Immigration Steps to Study Abroad in the USA


Once a student is admitted to the college of his/her choice in the USA, the next big step is the completion of the immigration process. Indian students, owing to their limited knowledge about overseas education, often wonder how to apply to the US visa council and how to clear the immigration steps. In reality, if planned properly, you can easily clear the immigration process. Here is what you need to know about it:


Visa categories

In order to understand the immigration steps, you must first get clarity on the categories of different student visas. These are explained in brief below:

  • F Student Visa: This visa type is applicable for the students who are applying to a recognised US college/university or to an English course at an English language institute.
  • J Exchange Visa: This is the second type of visa which is applicable if the student is heading for an exchange program, which also includes high school and university studies.
  • M Student Visa: This is applicable when the student is applying for a vocational study or some training program in the US.

Before applying for these US Visas, you should first apply and get approval from the US Institution of Higher Education certified by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP). Once accepted by a SEVP-certified school, you would receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from the institution’s international student body. This should be followed by visits to the following bodies:

  1. US Department of State – Consular Affairs (Student Visas)
  1. US Department of State-US Embassies and Consulates
  1. US Department of Homeland Security – Study in the States

Two separate US government agencies that allot and impose international student regulations are involved here. The State Department is liable to issue a visa while the US Department of Homeland Security is responsible for your entry into the country.


Document checklist

Documentation is very important and these documents listed below are necessary during the visa interview. In the absence of these, you may even get a rejection. Due caution must be exercised to prepare and present them, as required, for visa processing.

  • Passport: The passport should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the period of stay in the US. These may change if it does not comply with the country-specific agreements.
  • Online Application: Before you meet the visa counsel, you are supposed to complete the Online Non-immigrant Visa Application form (Form DS-160) and then take the print out. Besides, you should also pay the required fee and upload a photo.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status: These differ from course to course. If you are applying to an academic and language program, you should get Form I-20A-B. On the other hand, the Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (M-1) will be applicable if you are applying for a vocational program.
  • Paperwork: The US does not want immigrants to settle in their country and hence, they would verify your intent before departure. According to the rule of the land, you are required to sign a document which states that you would return to your country after the course.
  • Financial Proof: The liquidity proof is also essential without which you cannot complete the immigration steps. Hence, you should have the required amount in the bank so that it can be a proof of your affluence. This is to verify how you would be able to pay the tuition fee or sustain it in an expensive country like the US.


Important Note:


A visa interview does not guarantee your ticket to the US unless you carry and present the required documents. Things will fall in place if you prove your credibility in front of the council. Hence, you should meticulously follow the instructions of the US Embassy and carry the required papers. In case of rejection, you can re-apply for a visa and get a call for another visa interview.

Communication is another notable factor because the council gives significant importance to evaluate that parameter. Your answers must justify your papers and documents. For example, if they are asking about your project, then you should have the required knowledge to answer the questions. You must prove that you are well-versed about the project and must ensure that nothing appears suspicious.

The United States is facing challenges as people from all around the world have immigrated and settled in the country. Hence, to filter these immigrants, the country has laid down strict rules. Having understood the required visa rules and the immigration process, you can easily get a student visa and study in America.

Good luck in successfully completing the immigration process!

We would love to see you spread some love by sharing this article, as it may help many who are looking to study abroad. If you have decided to move abroad you need to work on your entrance exam and conquer it, a good test prep institute like Manya-The Princeton review can definitely help.


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