Learning institutions in the United States of America offer top-notch educational services in a multicultural environment and a great after-study experience. It is not far from the reasons why most individuals want to study in the country as its policy accommodates international students for study time. Below is How to Apply for Students Visa to Study in The USA.
How to Apply for Students Visa
Studying in the USA as an international student does not end in being accepted into any of the accredited institutions but you must also have a student visa to be allowed to study in the country. This article will be discussing How to Apply for Students Visa and its functions.
What is USA Student Visa
A student visa is a type of visa issued by government of United States to foreign and international students. The visa is issued after the student might have secured an admission or scholarship to study in any of the accredited institutions in the country and the visa is valid for the study period only.
Eligibility Requirements for Student Visas
To qualify for an F-1 or M-1 visa, USCIS states that you must:
- Be enrolled as a full-time student in an “academic” educational program, a language training program, or a vocational program
- Be accepted into a school that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement
- Be proficient in English or be enrolled in classes that will lead to English proficiency
- Have sufficient funds to support yourself during the entire proposed course of study
- Maintain residence abroad and have no intention of giving it up
What are the Types of USA Students Visa
There are three types of Student Visa in USA. The course of study and the type of institution determines the type of visa that will be issued to the student.
1. F Student Visa: This is the type of student visa issued to students to study at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at an English language Institute.This visa type is subdivided into three. They include:
- F-1 visas: This is visa for full-time students. Holders of this visa can work on-campus for 20 hours a week or less. They are also permitted to work off-campus, provided they obtain permission from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the work is Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Training Extension.
- F-2 Visas: This is visa for dependents of F-1 visa holders (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21).
- F-3 Visas: This visa is particular to Mexican and Canadian students called ‘border commuters’, who are based in thier respective countries while studying in the United States. It may be part time or full time studies.
2. J Visa: This visa is also called Exchange Visitor Visa. They are nonimmigrant visas for individuals approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States. There are two types of Exchange visitor visa, they include:
- J-1 Visa: J1 visa is meant for students who need practical training that is not available to them in their home country, and the training must be directly related to their academic program. The programs are mostly sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution, which must be accredited through the Exchange Visitor Program designated by the U.S. State Department.
- J-2 Visa: The visa is meant for the dependents (married couple, children) of J-1 visa holders.
3. M Visa: This is the third category of Student Visa in the US for international students who want to offer non-academic or vocational study or training at an institution in the US. There are three types of M visa, they include:
- M-1 Visa: This is meant for students who want to offer vocational or non-academic studies in the US. M-1 holders are not allowed to either work on or off campus, however they can get a driver’s license, open a bank account, transfer schools within the first six months of their program, have access to healthcare, and work in certain circumstance.
- M-2 Visa: This visa is meant for dependents of M-1 visa holders.
- M-3 Visa: The visa is meant for Mexican and Canadian students (popularly called, border commuters) who are based in their respectively country but studying in US for vocational or non-academic studies.
What are the Documents Required for US Student Visa
The following are the documents that will be required from you while applying for US student visa:
- A valid passport (validity must be 6 months beyond study period)
- School Acceptance Proof (school must be SEVIS approved)
- Application fee payment for the SEVIS
- Non-immigrant visa application and the Form DS-160
- Passport photograph
- Phone number
- Academic documents ( transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates and test score for TOEFL, SAT etc)
- Evidence that you have sufficient funds that will cater for your expenses throughout the study period.
Application Procedure for US Student Visa
The following steps will guide you how to apply for US Student Visa:
Step 1: Pick Student Visa Type
To apply for Student Visa in the US, you have gotten admission to any of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) approved institution, this will enable you to know what type of the student visa you will be picking.
Step 2: Get Form I-20
Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status), will be given to you by the school that have admitted you through your email address. This form will contain your SEVIS ID, your school’s address, and other critical information concerning your program. After receiving it, ensure you print it out.
Step 3: Pay the SEVIS Fee
After receiving the Form I-20, visit https://egov.ice.gov/sevis to pay for the SEVIS fee. This fee is different from the visa application fee. You will need to use your SEVIS ID and password to access the payment portal. After payment, print out the payment confirmation page.
Step 4: Fill Form DS-160 Online
You then need to fill and complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, also known as Form DS-160. Before proceeding to fill this form ensure you have your documents hand and duly follow the instructions given. You are also required to pick the embassy or consulate near you that you will be taking your interview and also you need to select the date you will be available for the interview .
Step 5: Attend Your Visa Interview
Now, you will need to go to the embassy with all the required documents. You will be asked series of questions to determine whether you will be given the visa or not. Ensure you go with originals of your documents and you should be yourself.
Step 6: Wait for Application Status
After the interview you will have to wait for some while for your information to be processed. You will receive through your email address about your visa status. You might be granted the visa or be denied. Visa denial is rare, provided that you follow all due procedures listed. After receiving notification successful visa. Proceed and pay for visa issuance fee, mode of payment largely depends on the embassy, but the payment is uniform which goes for $160. Good luck.
Conclusion: We have highlighted above the process of applying for US Students Visa. We hope this help.
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