USA Student Visa: Requirements, Rules, Fee

USA Student Visa: Requirements, Rules, Fee

Uploaded on
Oct 20, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Uploaded on
Oct 20, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
USA Student Visa: Requirements, Rules, Fees
Uncle Sam is rooting for you!

Studying in the US is probably the best decision you can make. World-Class education and a melting pot of hundreds of cultures studying in the USA is the real deal for students. For that dream to come true, let us help you out! After selecting your preferred university and going through the application process, the next step is to start applying for the USA Student Visa. To help you better understand the USA Student Visa structure, we at amber, have broken down the process step-by-step in this blog. So shall we get going?

Why study in the USA

Each student makes the decision to study in the US for a variety of reasons, many of which are related to the advantages that come with living and studying abroad in the US. U.S. News & World Report states that the USA is home to almost half of the world's best institutions. Universities in the US offer top-ranked academic opportunities across all fields, from undergraduate studies to PhD-level programmes. In the US, there are more than 5,000 higher education institutions from which to pick.

Studying at an American University is the best for a reason. Every US university is different and has something unique to offer, from top-notch education to post-study-abroad opportunities. US universities provide courses in personal and professional development in addition to academics. US international students are expected to have access to cutting-edge facilities, career prospects, and multicultural experiences. 

Types of USAStudent Visa

Types of USA Student Visa
Types of USA Student Visa

The United States government offers three student visa types: F, J, and M.

F1 Student Visa: to enroll in an recognised U.S. college or university.
J1  Exchange Visa: for the purpose of an exchange programme, high school and university studies.
M1  Student Visa: for non-academic or vocational study or education in the USA.

You must first be accepted in a U.S. higher education institution recognised by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) in order to be eligible to apply for an F, J, or M student visa. You will get a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from the institution's international student office once you have been admitted to a SEVP-certified school to use when you submit your student visa application. When you have your form, visit the following websites:

1. U.S. Department of State - Consular Affairs (Student Visas)
2. U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies and Consulates
3. U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Study in the States

It is significant to highlight that two different U.S. government organisations are involved with foreign students' entry and status while they are studying there. The State Department handles the visa application and issuance processes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security then assumes responsibility for admission into the country and issues and enforces international student restrictions when a visa holder arrives in the country.

Before requesting a student visa for the United States, please read the data from all three of the aforementioned sources. The websites address employment, maintaining your status, and other important topics.

US Student Visa Requirements (F1 Visa)

You will generally need the following for your USA Student Visa application for USA universities:

• A valid passport with a validity date of at least six months beyond your stay.
• Recent passport-size photograph.
• Confirmation page of DS-160.
• Form I -20.
• Payment of application fees for SEVIS.
• SEVIS Fee Receipt
• Interview appointment letter (original and copy)
• Application as a non-immigrant.
• Your University will inform you of additional requirements, if any, before applying.

USA Student Visa Eligibility Criteria

1. The minimum age requirement for students is 18.
2. International students are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week or less during the academic year and full-time during the summer and other academic break periods.
3. Off-campus employment must have some sort of written or official authorisation from the OISS or USCIS.
4. To be eligible for any type of off-campus job, you must currently have legal status and have been enrolled as a student in the USA on an F-1 student visa for at least one academic year.

USA Student Visa Application Process

1. Get accepted into a US University

The first step is being accepted into a recognised US university. For most of full-time undergraduate and graduate programmes in the United States, the application deadline is in December or January each year. Normally, admission notices are sent out in March and April.

2. Get the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

After you've been accepted to a school, you'll receive one of two documents—Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) for F-1 and M-1 students and Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) for J-1 students.

3. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fees

After receiving your I-20 or DS-2019 paperwork from your school, pay the I-901 SEVIS fee online. For J-1 students, the price is $220, and for F-1/M-1 students, it is $350. (Those with temporary J-1 visas must pay a fee of USD $35.)

4. Locate a US Embassy in Your Area

An international student visa must be requested at the American embassy or consulate that is closest to you (ideally, in the city or region where you reside). An online search for US embassies and consulates is available through the US Department of State. Please be advised that the procedure for acquiring a student visa in the United States may vary slightly depending on which embassy you apply through.

5. Fill out the online DS-160 form

Following that, fill out the Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160). Here, you will be able to choose the US embassy and find information on your visa interview.

6. Book a visa interview

After submitting Form DS-160, get in touch with the nearby US embassy or consulate (ideally the one you specified on your online application) to schedule your visa interview.

7. Make payment for your visa application fee

Pay the 160 USD application fee next. This fee stays constant regardless of where you apply or come from. It's critical to remember that depending on your embassy, the precise day you pay this payment will change.

8. Attend your visa interview

The interview is the final crucial step in the visa application procedure. Your eligibility to study in the USA will be determined by the outcomes of the interview.

9. Pay the visa issuance fee

After being given the authorization to obtain a student visa for the United States, students must pay a visa issuance fee. You may or may not be obliged to pay this fee depending on your nationality and the reciprocity agreement between the United States and your country. Check the USA visa website chart to see whether you must pay a visa issuance fee.

USA Student Visa Fees

• The SEVIS charge, which is currently $350
• The MRV Fee (Visa Application Fee) is currently $160

USA Student Visa Fees
USA Student Visa Fees

USA Student Visa Interview Preparation

The interview is the most important part of your F1 visa application. Your full application for a student visa in the USA will be made or broken by this. The consular officer wants to find out more about you as a candidate than is shown in your application to assess whether you are genuinely seeking an F1 visa to pursue academic research in the United States or have another motivation. You must therefore be ready for the interview in advance. Along with being on time, attempting to be calm, and dressing appropriately, you should research frequently asked questions and attempt to prepare responses in advance of the interview.

Quick F1 USA Student Visa Interview tips

1. Since the interview is brief, provide clear answers to the questions without deliberating for too long.
2. Hand over all the documentation the consular requests to view. To avoid a disaster when you visit the embassy or consulate, organise your paperwork before to your visa interview.
3. Remain composed and abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours before your interview.
4. On the interview day, eat something before heading to the appointment location because you could have to wait longer than expected.

Here you have it! The ultimate A-Z guide about USA Student Visa. Applying for a visa can sure be brain-wracking, but we hope we have cleared a few of your doubts and questions about applying for a USA Student Visa so that you crack it on the first try!  Also, once you’re in the US to achieve your American Dream, we know just how help you find affordable student accommodations and also how to make the most of your time studying in the USA! So get going, and good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions