Student Visa USA: All You Need to Know in 2022!

Studying in America can be an exciting experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One such challenge is getting your US student visa approved by the US embassy or consulate

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The United States is the most popular destination for international students. It has a long history of welcoming foreign students and offers some of the best universities in the world. The US Student Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to pursue academic studies, language training programs or other types of vocational or technical training.

The challanges that comes with student visa is generally the interview process. In this post, we will tell everything that you need to know about for applying a study visa and the tips for the interview.

Why US Student Visa?

A (F or M) Student Visa is required for foreign nationals to study in the United States. Foreign nationals will not be able to study in the US if they have entered through the visitor (B) visa or through the VWP (Visa Waiver Program). You can however undertake recreational studies on a tourist visa.

Types of Student Visas in the United States?

There are 3 different types of US Student visas:

The F1 visa is issued to international students for academic studies. It is issued to students attending a regular academic or an English language program.

It is the most common of all the USA student visas.
  • F1 student visa holders are required to maintain their full-time student status and are allowed to work part-time to a maximum of 20-hours per week.
  • International students holding an F1 visa are required to complete their course before the expiration of their I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

A J1 Visa is issued to international students who require to obtain practical training that is unavailable in their home country for completion of their academic program.

  • This student visa allows part-time employment limited to 20-hours per week. However, international students need to obtain permission from the exchange visitor program sponsor for employment.

An M1 visa is issued to international students attending a vocational or a non-academic school in the United States.

M1 student visa holders cannot work during the course of their studies.
  • TAlso, students applying for an M1 visa need to provide proof of funds which can cover their cost of studies and living expenses during the course of their stay.

Annual Intakes

There are three intakes available in US universities.

These are:

This is a popular intake among Indian students. It starts in the month of September.

This intake starts in January. This intake is ideal if you have missed the September intake.

This intake usually starts around May. However, it is available only for limited programs and in few colleges.

Annual Intakes

Here is a list of the best universities in the United States
Rank Name of the University
1 Stanford University
2 Princeton University
3 University of California, Berkeley
4 Carnegie Mellon University
5 New York University
6 Harvard University
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
8 Columbia University
9 University of California, Los Angeles
10 University of Michigan

Eligibility to Apply to US Universities for Studies

Here are the eligibility criteria you need to meet to apply to US universities:

  •  Have a completed application form
  •  Proof of Secondary School completion (12 years)
  •  Certificate of English language proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
  •  Evidence of financial support (with the I-20 form)

Documents Required for US Students Visas

You would generally need to provide the following documents along with your application for a student visa:


  •  Requisite application form duly filled and signed
  •  I-20 showing that you are enrolled in a US universities
  •  Valid passport for at least 6 months beyond the period of stay
  •  Recent passport size photographs
  •  Receipt of payment of visa processing fees/li>
  •  Confirmation page of DS-160
  •  Documents to show you are a bonafide student
  •  Payment of application fee for SEVIS
  •  Documents to show sponsorship
  •  Documents to show availability of funds

How to Apply for a US Student Visa?

After determining which type of US student visa you need to apply, you can begin with your US Student Visa application

Irrespective of which category of student visa you apply for, you will need to undergo the following steps:

An international student needs to be enrolled in a US school before they can apply for a student visa. However, your school needs to be accredited by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the Government of the United States.

  • Accreditation is critical to ensure that your diploma or degree is recognised by other colleges and universities, professional associations, government institutions and ministries and employers all over the world.
  • You will be required to apply to each individual institution or university as the United States does not have a centralised university application system like many other countries.
  • This means you will need to fulfil the admission requirements of each institution, which will include providing proof of funds.
  • Only institutions approved by SEVP can accept and enrol international students. Once you have been accepted by an institution, you will be enrolled in the SEVIS system and issued a Form I-20 or a Form DS-2020.
  • Students who are eligible for an F1 or M1 international student visa are issued a Form I-20, and international students eligible for a J1 student visa are issued a DS-2020

Once you have made your SEVIS-fee payment, you are required to fill the online application DS-160 form. It is advised that you fill this online application form at least 3-4 months before the commencement of your course.

While filling the online DS-160 form, you need to ensure that you have all proper documentation for the details you are filling in your application.

You will be required to provide the following personal details while filling our online application DS-160 form.
  • Your Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Details of your Passport.
  • Details of your previous visits to the United States, if any.
  • Details about your travel plans and travel companions, if any.
  • Your point of contact in the United States.
  • Details about your family, including their names, occupations and other personal information.
  • Your education details.
  • Details about your previous work experience, if any.
  • Your SEVIS ID
  • Address of the school/program/college/university you intend to enrol as mentioned in your I-20 or DS-2020 form.

