The USA has emerged as the dream destination for higher studies and has continued to retain that position for quite some time now. Having an excellent line of Ivy League colleges and other state universities providing class-apart STEM courses, American universities are the most coveted institutions for students dreaming to have a degree from abroad. However, in order to study in the USA, you need to submit a list of documents, including, but not restricted to SOP, LORs, transcripts, and visas. Obtaining a USA Student Visa may seem difficult and a complicated process. So, to provide clarity, here is a blog that elucidates the USA Visa application process and other essential details to pave your way for holistic education in the States!
USA has announced plans to boost visa interview appointments for candidates by 30% this summer in order to invite a record number of Indian students to the US. Consul General of the United States in Mumbai Mike Hankey noted that last year set a new record for the number of Indian students studying in the United States in a single year, with over 1.25 lakh Indian students studying in the United States. This year, the goal is to grow this number even further by expanding the number.
This Blog Includes:
- Latest News: USA Student Visa 2023
- Types of USA Student Visa
- USA Student Visa: Application Process
- Where to Apply?
- Documents Required
- Top Universities in the USA
- USA Student Visa without IELTS
- Cost of Study Visa
- Acceptance Rate
- Upcoming Intakes in the USA
- Things to Note
- Study in USA Scholarships
- Important USA Student Visa Interview Questions
- Tips for USA Visa Interview
Latest News: USA Student Visa 2023
The US has issued 82,000 student visas in 2022 to date. Indian students received more US student visas than any other country in the world. Read more.
- March 9: If students carry STEM F-1 student visas but their Form I-765 is pending, they can still apply for premium work permit processing.
- Feb 24: Students can apply for a USA Student Visa a year before beginning a course in the USA.
More excellent news for visa renewals in the United States! Travellers who have “clearance received” or “department authorization” on their previous visas can now apply for a new visa via the interview waiver approach.
Types of USA Student Visa
USA Student Visa is mandatory for nationals of any country aspiring to study in the States. Students will generally need a student F or M visa for a full course of study, whether it’s a bachelor’s, master’s, or research. The other types of Visas like Visitor (B) or Visa Waiver Program are not applicable for students to study full-time in the U.S. These two Visas are mainly for shorter periods of study or a non-credited offer of study. Tabulated below are the different USA student visa types and their respective application.
|USA Student Visa Types||Applicable For|
|F1 Student Visa||An F1 visa is required for students applying to programs that require more than 18 hours of study per week. This includes all undergraduate and graduate programs such as MS, MBA, and so on.|
|F2 Student Dependent Visa||The student-dependent visa is referred to as the F2 Visa. The F2 visa is a non-immigrant dependent visa that allows immediate family members of F1 student visa holders to visit the United States. The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are considered dependents.|
|J1 Exchange Visitor Visa||The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is intended for students, visiting researchers, or lecturers who are participating in an exchange program. Fulbright scholars and many students on short-term study abroad programs from Indian institutions, for example, will enter the United States on a J-1 visa.|
|J-2 Visa||The J2 visa is a visa issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It is a special visa for J1 visa holders’ wives and dependents. These people may later accompany or join a J1 visa holder in the United States.|
|M-1 Vocational/ Non-Academic Student Visa||The M1 visa is a sort of student visa that is only available to students attending vocational and technical schools. While the application procedure for the F1 visa and the M-1 visa is identical, the M1 visas are time-stamped upon entry and students cannot overstay their visit.|
|M-2 Visa||The M-2 nonimmigrant visa allows a valid M-1 student visa holder’s dependent spouse and children under the age of 21 to enter the United States.|
Starting from March 1st, 2023, prospective F-1 student visa applicants can now apply up to 365 days before their academic term begins.
USA Student Visa: Application Process
Be it for pursuing STEM courses in the USA or for other degree programs, you have to apply for a student visa. Though the process can vary from one country to another, here are the common steps to follow in order to apply for a USA student Visa:
Step 1: Collect Documents
The very first step to applying for a USA student Visa is to collect essential documents like scorecards of English proficiency tests [TOEFL or IELTS] and the SAT exam/ACT. The score requirement varies for each college or university and you should check it with them before attempting the test.
Step 2: Apply to a SEVP Approved Academic Institute
The next step is to get your clearance from a SEVP-approved school in the United States. After your acceptance by the school, you will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, following which, the school will issue Form I-20. After filling up the form duly, you must schedule an interview with your nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Ensure to complete the online application form for the USA student Visa after payment of the required fee and carry a copy of the confirmation on the interview day.
Step 3: Prepare for the USA Student Visa Interview
- Always remember the interview process may be lengthy but it’s not rocket science. You have to be careful not to miss any steps and be extra careful with documents. There is a range of interview questions that you will be required to answer. Prepare beforehand for the common interview questions for a US visa.
- Carry a valid passport whose validity must be six months beyond your actual stay in the United States.
- Carry a printout of Form I-20 duly signed by you and the school you are applying to.
Where to Apply?
The process of getting an F1 visa is completely online. Below are the resources to fill out your forms:
For the Biometrics interview
The places below can be referred to for the interview.
- Delhi –
S – 1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower
Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110019
- Mumbai –
Trade Center, Ground Floor, G Block,
Bandra Kurla Complex,
Bandra East, Mumbai – 400051
- Chennai –
No 3, Cenotaph Road,
Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600018
- Hyderabad –
1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P.Road,
Begumpet, Secunderabad – 500003
- Kolkata –
Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor)
Kolkata – 700017
US Embassy and Consulates Addresses
- The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi
Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021
- The U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay)
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
- The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai (Madras)
220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
- The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata (Calcutta)
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
- The U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003
At the time you are applying for a student visa for the USA, here is the list of documents you will require:
- A valid passport
- SEVP approved Acceptance
- Form I-20
- SEVIS application fee receipt
- Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Non-Immigrant visa application
- Passport size photograph
- Official academic transcripts
- Bank Statements
- Scholarship Letter (If applicable)
- Pay/salary slips
- Score sheet of exams like TOEFL, GMAT, IELTS, etc.
