Visa Process and Requirements
It is the last hurdle before you go ahead and pursue your dream. Initiate your visa application at least 4-5 months ahead of the date of joining a university in the US.
There are 2 types of student visa :- .
F-1 Visa - It is the most common type of student visa. If you wish to engage in academic studies in the United States at an approved school, such as an accredited U.S. college or university, private secondary school, or approved English language program then you need an F-1 visa. You will also need an F-1 visa if your course of study is more than 18 hours a week.
An F-1 student visa can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You will only be able to enter the US with an F-1 visa 30 days before your start date.
If you plan engage in non-academic or vocational study or training at a US institution then you need an M-1 visa. Some examples of "vocational study" are mechanical studies, technical studies, cooking classes, a language program, flight school or cosmetology program. Unlike the F-1 visa, the M-1 visa is valid for only one year. Students may apply for cumulative extensions for up to three years.
The J-1 visa in the United States is for people who wish to take part in work-and-study-based exchange and visitor programs in the U.S.
Qualifying for an F1 Visa
In order to qualify for an F1 visa you need to satisfy the following criteria:
- You must be a foreign resident and must return home upon the completion of the programme you have applied for
- You must study at the institution through which the visa will be granted
- You must be able to show sufficient financial support
- You must have strong ties to your home country which consist of, but are not limited to:
- Assets (land, vehicle, house, etc.)
- Bank accounts
- A job offer letter upon completion of studies
Necessary items to provide with visa application
- Fee receipt confirming payment of the visa application fee of $160
- A Form I-901 SEVIS fee receipt indicating the SEVIS fee. The SEVIS website has more details
- Form DS-160 for non-immigrant visa
- A passport valid at least 6 months beyond your course completion date
- Digital photographs with required specifications
- A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status ( i.e. Form 1-20)
- Supporting Documents as per your visa type
Documents checklist for visa Interview :-
The US visa interview is normally for three minutes. Since this is a very short session, all students are required to have documents in a well arranged manner.
- Visa appointment letter
- Valid passport,
- the I-20 form
- Payment receipt / I-901 SEVIS fee receipt .
- DS-160 form and photograph
- Academic documents (Original transcript, mark-sheets, degree certificates, GRE/GMAT/SAT and IELTS/TOEFL score ) , SOP, LOR, Cv or other documents which sent with application form .
- Financial docs
- Bank statements- your parents’, your siblings’ and yours.
- Other financial documents like bonds, fixed deposits, shares, debentures and mutual funds.
- Affidavit from parents confirming that they are supporting your study
- If your parent/s owns a business, you will have to show business documents of the last two years’ profit or loss.
- If you have work experience then the appointment letters, salary slips, your relieving letters have to be shown next as a proof supporting your work experience.
- Your property documents ( to show your tie with your home country )
- CA Certificate ( to support your application with movable and immovable assets calculation )
- If you are financially sponsored by another person, bring proof of your relationship to the sponsor (such as your birth certificate), the sponsor's most recent original tax forms and the sponsor's bankbooks and/or fixed deposit certificates.
- M-1 applicants must demonstrate the ability to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of their intended stay.
- keep the other acceptance and reject letters from university applied.
In order to study in the US you need to be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) – approved university/school. The accreditation is extremely important as it ensures that your degree is recognised world-wide by both governmental and private organisations. Again, only these institutions can enrol overseas students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and offer documents required for an US student visa application.
Once you are accepted, the institution will provide you with Form I-20 for F-1 or M-1 visas and Form DS-2019 for J visas.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the main visa holder in the United States for the duration of his or her stay require derivative F or M visas. There is no derivative visa for the parents of F or M holders.
Family members who do not intend to reside in the United States with the principal visa holder, but wish to visit for vacations only, may be eligible to apply for visitor (B-2) visas.
Spouses and dependents may not work in the United States on a derivative F or M visa. If your spouse/child seeks employment, the spouse must obtain the appropriate work visa.