USA Student Visa

USA Student Visa

Student Visa Guide for International Students

In order to enter the United States for educational purposes, individuals from overseas need to acquire a student visa. The type of school and course determine whether an F visa or M visa is required.#

It's important to note that individuals cannot study on a visitor visa or under the Visa Waiver Program, except for recreational non-credit courses. Visitor visas might be suitable for brief periods of recreational study, but for U.S.-conferred degrees or certificates, a student visa is mandatory, even for short durations or distance learning programs.

To attend Visa Category
University or college F
High School M
Private elementary school M
Seminary M
Conservatory M
Another academic institution, including a language training program M
Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program M

Eligibility for the USA Student Visa

To be eligible for various forms of employment in US universities, student applicants must be over 18, legally enrolled with an F-1 student visa for at least one academic year, and possess proper authorization. On-campus work is limited to 20 hours/week during academic terms and full-time during breaks.

 One must fulfil the following criteria to qualify for a Student Visa:

Required Documents

Student Visa Application Process

1: Apply and Get Accepted: Apply to a US university and receive an acceptance letter. Application deadlines are usually in December or January, with admission notices sent out in March and April.

2: Receive Form I-20 or DS-2019: Upon acceptance, you'll receive either Form I-20 (for F-1 and M-1 students) or Form DS-2019 (for J-1 students) from your school and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online, which is $350 for F-1/M-1 students and $220 for J-1 students.

3: Fill out DS-160 Form: Complete the Online Non-immigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) and select the embassy for your visa interview.

4: Pay Visa Application Fee: Pay the $185 visa application fee. The payment date varies by the embassy.

5: Receive Visa: Upon approval, the embassy will return your passport with the new visa. Some embassies require in-person pickup, while others may ship it to you.

How long does it take to receive a Student Visa?

US Student Visa processing times vary; they can be issued up to 120 days before your program starts, but entry to the US is allowed only 30 days before. F-1/M-1 visas follow this, while J-1 visas have more flexibility. Entry earlier than 30 days requires a visitor visa, except for returning students.

USA Student Visa Enquiry

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact SI-USA, who can assist with all queries regarding US Student Visa.

Study in the USA Blog

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Olivia Business and Management