How Do I Apply for USA Student Visa?

Last updated: 13 May 2024 Student Visa

Studying in the United States is a dream for countless international students, and the application process can be complex and overwhelming.

When pursuing your academic or occupational goals in the United States, understanding the many types of student visas available is critical. The three main categories of student visas to consider are the F-1 Student Visa, the M Student Visa, and the J Exchange Visa, depending on the type of program you're pursuing, the length of the courses, and your educational objectives.

Learn more below, and if you want to study in the USA with expert application support, arrange your free consultation today.

Types of Student Visa in the USA

The following is a thorough summary of these visa categories:

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 Student Visa is for those who wish to study at accredited US colleges or universities or to study English at an English language institute. It's the most common visa in the USA for international students pursuing traditional academic programs, whether undergraduate or graduate.

M Student Visa

The M Student Visa is tailored for individuals pursuing non-academic or vocational studies and training in the United States. It's the choice for those interested in practical, hands-on courses, such as those offered by technical or trade schools.

J Exchange Visa

The J Exchange Visa is meant for participants in exchange programs. This category covers various programs, including university study, high school exchange programs, and other initiatives. It's not limited to traditional academic study, making it a versatile option for those engaging in diverse cultural and educational exchanges.

Understanding these distinctions is vital when planning your education in the United States, as each visa type aligns with different educational objectives and programs. Carefully choosing the right visa category will help ensure that your experience in the US matches your academic and career goals.

US Study Visa Requirements for International Students

International students pursuing education in the United States must adhere to specific visa requirements to facilitate a successful application process.

These documents collectively support your visa application, validating your financial capability and academic qualifications for a successful educational journey in the USA.

Cost of a US Student Visa

Acquiring a student visa to the United States comprises two significant costs for overseas students. The first is the SEVIS cost, which is $220 for J1 visas and $350 for F1 and M1 visas. This fee is payable in US dollars at the current exchange rate and must be paid using acceptable payment methods such as credit cards or money orders/demand drafts. The MRV or the Visa Application Fee is fixed at $185 for all three visa classes. This fee can be paid in various ways, including NEFT online transfer, IMPS quick money transfer, or cash at designated bank counters.

USA Study Visa Application Process

The process of obtaining a study visa to the USA involves several steps.

1. Acceptance to a US institution

First, secure admission to a recognized US educational institution. Once you are accepted, the institution will issue you a Form I-20.

2. Payment of SEVIS fee

Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee, currently $350 for F1 and M1 visas and $220 for J1 visas. This fee can be paid online.

3. Complete the DS-160 form

Fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) form. After completing the form, you will receive a confirmation barcode. Be sure to print this confirmation page.

4. Pay the visa application fee

Pay the visa application fee (MRV), which is $185 for all student visa types.

5. Schedule a visa interview

Create an account on the US Visa Information and Appointment Services website. Complete the DS-160 form and schedule a visa interview at your home country's nearest US embassy or consulate.

6. Gather required documents

Assemble the necessary documents, including your passport, Form I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, DS-160 confirmation, visa application fee receipt, academic transcripts, financial statements, standardized test scores (if required), and other supporting documents.

7. Attend a visa interview

Attend the scheduled visa interview at the US embassy or consulate. Be prepared to answer questions about your educational plans, ties to your home country, and other relevant matters.

8. Biometrics and photographs

You may be required to provide biometrics (fingerprints) and photographs at the embassy or a designated Application Support Center (ASC).

9. Visa decision and collection

After the interview, the consular officer will decide whether to approve or deny your visa application. If approved, your visa will be affixed to your passport, and you will be given instructions for visa collection.

Apply for a USA Student Visa

Applying for a student visa to the United States is an important step toward achieving your academic goals on American soil.

We specialize in making the student visa application process as simple as possible by giving relevant insights, resources, and expert help at every step. From advising you in picking the appropriate program and school to ensuring that your documentation is specifically prepared, our committed team aims to make your travel to the United States as simple as possible. With SI-USA's assistance, you can confidently manage the complexities of the application process, ensuring your dreams of US study become a reality.

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"SI-USA helped me successfully apply to study business in USA and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Olivia Business and Management