When to Apply For U.S Student Visa
Within 120 days of the start date for the institution mentioned on your I-20, you may apply for an F1 international student visa. You can start applying for a visa after April as most US institutions typically begin at the end of August. Make sure to apply as soon as possible to avoid the summertime rush.
Just keep in mind that even if your F1 visa is obtained early, you can only enter the country with one up to 30 days before the I-20-listed start date of your school.
The websites you will need during your application process are:
- The US State website for the non-immigrant DS-160 electronic visa application form.
- Sign up for the USTravelDocs account and make an appointment online.
- The US Immigration website for paying your SEVIS fee.
Required Documents For the Application Process
- A completed non-immigrant visa application form (the DS-160). After completing the form, you’ll get a confirmation page with a confirmation number.
- Your passport. We recommend that you apply with a passport that will be valid longer than the time you will be studying in the US. If it’s not, you’ll have to change the passport later, which adds a lot of unnecessary trouble.
- One (1) 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) photograph was taken within the last six months with a white background.
- Your I-20. This is proof of your student status in the US and should indicate the school you’ll be attending, the legal period of your stay in the US, and the tuition of your university. The original I-20 has to be signed. If you’re under 18, your parents must sign the form too.
- Your appointment reservation information.
- Your SEVIS fee receipt.
- Your academic plan (such as research study plans, transcripts, schedules, etc.)
- Financial support documents, which can be:
- Bank statements
- Parent’s employment letter
- Household Register
- Financial grants and scholarship emails from the university
- A recommendation letter from a professor
How To Apply For U.S Student Visa: Step by Step Guide
- Apply for admission to the institution you want to study. Application instructions are on the website of all the schools. It is only when you have been accepted that you can apply for the visa. Of course, all information you will need in the visa application is on the acceptance letter. The documents you will receive include; I-20 for an F-1 visa or DS-2019 for a J-1 visa. It is advised that you feel these forms carefully to avoid mistakes.
- Schedule an appointment for your visa interview next. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for your application. One of the simplest US visas to obtain is a student visa, which can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the date on your I-20 form. All you have to do is steer clear of errors because they’ll slow down the process. If you are having trouble filling out the form, do well to click Here for further guidance.
- Go to the US State website to fill out the DS-160. This should take you roughly 75 minutes to complete. It’s an extremely thorough application! A page with a barcode confirmation will appear after the application has been submitted.
- After you’ve finished the application, register for the US Travel Doc. You must make a physical appointment and pay the $160 visa fee. Please remember to save your receipt. To schedule an appointment, you require a receipt number. Your receipt won’t be replaced if you misplace it.
- Next, go to the US Immigration website to pay the SEVIS fee and save the receipt. SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. This is a system to record all the international students’ and scholars’ information.
- Prepare for your visa interview at this time. We have recommended applicants submit their visa applications well in advance of the start of the next academic year. You will have three (3) business days to complete the visa application before the business is resumed, giving you time to be ready for the visa interview. Get all the information you’ll need, look professional, and provide thorough answers to all inquiries.
What You Must Know For Visa Interview Preparation
- Tell the truth
- Give precise responses
- Bring a bank statement or other form of identification to the interview.
- Keep your cool; the interviewer is looking.
- Clearly state your study plans.
- Put on a suit or professional attire.
If this page has helped you, quickly get started with your arrangements to move to the U.S.
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