How to apply for Student Visa for USA

The article focuses on student visa for United States of America. Students who get accepted for higher studies in universities in USA are required to apply for student visa to be able to travel to the country. You can acquire significant information regarding student visa to USA through this article.

A student visa for USA is nothing but a legal document which grants students authorization to travel and live in the country till they finish their education. The visa is just a temporary arrangement and does not grant permanent residency in the country.

Acquiring a student visa for the USA can get difficult if the proper approach is not followed. There are a lot of prerequisites that students need to meet while applying for the student visa for the USA.

Aspiring students to the United States can attend workshops conducted by United States State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that demonstrate how to file for a student visa for the USA. The same tips are discussed below for students applying for a visa to study abroad in the United States.

First Step – Obtaining a Student visa to United States

  • On being selected to a university of United States students receive Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This is a document that helps SEVIS maintain records of all international students pursuing various courses in the United States
  • Once the document is received the student will need to pay the visa fee for which a receipt is issued. The receipt must be kept carefully as it is required during the interview at the US Consulate
  • Next, the student is required to fix an appointment with the US Consulate to obtain the Visa

The aspirant must be prepared for the Visa interview, to avoid any hitches.

Understanding US Visa

There are three different types of a student visa to the United States. These depend on the course the student has been selected for at the university.

  • F-1 Student Visa: This visa is valid for students who get admission in accredited university or college in the United States
  • M -1 Student Visa: This visa is granted to students who have registered for a vocational course which is non-academic
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: The visa is issued to students who are part of an exchange course, either educational or cultural

Meeting the Criteria for the Visa

Students who meet the following conditions can apply for a student visa to the United States and hope to have it issued –

  • Have sound financial backing that will cater to the needs of the course and period of stay in the United States
  • Have a dwelling place or other properties in home country with no intention of selling them immediately
  • No plans of taking up residence in the United States on completion of the course

Knowing how to fund higher an overseas education could be a bonus for aspirants. For instance, there are a number of scholarships available for study in the US. Meritorious candidates wanting to study medicine can avail special scholarships for medical courses. At the same time, be cautious of scholarship scams floated to cheat gullible aspirants.

Certificates and Documentation Required

  • Filled application for visa
  • Valid Passport
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • One 2x2 recent photograph

Additional Documents Required

In addition to the above-mentioned documents students also need to carry original proof of the following to substantiate their declarations –

  • Educational certificates already held
  • Scores of examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL etcetera
  • Documented proof that student has the means to bear all the expenses while in the United States

Processing Fee

Students will be required to pay visa issuance fee and non-immigrant visa application processing fee. Some students may have to pay the visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Further details about the same can be attained from the Consulate or the official website.

Critical Information

Those seeking student visa for the USA must remember the following crucial information.

  • Obtaining admission to a university or applying for student visa is not a guarantee that the visa would be issue
  • Students should not procure non-refundable flight tickets without the visa being issued
  • Student visa for the USA is valid only for a certain period
  • Ensure that the passport is valid or else apply for a new passport before the visa expires
  • The visa must not be detached from the passport
  • Students on an F-1visa can extend their stay by 60 days
  • Students on an M-1 are eligible to extend their stay by only 30 days


United Nations Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the relevant procedures that can be consulted to clear any doubts regarding visa and extending stay. Individuals applying for a student visa to the United States must plan and apply for the visa in advance to avoid panic at the last moment.

So, while you are deciding between Harvard and Yale keep the above-mentioned tips in mind.

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