USA continues to top the list of dream study destinations for students looking for better curricula and academic opportunities. However, once you have gone through the meticulous process of applying to your desired program and have received an offer from your dream university, you still have the last hurdle to cross, i.e. obtain your student visa USA.
India continues to be one of the countries that enjoy the maximum number of student visa USA approvals; with the recent updates in the student visa USA approval process, this number could go up. The acceptance rate for a USA study visa stands at approximately 85%, with reasons for rejection frequently cited as incomplete documents, lack of financial proof, no motivation to return to India, etc.
As of March 2023, you can apply for a student visa USA as early as a year before the proposed date of joining classes in the USA. Moreover, if you have a STEM F1 visa USA, but your Form I-765 is pending, you can still apply for premium work permit processing. As promising as these updates may sound, applying for and getting approval for a student visa USA is still an extremely thorough and arduous process.
To begin with, let us understand the types of student visa USA:
This applies to students applying for full-term programs in the USA. So if your study program, whether a UG, MS, MBA or whatever type of program, needs you to spend 18 academic hours per week, you will need the F1 student visa USA.
This is a non-immigrant visa type for immediate family members of F1 student visa holders to visit the USA. The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are recognized as dependents under this visa clause.
If you are a student, a visiting researcher, or a lecturer only intending to partake in an exchange program in the USA, you will have to apply for this visa. For instance, full-bright scholars and students in short-term academic programs can apply for this visa.
If you are the wife or a dependent of a J1 visa holder, you may apply for a J2 visa to join the J1 visa holder in the USA.
This is applicable only if you are applying for a vocational training program in the USA. Usually, the process of applying for M1 and F1 visas is similar. However, upon approval, the M1 visas are time-stamped to ensure that you cannot exceed the period of stay allowed by the visa.
This is again a non-immigrant visa to allow the wife and/or dependent of an M1 visa holder to enter the USA.
In this article, we will discuss the USA F1 VISA.
Depending on the type of student visa USA, the course that you have applied for, the SEVIS and the application fee, the overall Student VISA USA fees may vary. The SEVIS fee for F1 VISA and M1 VISA now is INR 28,000 or $350, and for J1 VISA is INR 18,000 or 220$. Whether you are applying for F, J, or M types of visas, the application fee is the same at INR 13,000 or $160. However, the validity of this application fee is only for a year and is non-refundable.
To apply for a student visa USA from India, you must present the following documents:
The process of applying for a student visa USA may differ from one country to another. However, if you are applying for a student visa USA from India, you will have to follow the following steps:
Ensure that you have collected all the essential documents as mentioned above. You also need to declare your English proficiency tests score (both overall and section scores).
Once you receive your acceptance letter from a SEVP-approved academic institution, pay the SEVIS I-99 fee. Once this fee is submitted, you will receive the Form I-20 from the university. Fill this up and complete the online application for a student visa USA by paying the application fee. You will have to visit the sites for the SEVIS I-901 form and DS-160 Visa application form. Schedule a visa interview with the nearest US Consulate or Embassy and carry a copy of the payment confirmation on the day of the interview.
It may seem daunting but it is not difficult. The key to ace the interview is to properly answer all the questions and ensure that your answers are convincing. Ensure that you practice well.
Following is a list of the popular questions asked by a visa officer for a USA study visa:
This entire process for application to getting approval for the USA Study visa will take you around 120 days. Hence, plan your visa application accordingly beforehand so that you can join your classes on time. Moreover, now that you can apply a year ahead, you can at least start with the interview preparation as these activities are time-intensive and if you leave it till the last minute, you will only end up getting anxious and confused in the last-minute rush.
The process of student visa USA approval can be lengthy. It is strictly recommended that you start the process early as arranging the necessary documents, including financial statements and preparing for the visa interview requires careful planning, attention, and time. For more guidance on Student Visa USA, get in touch with our expert advisors at Manya-The Princeton Review.Book your Free Counselling Session now!