What Are the Requirements to Study in USA for Nigerian Students?

7 minute read
What Are the Requirements to Study in USA for Nigerian Students?

Studying in the USA can come with a lot of benefits for Nigerian students. For example, students can access world-class education, choose from diverse programs, access excellent research facilities and scholarships and gain exposure to the American culture. However, to travel to the US you need a US student visa. To apply for a student visa, applicants must meet the requirements for the same. Without meeting the eligibility requirements the application will not be processed. Therefore in this blog, we have explained in detail, the requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students


Types of US Student Visa 

Before checking the requirements to study in the USA for Nigerian students, the applicant must be aware of the different types of US student visas. The 3 types of US student visas are as follows:

  • F Student visa- This visa is given to a student to study at an accredited college or university or to enrol in an English class at an English language intuition 
  • M student visa- The M student visa is granted for vocational study or non-academic study or training in the country 
  • J Exchange visa; The J exchange visa is given for participation in a high school or a university’s exchange program.

Watch the video below to learn about getting a student visa for the USA 

USA Student Visa Documentation Requirements 

The following are the documentation requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students. Nigerian students are required to present these documents at the time of the US visa interview:

  • Passport- A valid passport is needed to travel to the United States. The passport of the applicant must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of stay. Each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application form. This is true, even for the family members listed in the passport.
  • Admission to a US university or college: Students must apply and must be accepted to a US institution that is SEVP-certified (Student and Exchange Visitor Program). 
  • A student visa- Another important document that a Nigerian student must have is a student visa. The most common visa is the F1 visa. However, there are other types of student visas as well.
  • Proof of funds- Another important requirement to study in USA for Nigerian students is having financial resources. A student must demonstrate having sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in the US. Additionally, they must have the funds to pay for the tuition fees. The proof of funds can be demonstrated by showcasing the bank statements, scholarship or sponsorship letter.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency: Another important documentation requirement for is proof of English proficiency. For this, the applicant can submit IELTS/TOEFL scores.
  • Academic Documents: The Nigerian students must also submit their academic transcripts, diplomas or any certificates from the previous educational institutions. The documents that are not in English must be translated into English as well.  Furthermore, the documents must be evaluated for US equivalency by organisations such as ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators) or  WES (World Education Services)
  • Health Insurance: Requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students include having health insurance. Health insurance must be needed by the applicant at the time of applying for a student visa.
  • SEVIS Fee: Before sending an application for a student visa, the applicant must pay the SEVIS fees or the student and Exchange Visitor Information System) that supports the. program administration 

Check out the 8 Documentation Requirements for an F1 Visa

Studying in the USA without IELTS 

One of the main requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students is to provide proof of English language proficiency. The good news is that Nigerian students can skip the IELTS Exam and choose an alternative path. Below we have listed some of the alternative options available for Nigerian students to study in the USA without IELTS. 

  • Choose another English language proficiency test.- IELTS is not a mandatory requirement to study in USA. Universities in America also accept results from other English language proficiency tests. For example the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Duolingo English Test, and Cambridge English Exams like CAE and CPE. 
  • Pathway programs Students can also opt for the pathway programs or the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). The pathway programs act as a bridge for students to improve their English language skills before enrolling in a degree program. 
  • Present Previous Academic English Language Experience: Nigerian students who have previously studied in an English language education institution can have the IELTS requirements waived. For this, the US universities will consider the academic transcripts and language of instruction as proof of English language proficiency. 
  • Essay or Interview Evaluation: Under certain circumstances, the US university might conduct an interview or essay-writing test to assess the English language skills. The assessment provided direct skill assessment results to the institution.  

USA Student Visa Application Process 

Once the requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students are clear, the student needs to be aware of the application process. 

  •  The student must first apply to study in a SEVP-approved educational institution. After the enrollment, the student will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). At this stage, the student needs to pay the application fee. An I-20 form will be received by the student. After these steps, a student can start the student visa application process. 
  • The student visa application process includes filling out the online Non-immigrant Visa Application or the Form DS-160. Next, the applicant can schedule a visa interview for themselves. 

Check out the F1 visa process 2024: Insights 

USA Student Visa Interview for Nigerians

The USA student vida interview is conducted by the consular officer. At this stage, the consular officer will determine whether the application form requires further processing. The qualifications of the applicant to receive the student visa are also considered. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are also taken. During the visa interview, the consular officer can ask questions to learn more about the applicant. For example, the reason behind the visa application. Once, the visa is approved the student will have to pay a visa issuance fee and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you. 

Cost of Study for Nigerian Students in the USA

The requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students also include presenting proof of funds,. Hence, the applicant must be aware of the financial expenses incurred. The table below shows the average tuition fees for different programs in the USA

Prorgam Name Study in USA Cost (Average Tuition Fees in NGN)
PhD5,000,000 – 15,000,000
Masters4,500,000 – 12,000,000
Undergraduate4,000,000 – 10,000,000

Learn all about Scholarships for Nigerians to study abroad 

Cost of a Student Visa in the USA

Before applying, the applicant must know about the total visa fees incurred. The average cost of a student visa in the USA is as follows.

Particulars Fees
Student Visa (USA) application fee  cost 160 USD 
Total cost (including the SEVIS application fees)510 USD

Cost of Living in the USA for Nigerians 

Students must consider the cost of living in the USA. The living expenses are one of the major costs incurred by the student, The student must also have sufficient means to cover the expenses. Therefore, you must watch the video below to learn about the cost of living in the USA for students 

Post-study work opportunities in the USA for Nigerian Students

Nigerian students have several post-study work opportunities after completing their studies in the USA.  These opportunities are provided below:

Post-Study Work Option Description 
Optional Practical Training (OPT)Work in the USA for 12 months. Graduates in the STEM field can have an additional 24-month extension 
H-1B VisaNigerian students with advanced degrees can work in specialised occupations. A job offer letter from an employer who is willing to sponsor the visa is mandatory 
Employer SponsorshipSecure a job offer in the US and access long-term employment prospects. 
Entrepreneurship and Start-upsNigerian students who want to start their entrepreneurship journey can do so. Programs such as International Entrepreneur Rule, and Start-up Visa can assist in the same. 

Learn all about the USA work visa requirements for Nigerians 


How can a Nigerian student study in the USA?

To study in the USA, the Nigerian student must receive an offer letter from a SEVP-certified US educational institution. Later, they can apply for a US student visa. 

Who can sponsor me to study in the USA?

Nigerian students can have their parents, or relatives as their sponsors. It is also possible to seek an educational loan.  In certain cases, employers can also sponsor the studies of their employees. 

What is the requirements for a student visa in the USA from Nigeria?

A passport, visa application fee receipt, DS-160 Form, I-20 Form, and proof of finances are some of the documentation requirements to study in USA for Nigerian students.

Want to study abroad? Then do not wait and call our Leverage Edu experts on +91 86306 84298 and get started on an incredible journey to your dream university! You can drop a mail at [email protected] and our experts will reach out to you.

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