How to Apply for a USA Student Visa

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Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Akwaowo Akpan

This article is on How to Apply for a USA Student Visa. International students can enroll full-time at an institution in the United States that has been approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) with an F1 visa. You should apply for an F1 visa at least three months before the start of your course.

Each application costs about $510.With an F1 visa, foreign students may enroll full-time at a US institution that has been authorized by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). At least three months before the commencement of your study, you should apply for an F1 visa. Each application is roughly $510 in price. That’s why we will talk about USA student visa

On an F1 visa, part-time employment is extremely constrained. Although hours are constrained and jobs are in high demand, you might be able to work on-campus at your preferred university.Part-time employment is very restricted for F1 visa holders. You might be able to work on-campus at your selected university, despite the limited hours and high demand for jobs.

USA student visa process step by step

  1. Obtain admission to a program of study: You will receive an I-20 form from the foreign students office at the school of your choice. You must keep this document secure because you will need it for your visa interview.
  2. Sign up for SEVIS and pay the $350 registration fee:  This means that before the DS-160 can be finished, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System needs to receive your fee.
  3. Fill out and pay for the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application online:  Additionally, you’ll need to upload a picture of yourself that complies with the standards and provide any other paperwork needed.
  4. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the nation where you now reside is where you must make an appointment for a visa interview. You will be questioned during this interview about things like your finances and prior test results.
  5. Obtain a judgment: A determination regarding your application should be made at your interview.

US visas for dependents (F2)

Any family members or kids who will be traveling with you while you study in the US must apply for and be granted an F2 visa.

If you have children under 21 or a spouse who will be joining you in the US, get in touch with your selected university before they issue your I-20. Then, in addition to your own I-20, you will receive their I-20 paperwork.

Before issuing you the documents, your university might require evidence that you can support yourself and any dependents.

US student visa requirements

You must acquire the required paperwork before applying. These documents can range from copies of financial records like bank statements to specialized immigration applications.

Here’s a list of all the documents you may need for your F1 application:

  • Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant student (I-20)
  • Receipt from your SEVIS fee
  • Receipt from the online visa form (DS-160) for a non-immigrant student
  • Passport with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States
  • Any old passports you may have
  • Documents that prove your financial situation or any financial support you will have during your studies
  • Two recent color photos of yourself, one physical, one digital. These must also meet US immigration’s image requirements
  • Transcripts, test scores, qualifications, or certificates from schools you have attended

The documents will also need to be taken to your visa interview.

What to expect at your F1 visa interview

The F1 visa interview is in English, and happens in front of a visa officer at a US embassy or consulate. The interview is usually straightforward and quick, and may only last around five minutes. The F1 visa interview questions you are asked during the interview vary but often concern your chosen program, academic achievements, finances, post-graduation plans, and choice of university.

It is important that you can show you have no plans to remain in the US when your program finishes. It is often necessary that you always have the funds available to buy a plane ticket home for the end of your program.

US student visa processing time

The time it takes to get your F1 visa can vary from just a week to a couple of months, depending on the complexity of your case.

In most cases, your application will only take a few days to process, and then you’ll need to allow another two or three days for the delivery of your updated passport.

However, you should apply at least three months before your departure date to make sure you get your visa in time.

What to do if you are declined for an F1 visa

If you are declined for an F1 visa you are usually able to apply again, but you will need to start the process from the beginning. You won’t need to pay the SEVIS fee again, but any application fees will need to be paid a second time.

You’ll be told the reason that you were denied, and if you can amend any issues, you may have a better chance next time around. Common issues for a rejected application include:

  • Lack of financial proof to support yourself while in the US
  • Missing or incorrect documents
  • Lack of proof that you intend to return to your home country after graduating
  • Failed background check
  • Failure to explain your answers during your interview

You can re-apply three times in a year, but if you are struggling to get your application accepted then you should speak to consular officers about your situation before applying again.You may reapply three times every year, but before doing so, you should talk to consular officers about your position if you are having trouble getting your application accepted.


  • Akwaowo Akpan

    Hi there, welcome to Online Studying Services. As a fan of authentic information and a student, I devise this means to offer reliable information to international students wishing to either study abroad or online. Thanks for stopping by!

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