Are you thinking about studying in the United States? You’re not alone! There are over one million international students currently studying in the USA. Before you can start your studies, you’ll need to obtain a US student visa. This can seem daunting, but don’t worry – we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and also tell you about the new guidelines that have been put in place. Let’s get started!
In this blog:
- What is a US F1 Visa?
- US Student Visa Process In 7 Steps
- What are the New Guidelines for US F1 Visa?
- Who gets a USA F2 Visa?
- Student Visa USA Cost Breakdown
- Secure a USA F1 Visa
What is a US F1 Visa?
The F1 visa is the most common type of student visa in the USA. It is for students attending an academic or English Language Program at a college or university in the USA. The F1 visa allows the students to stay in the USA for their studies, and they may be eligible for practical training after their studies are complete.
Elucidating US Student Visa Process
The process for obtaining a US student visa can be broken down into several steps.
- Application acceptance- The first step is to apply and gain acceptance to a university or college in the USA, after which the institution will provide a document called an I-20 form. This form verifies that you’ve been accepted and are eligible to enrol in a program at the school.
- SEVIS fee- The next step is to pay the SEVIS fee, a mandatory amount that must be paid before you can apply for a visa. SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, a government-run program that monitors international students and exchanges visitors in the United States.
- Visa application- Once the SEVIS fee has been paid, you can begin the visa application process. This involves filling out the DS-160 form online and paying the visa application fee. You will then need to schedule an appointment at a US embassy or consulate for an interview. The interview is a crucial step in the process and will determine whether or not you’ll be granted a visa.
US Student Visa Process In 7 Steps
The US Student Visa Process in short and simple steps:
|STEP – 1||Apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States and receive an acceptance letter.|
|STEP – 2||Pay the SEVIS fee and receive a receipt.|
|STEP – 3||Complete the DS-160 form online and upload your photo.|
|STEP – 4||Schedule and attend a visa interview at the US embassy or consulate in your home country.|
|STEP – 5||Bring all required documents to the interview, including your acceptance letter, SEVIS fee receipt, and proof of financial support.|
|STEP – 6||Answer the consular officer’s questions honestly and provide any additional information they may ask for.|
|STEP – 7||If approved, the consular officer will give your visa, and you can make travel arrangements to the United States.|
In addition to the requirements mentioned above, there might be more. For example, students applying for a vocational program may need to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and training to complete the program. Students who are attending an accredited private institution will need a letter from the school indicating that the student has been accepted.
But remember: The specific requirements and process may vary based on your home country and individual circumstances, so it’s always best to consult with the U.S. embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.
What are the New Guidelines for US F1 Visa?
As per the new guidelines, the US government has made it easier for certain international students to speed up their employment authorization process. F-1 students in Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT extension categories can now pay extra for faster processing if they have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. They can apply for this upgrade online by submitting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. This new service started from March 6 onwards, and applicants who apply before this date are not considered.
Who gets a USA F2 Visa?
The F2 visa is for dependents of F1 visa holders. This includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. F2 visa holders are not allowed to work in the USA, but they may attend school on a part-time basis.
Student Visa USA Cost Breakdown
As of March 2023, the cost of a US student visa for Indian students is USD 160. This non-refundable fee is paid when submitting the DS-160 form. There may be additional fees for other services of the visa application process, such as the SEVIS or visa application centre fee.
The cost of a US student visa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of visa, the country where the student is applying, and the exchange rate. Here is the breakdown for student visa USA and other related costs:
|Item||Cost (in USD)|
|DS-160 application fee||$160|
|Visa application fee||$0-540 (varies by country)|
|Visa issuance fee||$0-300 (varies by country)|
|Total||$510-1350 (varies by country)|
The visa application fee and visa issuance fee may vary based on the country where you apply for your visa. It’s important to check with the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date and accurate information on visa costs.
Secure a USA F1 Visa
Several students are ready for their dream universities after completing most of their study abroad process, but often fail to obtain a US student visa. It’s a complicated process, and your entire application, from documents to interviews, needs to be fool-proof.
But worry not! At Jamboree, we help students just like you navigate the complexities of studying in the US. Book a free counselling session with our US student visa expert and secure your education in the USA.