Kindly ensure that you fill all the details correctly without any mistakes.

Also, ensure you have valid documentary proof for all details you have filled and mentioned in your application form as any discrepancy can lead to rejection of your student visa application.

The last step towards earning your US student visa is attending your interview. You should be able to answer questions asked during the interview.

Most questions are designed to check whether:
  • Your primary purpose of going to the United States is to study.
  • You have the required skills to complete and pass your course.
  • You can pay your expenses in the United States.
  • You intend to return back to the home country post completion of your studies.
  • You do not pose a security risk to the United States.

You should ensure that you carry valid documentation which will help to validate and support your answer. The chances of student visa rejection drastically fall when you can satisfy your interviewer with your answers and relevant documentary evidence.

Cost of Applying for US Student Visas

Payment of the SEVIS fee: You need to pay the SEVIS-fee at least 3 days before submitting your US student visa application. You need to pay $ 200 if you are applying for an F1 or an M1 visa and $ 180 for a J1 visa.

  •  While making the SEVIS-fee, you need to ensure that your all details need to be exactly as they appear on your I-20 or DS-2020 form.
  •  This payment can be made using debit or credit card, Western Union Quick Pay, international money order or a check. Ensure you print your payment confirmation as it can be required during the later stages of your US student visa application.

Once you have completed and submitted your online application DS-160 form, you need to make an application fee of $ 160.

You can make this payment online, in person at an approved bank or by phone. Please note that this application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

It is advised to print and record this payment receipt as it might be required during the interview stage of your US student visa application.

Processing Time for Your Student Visa

Your student visa application is generally approved or denied during your visa interview. If your student visa is approved, you will get your passport along with your US student visa within 7 to 10 working days. However, most interviewers will not inform you about the approval or rejection of your application, and you will need to wait till you receive your passport..

Note: Do not forget to carry your passport, your I-20 form and all the other documents you carried with you during your US student visa interview. You might need these documents at immigration as well.

Why Visa Studio?

Visa Studio is the best Consulting firm for Students and working professionals in Dubai. We offer professional guidance through our highly experience and knowledgeable staff, we have previously delivered many successful applications. Our success rate is 100%.


  •  Visit Visa: Travel for leisure or business to any part of the world with Visa Studio.
  •  Study Visa: Study in Globally recognized Universities!
  •  Work Visa: Work & settle in the World’s Best Cities!
  •  Immigration: We are your one-stop solution for all your visa and immigration needs
  •  Permanent Residence: Become a Permanent Resident and enjoy special benefits.

Client Logins: With our client login you will get to experience our best services, all your process can be easily tracked through our online client portal at your fingertips.

Don’t wait. Begin your visa application today!

Other Important FAQs

After payment of your student visa application fees, you can proceed to schedule a student visa interview at the nearest US embassy or consulate to your location.

  • The wait time for your interview can vary from location to location. However, the wait time tends to be the longest during the months of January and August.
  • Ensure you schedule your student visa interview well in advance before the commencement of your course.
  • You will need to provide your passport details, the 10-digit bar code number mentioned on your DS-160 confirmation and your CGI-reference number indicated on your application fee payment receipt.

US student visa interviews are relatively simple and straightforward.

Your interviewers only wish to confirm the legitimacy of your application and your intention to return to your home country.
  • You will be required to provide them with your personal details and details about the course you wish to enrol in the United States.

However, ensure that you have all valid documentation for details provided in your application.

It is advised to carry the following documentation along with you to your US student visa interview:
  • Your passport.
  • Payment receipt for your SEVIS-fee payment and application fee payment.
  • Your DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Your I-20 form.
  • Documentation for proof of funds to cover your tuition and education fees, travel and living expenses in the United States.
  • Academic records which include copies of your transcripts, diploma and degree, TOEFL score.
  • Documentation proving you are having ties to your home country and that you will return post completion of your course. These documents can include job contract, apartment contract, return ticket, etc.

Yes. You can be accepted to study in an US university without IELTS if you have completed any academic studies for at least one year in the country. Then there are some universities in the US offering Bridge courses for students in lieu of IELTS. Check out with individual universities while applying.

Universities in the US that do not accept IELTS scores are:
  • Stanford University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University

Getting a US student visa is time consuming. However, it is a surprisingly easy process. It may be confusing for an international student or exchange visitor visa. There are hundreds of thousands of international students who are able to successfully meet the requirements of student visas each year.