Effective May 30, 2023, the application fee for visitors and some other non-immigrant visa categories will rise from $160 to $185. The application price for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will also rise from $190 to $205.
Top Universities in the USA
The USA is home to Ivy League institutions and other prestigious universities. Students from across the globe want to be a part of the top institution in the USA offering management to STEM courses. Here are the top 10 universities in the USA :
|Top Universities to Study in the USA||QS World University Rankings 2023|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||1|
|California Institute of Technology||6|
|The University of Chicago||10|
|University of Pennsylvania||13|
USA Student Visa without IELTS
One of the biggest tasks when planning to study abroad is to get the required scores in English proficiency exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE. What if you can be a part of American universities without these? The English proficiency exams are mandatory requirements to be fulfilled by every applicant planning to study in the USA. This eligibility has been lifted by a few universities in the USA, which means students can apply at the universities in the USA without IELTS. The universities include:
- University of Delaware
- Northwood University
- Rice University
- University of Dayton
- State University of New York
- University of New Orleans (UNO)
- California State University
- University of Colorado
Cost of Study Visa
The cost of a USA study visa depends on various factors. The type of student visa, application fee and SEVIS fees, and course you have applied for. The SEVIS fee is at present $350 (INR 28,000). The validity of the application fee is of one year which is nonrefundable. G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-7 don’t have to pay SEVIS fees. The USA study visa for F, J, and M application fee is $160. Here is the breakdown of different types of USA Student Visas:
|Type of Fee||F1 Visa||J1 Visa||M1 Visa|
|SEVIS Fee (in USD)||350 (INR 28,000)||220 (INR 18,000)||350 (INR 28,000)|
|MRV Application Fee/ Visa Application Fee (in USD)||160 (INR 13,000)||160 (INR 13,000)||160 (INR 13,000)|
A USA student visa is not that easy to get. Comparing the acceptance rate with other countries is not easy. The acceptance rate for a USA study visa is only 85%. According to several surveys conducted, the USA visa is the most applied visa by students across the world. USA student visa is declined by the authorities on various grounds such as incomplete documents, not valid proof of financial resources, or not being able to crack the USA student visa interview.
Upcoming Intakes in the USA
In the United States, universities and colleges have three intakes. Students can select their period of study from three primary flexible intakes: Spring, Fall, and Summer.
- Intake 1 (Fall Semester): It commences in September and is the major intake.
- Intake 2 (Spring Semester): It commences in January/February, and to May.
- Intake 3 (Summer Semester): It commences in May/June and is available for selected Courses.
Things to Note
Apart from the aforementioned application steps and the documents required, here are some essential details which you must keep in mind while applying for a USA student visa.
- All your academic transcripts must be in order starting from your last or recently received to the very first one.
- Furthermore, proper financial documents to prove that you can sustain your stay and study in the U.S. have to be provided.
- If you have been granted a scholarship then documents relating to that should also be submitted.
- The application fee for a USA student visa is USD 160.
- It generally takes up to 120 days to obtain a USA Student Visa.
Study in USA Scholarships
The following are some of the prominent scholarships to study in the USA.
- Global Study Awards
- QS Connect Masters Scholarship
- TATA Scholarship
- Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship
Important USA Student Visa Interview Questions
The Visa officer may ask you a range of questions to test your preparedness to stay in a new country before granting you a USA student visa. You should be prepared to answer basic questions such as –
- Have you ever been to the USA?
- Do you have any relatives living there?
- Where did you learn about student visas in the United States?
- Which school are you going to?
- What is your course of study?
- How are you financing yourself? Do you have a scholarship?
- What is your mode of accommodation in the USA?
- How are you paying for your accommodation and education?
- Why do you want to go to the USA for your studies?
- How will this degree help you further?
- What do you plan to do after receiving a degree from a U.S university?
Tips for USA Visa Interview
One of the difficult tasks for a USA visa is to crack the interview round. Here are some tips for a USA visa interview:
- Take all necessary documents required and ensure they are all complete.
- Listen to all the questions carefully and then answer.
- In case of disagreement, do not argue with the authorities
- Always dress in neat and formal attire.
- You can ask the interviewee to rephrase or repeat the question if you didn’t understand the question the first time.
- Arrange all your documents in the correct order and format.
Obtaining a visa to study in the United States takes time, but it may be a surprisingly simple process. While the application procedure for an international student or exchange guest visa might be complicated, hundreds of thousands of students each year are able to satisfy the visa criteria.
On a student’s I-94 card, it is generally “Duration of Status” or “D/S,” which means that you may remain in the United States as long as you are enrolled in school to complete your academic program. After the program concludes, you will have 60 days to leave the United States. Follow this link if you need to renew your F1 student visa.
Yes, overseas students can work in the United States while studying, although there are certain limits. International students with F-1 and M-1 visas are permitted to work on campus and in certain training programs. During their first academic year, students are not permitted to work off-campus.
You must demonstrate one-year funding for whatever duration course you are taking. One year of tuition plus one year of living expenses.
People who can sponsor your education in the USA are:
Mix of Both
Scholarships and more.
We, at Leverage Edu, are here to make the visa application process much easier. Along with the USA student visa, our experts will also help you complete the admission formalities of your choice of university and will also guide you in writing an SOP that sets your candidature apart from a pool of candidates!