USA Student Visa - Complete Overview
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USA Student Visa - Complete Overview

PBPiyush Bhartiya
Updated OnJul 10, 2020
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US Student Visa

US Visa

When anyone plans to live in a country other than their own citizenship, they are expected to get either an immigrant visa for permanent residence or a non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay. For students who wish to study in the country are expected to have a Study Visa. To study in the US as well, a USA Visa will be needed. 

US Visa Types

US Student visa is of three types. F1 Visa, J1 Visa, or M1 Visa. These Visa types are divided as per the type of education you plan in the USA. The following are the types of visa in the USA:

Types of Student Visa

Travelling as a student, one can apply for one of the three visa options available. The types of visa are:

  • M1 Visa: M1 visa is issued to students who will attend a vocational non-academic school. M-1 visa holders (for technical and vocational programs) are not allowed to work during the course of their studies. The M-1 student visa applicants must provide evidence that sufficient funds are available for paying all tuition and living costs for the entire period of intended stay.
  • J1 Visa: J1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for candidates who will be participating in a work and study-based exchange visitor program or have been funded through a scholarship. To be qualified for a J-1 visa, the participant must be proficient in the English language and have proper medical insurance. The participant receives a DS-2019 form from his/her sponsoring organization or US government agency, which is essential to apply for a J-1 visa.
  • F1 Visa: F-1 visas being the most common type are issued to students or researchers who wish to study or conduct research at an accredited USA college, high school, or university.  In order to be qualified for an F-1 visa, students must be accepted by a recognized college or university as a full-time student and have proof of sufficient financial support during their stay in the USA.  F-1 status allows students to work part-time, on-campus employment (fewer than 20 hours per week). Students are expected to complete their studies by the expiration

Education Type

Type of Visa for USA

University or College

F1

Private elementary school

F1

Seminary

F1

Conservatory

F1

High School

F1

Language Program

F1

Vocational or another nonacademic program

M1

Exchange Program

J1

US Visa Application

There are several steps to apply for us visa.  To apply for an M or F type Visa, you must pay the non-refundable $160 US Visa Fees. 

Documents Required for US Visa

The following are the documents required for the visa in the US. 

  1. Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Applications Form or DS-160 Form
  2. A passport which validates a minimum of 6 months after the intended period of stay for the student.
  3. One 2x2 inches photograph taken within six months of the visa application.
  4. An approved original signed form I-20 from your US university or College.
  5. Score Sheet of TOEFL or SAT or IELTS.
  6. Bank Statement of three years
  7. Original Marksheets

Procedure for US Visa

The USA Study Visa Process is a step by step procedure that includes:

  • The first procedure is to get Student Acceptance at any SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved School in the United States.
    • For this, one needs to apply to a SEVP approved Program. 
    • After you are accepted in the University, you will be registered for SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) and must pay SEVIS I-901 Fees i.e. $350.
    • You will then be issued an I-20 Form, which will be needed further to apply for US Visa
  • Now you can apply for DS-160 Form, an online application form.
  • Upload your photo while applying for DS-160 India Form
  • Schedule an Interview for Visa Approval
Age Interview Possibility
13 or Below

No Interview Required

14 or Above

Interview Required

  •  You should schedule an interview with the US Embassy. The time can vary as per location, season, and visa category.     
  • During the Interview, the Interviewer asks questions related to your course, duration, source of payment of course.
  • If approved, you will be later given your passport with visa stamped.

Where to apply for US Visa Interview?

Following are the details of all the Embassies available in India for US Visa:

US Embassy Mumbai

C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex

Bandra East, Mumbai 400051

Phone: (91-22) 2672-4000

Visa Type

Appointment Wait Time

Visitor Visa

29 Days

Student/Exchange Visitor Visas

29 Days

All Other Nonimmigrant Visas

29 Days

US Embassy Hyderabad

Paigah Palace

1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane Begumpet

Secunderabad 500 003

India: 040-4625-8222; 0120-484-4644

Visa Type

Appointment Wait Time

Visitor Visa

21 Days

Student/Exchange Visitor Visas

21 Days

All Other Nonimmigrant Visas

21 Days

US Embassy Kolkata

38A, J.L.Nehru Road

Kolkata 700 071, West Bengal, India

Tel: 91-33-3984-6300

Visa Type

Appointment Wait Time

Visitor Visa

28 Days

Student/Exchange Visitor Visas

28 Days

All Other Nonimmigrant Visas

28 Days

US Embassy Delhi

Shantipath, Chanakyapuri

New Delhi – 110021

Tel: 011-91-11-2419-8000

Visa Type

Appointment Wait Time

Visitor Visa

24 Days

Student/Exchange Visitor Visas

24 Days

All Other Nonimmigrant Visas

24 Days

US Embassy Chennai

Gemini Circle

Chennai 600 006

Phone: 044-2857-4000

Visa Type

Appointment Wait Time

Visitor Visa

24 Days

Student/Exchange Visitor Visas

24 Days

All Other Nonimmigrant Visas

23 Days

Working on Student Visa

Students studying in Universities can work with Student Visa but there are some rules to that:

