Just getting accepted at your favourite university is not enough for studying abroad. The most crucial stage of your entire study abroad process is the visa application. Applying for a USA student visa from scratch can be a tedious process, but definitely worth the wait! Moreover, the US is one of the top choices for studying abroad, thereby making the USA student visa process a lot more competitive, as compared to other countries.
If you are someone who is willing to apply for a USA student visa, this guide will be a boon for you! So, read on to know the minutest details pertaining to USA study visa requirements, cost, processing time, and a lot more!
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US Student Visa Latest Updates
According to the new US laws, students fully vaccinated are exempt from pandemic restrictions. Also, the US Department of Homeland Security has recently added 22 new STEM programs. The programs also allow students to extend their OPT or optional practical training up to 36 months as compared to 12 months before, to start their work upon graduation.
There is also a slight change in the US visa application process which might reflect from summer 2022. Lastly, the US has also waived in-person visa interviews for a majority of visa types.
Suggested: US Visa Vaccination Requirements 2022
Types of US Student Visa
Before moving on to the USA study visa requirements, let us make you aware about the US student visa types. Given below are the 3 US student visa types:
- F-1 Student Visa: This is one of the most common types of US student visa and is suitable for programs requiring more than 18 hours of attendance per week. This visa type includes both UG and PG programs.
- J-1 Exchange Student Visa: The J-1 visa is suitable for students, scholars, working professionals looking for a short term program to study in the US. The visa is also applicable for students visiting the US for exchange programs.
- M-1 Vocational/ Non-Academic Visa: This particular type of visa is required for vocational programs and technical schools. This visa does not allow students to overstay in the US.
Requirements Pertaining to US Student Visa
Let us now move on to discovering the US student visa requirements. Given below are the various types of documents required to start your USA student visa application process:
- Academic transcripts from high school
- Bachelor's degree (if required)
- Acceptance letter (from your university/college)
- English language proficiency proof (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE)
- ACT, SAT, GMAT, GRE scores
- Provisional certificates
- LORs, SOPs
- Work experience proof
- Bank statements (I-20 proof of funds)
- Salary slips and letter of employment
- Sponsorship letter (if available)
- Tax returns from past 3 years
- Loan approval letter (if required)
- Statement from CA
- Scholarship letter (if available)
- Valid passport
- Printed copy of DS-160 form
- Interview appointment letter (original and copy)
- SEVIS fee receipt
- I-20 form (given by your university/college)
- Visa fee payment confirmation slip
Cost of US Student Visa
Now that we are aware about the USA student visa application requirements, let us know the USA student visa cost. The USA study visa fees can be split into 2 parts, i.e., SEVIS fee and the visa application fee.
Given below is the complete breakdown of USA student visa cost for different visa types:
Type of Fee
F-1 Visa Type
J-1 Visa Type
M-1 Visa Type
Visa Application Fee
How to Apply for a US Student Visa?
The answer to the question-”How to apply for student visa for USA?” can be broken down into simple steps given below:
- Receive the I-20 form from your university/college.
- Pay the SEVIS fee before starting your USA student visa process.
- Get the SEVIS fee receipt, and fill the DS-160 visa form.
- Pay the visa application fee.
- Book an appointment for biometrics and a US visa interview.
Suggested: When to Apply for an F-1 Student Visa?
Where to Apply for a US Student Visa?
The application for US student visa process pertaining to the F-1 visa is entirely online. Applicants need to visit the biometric and US visa interview centres to complete their USA student visa process from India.
Given below are the US Embassy and Consulate addresses to complete the US student visa process for Indian students:
- US Embassy in New Delhi, Shanti Path, Chanakyauri, New Delhi-110021
- US Consulate General in Mumbai, C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
- US Consulate General in Chennai, 220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
- US Consulate General in Kolkata, 5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
- US Consulate General in Hyderabad, Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003
US Student Visa Processing Time
The USA student visa processing time can be averaged to 3-5 weeks, and even 2-3 months depending on your application and visa type. F-1 visa applicants can expect the processing time to be shorter than other visa types.
After receiving a positive response from the US visa consulate, applicants can usually expect their visa hard copy in around 2-3 days. Also, F-1 visas are issued before 120 days of the commencement of your programs in the US.
Suggested: Faster Student Visas for F-1 Applicants!
US Student Visa Interview Process
The US student visa interview is the last step of your US visa process for Indian students. A positive interview response can help you get hold of a student visa as soon as your interview ends!
Not the lengthiest part of the entire USA student visa process from India, the US student visa interview usually lasts for 4-5 minutes. At the time of your interview, you are supposed to carry all of your US study visa interview documents, neatly catalogued in a file.
Questions asked during the US visa interview usually focus around your intent of coming back, and your awareness about your program, university, finances, etc. At the end of your interview you can expect the visa officer to ask for your passport to get it stamped for a US visa!
The US visa process for Indian students can be simple and hasslefree provided all documents and information are appropriate. Moreover, performing your best in the interview can definitely lead you to a brighter future! If you are still confused about how to apply for student visa for USA, you can connect with our Yocket Counsellors for help!