.
  • Students must pay the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) charge in addition to the application fee for a student visa. To track exchange visitors and students in the USA, an automated system called SEVIS is used.
  • Photo: When completing the application form, applicants must provide a photo. Applicants may bring their printed photo in the directed format if the photo upload fails.

US visa renewal

Follow the instructions for US visa renewal application:

  • Fill out the online application (Form DS-160).
  • Make an appointment for an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate
  • Pay the fee for renewing a US visa.
  • Send in the necessary paperwork to renew your US visa.
  • the interview for a new visa.


Are US visa appointments open?

Ans: Regular visa services, such as those for tourist visas, have not yet been reinstated. There are a few, but not many, appointments for immigrant visas. For updates, come back here. 

How do I schedule a U.S. visa appointment online?

Ans: Visit the U.S. Visa Information and Appointment Services webpage to get started. “Temporary- Non Immigrant visas” should be selected. next pick the nation where the embassy you decided to use in Step 2 is located. Press “apply” (because never used this site before and you have completed a DS-160).

Is U.S. visa Open in India?

Ans: Beginning in September 2024, the American Embassy in India will once again process appointments for ordinary in-person B1/B2 visas.

How long does it take in U.S. Embassy for visa interview?

Ans: Under normal circumstances, the wait for an appointment is often two to three weeks.

Tags :
study abroad
study in USA
US Visa
US Visa appointment

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Vishesh Chogtu

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