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The Complete Application Guide Towards Getting Your US Student Visa

Every year, the educational institutes of the United States of America witness a vast number of applications from students all across the globe who wish to seek admission in the hallowed corridors of its most prestigious universities and colleges. However, securing distinguished grades and polishing upon your attitude are not the sole parameters that can warrant your entry into these institutes.


Need for US Student Visa:

There’s one more vital requirement that you mandatorily need to have in your possession in order to seal your admission- the US Student Visa. Irrespective of whether you get visa without leaving the country, or by visiting an authorized organization within your country’s premises, you must obtain one for yourself should you wish to fulfil your dreams and aspirations of pursuing a full-time course in the States. Though the process of securing a visa is complicated, if one happens to follow all the requisite guidelines and directions, they’ll be able to obtain one without having to go through any unsolvable hassles.

The following sections shed light on the different types of student visas as well as the checklist that one needs to keep in mind while filling out a visa application in the first place. Read on to gain greater clarity about the entire procedure!

Types of US Student Visas:

All international applicants who do not have an US citizenship or permanent residence must first lay their hands upon a US student visa in order to legally attend school in the US. Listed below are the three categories into which US student visas get broadly classified into.

  • F-1 Visa: This visa is required for both graduate and undergraduate students who are applying for admission either at a school or a college and university in the US. This visa also extends for all those cases wherein the applicant is seeking admission to pursue a dedicated language program in the States.

  • M-1 Visa: This visa comes into play when an individual is seeking to pursue either vocational or non-academic educational programs in the US. Usually, these programs tend to be career oriented and short term in nature. For instance, you’d need to be in possession of a M-1 visa if you wish to attend a medical training or a culinary school program in the United States of America.

  • J-1 Visa: This visa primarily comes into play in the case of exchange visitors, including scholars, study abroad students as well as interns.

In the majority of cases, students wishing to pursue a full-time graduate or undergraduate course in the US are best served by applying for a F-1 visa. However, should you wish to study abroad for a couple of odd semesters at a US educational institution, then you are better off applying for the J-1 visa.

Application Checklist:

If you wish to get visa without leaving the country and without running into unnecessary trouble, you should keep the following list of documents and paperwork handy while filling out an US student visa application.

  • Passport: At the outset, every student is required to be in possession of a valid and legal passport that is issued by their home country in order to be eligible to applying for an US student visa application. Additionally, this passport is required to be valid until at least for a duration of six months post the end date of your course in the US. Hence, any passport which happens to expire during the course of your stay and program ends up being unfit for your cause.

  • Passport-Style Photograph: All visa applications require you to submit a recent passport-style photograph in order to successfully complete your application. It serves the purpose of being your visa photo, which you subsequently need to upload and submit along with your visa application.

  • Money: Applying for a US student visa entails various issuance and procedural fees which one needs to have at their disposal prior to filling out their application. Typically, this includes the I-901 SEVIS fee, the visa application fee, as well as the visa issuance fee (which only extends to applicants of certain nationalities).

Guide to Obtaining a Student Visa:

  • At the outset, you first need to apply and secure your admission into a US school before you even consider applying for an US student visa.

  • Once that is sealed, you are required to obtain a form I-20 or DS-2019 from your current educational institution. While I-20 denotes the certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant student status, DS-2019 is indicative of the certificate of eligibility for exchange visitor status.

  • The next step involves you paying the I-901 SEVIS fee as well as locating your nearest US Embassy or Consulate in order to apply for your international student visa.

  • Subsequently, fill out the Form DS-160 online by furnishing the requisite documents and schedule your visa interview once you’ve successfully submitted the form.

  • Deposit your visa application fee and attend your visa interview.

  • Pay your visa issuance fee should the need arise.

  • Once you’ve successfully completed all the aforementioned steps, you are eligible to receive your visa.

Hire the Right Attorney for Your Immigration Case:

To get a student visa can end up becoming a rather long and stretched out affair if it is not handled by an expert attorney right from the very beginning. The paperwork involved in the entire process is rather tedious and the associated technicalities a touch complex. If you haven’t hired a competent lawyer yet, consider getting in touch with us at Reyes & Schroeder Associates, P.C. We are dedicated to keeping families together and protecting your rights. Call us at (323) 553-1541 for a consultation today!