  1. Students cannot accept off-campus employment in the first year.
  2. Students can work only upto 20 hours per week.
  3. During Holidays, students can work upto 40 hours per week
  4. Students can work for any firm that provides services to the University they have admitted in, which includes cafeteria, bookstores, library, etc.

US Visa Cost

There are two types of fees that students need to pay during the process of US Visa

Visa Cost for USA include: 

Type of Visa

F

J

M

SEVIS Fees

$350

$220

$350

Visa Application Fees

$160

$160

$160

Visa Payment can be done through:

SEVIS Fees:     Credit Card

       Money Order/ Demand Draft

Visa Application Fees:        NEFT Online Transfer

  Instant Money Transfer by Mobile- IMPS

  By Cash at Counters of Axis Bank/ Citibank

US Student Visa Dependency 

Your Spouse and children who plan to stay with you during the tenure of education can apply for F2 Visa or M2 Visa

  1. SEVIS fee payment is not required for the dependents
  2. Your University must assign them an individual I-20 Form for their Visas
  3. You must provide your F1 or M1 Visa as proof of relationship
  4. Your minor children can attend full-time school during the tenure

Additional Information

  1. The Embassy or fee payment does not guarantee your visa, so it is advisable not to buy tickets beforehand
  2. A valid Visa in an Expired Passport is considered valid, Unless cancelled or revoked, a US Visa is valid till its expiration.
  3. Students with F or M visas are not allowed to enter the US before 30 days of  your start date
  4. To enter before 30 days, you must apply for Visitor Visa
  5. Visa Renewal process is the same as applying for Visa for the first time.
  6. A Visa does not guarantee your entry to the USA, The Department of Homeland Security decides whether you enter or not.
  7. Students must depart from the United States within 60 days after their program has ended.
  8. Foreign students can apply for an extension of visa through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

Also Read: How to Get a Student Visa for USA in 2020?


FAQs

1. What are the requirements for student visa in USA?

Ans. Documents required for Student Visa in USA are:

  1. Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Applications Form or DS-160 Form
  2. A passport which validates a minimum of 6 months after the intended period of stay for the student.
  3. One 2x2 inches photograph taken within six months of the visa application.
  4. An approved original signed form I-20 from your US university or College.
  5. Score Sheet of TOEFL or SAT or IELTS.
  6. Bank Statement of three years
  7. Original Marksheets

2. What is a student visa called in the US?

Ans. Student Visa in the US is called an " F Visa". F1 Visa is issued to students pursuing any academic education or Language program from any SEVP College.

3. Can I work in USA with student visa?

Ans. Yes, you can work with a student visa but there are certain criteria:

  1. Students cannot accept off-campus employment in the first year.
  2. Students can work only upto 20 hours per week.
  3. During Holidays, students can work upto 40 hours per week
  4. Students can work for any firm that provides services to the University they have admitted in, which includes cafeteria, bookstores, library, etc.

4. How long does a student visa last in the US?

Ans. A student can enter the United States a maximum of 30 days before the beginning of their course and must leave within 60 days after the course is completed. The following can change if the student applies for extending their visa or apply for a Visitor Visa.

5. How much bank balance is required for a US student visa?

Ans. For US Student Visa, one must show the entire source of their course duration's fees as mentioned in the I-20 form provided by the University. Say, if it mentions $20,000 for the first year and your course is for 3 years, you must show the proof of $60,000 in your account. It is advisable to show the bank balance in dollars for the committee to understand.

Comments(2)
AK
Awais KhanCan we study in UK without IELTS?
AK
Awais KhanWhat is the eligibility criteria for a students to apply for a scholarship in an undergraduate program? What documents are required? If there is any test requirement for a student who want to get scholarship then please guide me? Especially for Germany.
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About the Author
PB
Piyush Bhartiya
Study Abroad Expert & Co-Founder @ AdmitKard
Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing vertical for top MNCs and Indian business houses.