To enter the United States as a student, you must apply at a US Embassy or Consulate for a student visa. You are required to make an appointment in India to apply for a visa. You can apply for a visa only after you receive the requisite I-20 or IAP-66 form from the institution you have been accepted to. The information outlined below is designed to help you to understand the visa process.
There are several students who apply for students’ visa for USA to complete their higher education or any professional degree course. A student Visa is generally required if the course of study is for more than 18 hours a week. Students who want a Students Visa for USA have to apply at a US Embassy or Consulate. Applicants can request for information regarding students Visa at any of the US Visa Application Centre situated in eleven cities across India. There are several procedures that one has to go through in order to get a student Visa for the United States of America.
Types of Students Visa for USA
Candidates who wish to study in the United States have to apply for a student’s Visa at any of the US Visa Application Centre located in India. There are primarily two types of student visas for studying in USA. These are F-1 (Student Visa) and J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa). The F-1 visa is meant for students who have enrolled for a full-time academic or language program. These students can stay in the US for the complete duration of the academic program plus 60 days.
The other type of Student Visa is J-1 visa, which is issued for candidates requiring practical training that is unavailable in their country of residence in order to complete their academic program. J-1 students are required to compulsorily return to their home country for at least two years subsequent to the end of their studies in the United States.
Documents required for the Visa:-
There several important documents that needs to be furnished when applying for a Students Visa for USA. Here is a list of the documents required for getting a student’s Visa:
A Valid Passport: – A student needs to have a valid passport. It has to be valid for at least 6 months after the day the student appears for visa interview.
A Demand Draft: – A demand draft (D/D) has to be made on the name of embassy.
The Visa Fee: – If you get the visa, then you have to pay the visa fee either in cash through D/D.
The Visa Form: - After the visa fee you have to obtain the visa form and it’s should be a Non-Immigrant Visa Application Form. The visa form requires a 37mm * 37mm color photo with a white/light background and the place of residence that is where you will stay after reaching there is also asked in this form.
The I-20 Form, Letter of Admission and Aid letter: – A student has to fill the I-20 form and complete the student and school copy and need to sign them. Student has to carry along any correspondence with the University that he feels is significant.
Exam scores: - Student has to take original copies of GRE and TOEFL scores and need to produce when asked.
Financial Documentation: – Student needs to produce all the original documents that were used to evaluate the funds. Some of the documents used for evaluation are-
the Tax returns of parents, salary certificate, bank passbooks, bank FD receipts, company FD receipts, share certificates, property documents, gold evaluation and any other document that student may has used.
Sponsor’s Letter: – Student needs to obtain a letter from his sponsor (generally parents) stating that he/she/they will provide for the complete expenses for the entire course of study.
Documents required for F-1 visa applicant
If student’s interview is at the U.S. consulate in Mumbai, he will need to submit some of the documents in advance to VFS, as listed here. The rest of the documents should be carried to the interview.
Mandatory Documents –
- One Photograph
- Confirmation page of online submitted Form DS-160 with CEAC bar code
- Visa fees
- Original Interview appointment letter and one copy
- Both pages of the bar coded, original SEVIS generated Form I-20 obtained from U.S. college, school or university and signed by student and a school official and one copy of Form I-20
- Original proof of payment of SEVIS Fee Receipt I-901 and one copy, if applicable
Supporting Documents –
- Photocopies of front page, last page and remark pages of current passport.
- Proof of liquid assets sufficient to pay for the entire first year of education and living expenses as well as proof of readily available funds to cover the remaining year(s) of studies.
- Proof of ability to afford school in the United States.
- Notarized Form I-134 (Affidavit of support), if student is financially supported by an individual in the United States.
- In case a student has taken a loan, the official documents which verify the loan approval.
- Original degree certificates along with mark sheets.
- Original Bachelor degree transcripts or high school diploma along with mark sheets from previous institutions attended.
- Relevant test scores, e.g., TOEFL and SAT, GRE, GMAT or LSAT.
Working during study:
Work permit rules: - During first 9 months of study international students are allowed to work on campus part time. International students can work only up to 15 hours/week while school is in session. When classes are not in session (vacation), they may work full time, or 30 hours per week.
After 9 months they need to take permission from university to work off campus.
Spouse cannot work fulltime. They have to obtain work permit from USA to work full time.
After completion of studies students are allowed to stay in USA on OPT (Optional Practical Training) generally for one year whereas students of Science and Engineering get OPT of 27 (twenty-seven) months, during that duration students need to convert their student visa to a work permit visa (H1B) which can later on be converted to Green card.