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USA Study Visa 2023 - Process, Requirements, Fees, Eligibility & More

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The USA  has announced its plan to boost the number of visas it issues to international nationals in 2023. Over a million visas are expected to be issued, which is a significant increase from previous years.


The USA Government offers students the chance to study in the country, but obtaining a student visa is a mandatory requirement. The visa type required depends on the student's age and the nature of their desired course of study. 

Student visas for the USA are easy to obtain, but it requires strict compliance with all the student visa requirements for the United States. Applicants for an F-1 student visa for the USA must first be accepted into a degree program at a recognized US university or college. Furthermore, allowing sufficient time to complete and submit all the necessary paperwork is crucial. Here is a summary of the various study visas available and their corresponding application prerequisites.

Types of Visas in the USA 


There are 3 main types of students Visas:

  • F1 Student Visa: F1 Student visa is to attend an authorized college or university in the United States or to study English at an English language institute. The entry visa that international students usually need to study in the US is known as the F1 visa. This visa allows students to work part-time or on-campus while they are studying and also offers Optional Practical Training (OPT) for a year after completing their academic program. 

     
  • J1 Student Visa: The J1 visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs approved by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs under the Department of State. The Non-Academic and Vocational Studies visa is granted to students who wish to receive practical training not available in their home country. This visa provides similar employment benefits to the F1 Visa.

     
  • M1 Student visaM1 visa is for individuals who wish to pursue non-academic or vocational study or training in the United States. During the study program, the applicant is not allowed to work. In the verification process, the students will be asked to ensure that they have adequate funds for tuition fee and living expenses during their stay.

Cost of Student Visa in the USA 

From May 30, 2023, the US Department of State will be raising the fees for student visas to $185 (15,160 INR), which is an increase from the previous cost of $160. This adjustment in fees is also applicable to visitor visas and non-petition-based NIVs.

International students wanting to study full-time in the US can apply for an F1 visa, which is basically a part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). It is preferable to submit F1 visa application three months prior to the course begins. However, those part of a government US-sponsored program with codes starting with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 are exempted from paying the SEVIS fee.

Visa type Description MRV Application Fee Fee amount in rupees SEVIS Fee
FStudents (academic)$185Rs. 15,160.00$350
JExchange visitors $160Rs. 11520.00$220 
MStudents (Vocational)$160Rs. 11520.00$350

Required Documents for US Student Visa Application 

  1. The candidates must have a valid passport with a validity of six months beyond their intended stay in the US.
  2. Letter of acceptance from SEVP-accredited institution along with Form I-20.
  3. Payment receipt of SEVIS application fee you have paid.
  4. Confirmation page of non-immigration visa application and Form DS-160.
  5. Candidates' photographs as per the required format.
  6. Academic documentation like certificates, diplomas, or degrees.
  7. Proof of sufficient funds ,say bank statements, financial undertaking by the sponsor, scholarship offer letter, etc.
  8. Evidence you will leave the country after the course, say return ticket.

Proof of Financial Documents 

  • Tax returns for the past 3 years 
  • Last 3-year bank statements/passbook
  • Salary slips/letters of employment
  • Statement from certified CA
  • Scholarship letter (If you received it)
  • The loan approval letter.


English Language Test Score Requirements for US student visa 


To study in the USA, students must demonstrate their proficiency in English. This can be done by taking an English language test demonstrating your communication and correspondence skills. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognized test that measures English language proficiency for study, work, and migration purposes. IELTS test scores are accepted by over 11,000 organizations in 140 countries worldwide, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations, and governments. Students must obtain a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 to study in the USA. You can learn more about IELTS from our blog Minimum IELTS Scores Required for USA Universities.

Student Dependent Visa USA 

An applicant will require an F2 or M2 visa if they intend to bring their spouse and minor children to the US. Spouses with F2 visas can take vocational or leisure classes but not full course of study. Children on F2 visas can attend elementary, middle, or high school as full-time students. However, they cannot enroll in a full-time college or university program.


 

US Student Visa Application Process? 


There are multiple stages in the application procedure for a student visa to the US. The basic steps to apply for the visa are as follows:

  • Complete the nonimmigrant visa application online by completing form DS-160.
  • Upload your photo as per the required format.
  • Print out the application form's confirmation page for upcoming interviews and keep it safe. This will be an essential piece of documentation for the interview procedure.
  • Visit the nearest US Embassy or Consulate and schedule an interview appointment. While students can apply from a US Embassy or Consulate outside their country, it may be challenging to qualify for the visa in such cases.
  • Pay a visa application fee of 160 USD (11,900 INR) which is non-refundable.
  • To maintain an uninterrupted F1, M1, or J1 status, paying the SEVIS fee just once is necessary.
  • Collect all the essential documents for the visa interview.
  • To study in the USA, you must attend the visa interview and plan your visit accordingly upon receiving confirmation of visa approval.

US Visa Interview

The consular office conducts the visa interview to assess the applicant's eligibility for a US student visa and determine the appropriate visa category. The applicant must be ready to provide information on their English language proficiency, academic background, home country, financial resources, and the US programs they have been admitted to. Additionally, they may be asked about their post-study plans. If you want to know more about the types of visa interview questions, you can read out blog  F1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers for Students 2023.

Documents Required for US Student Visa


Before attending the visa interview, US student visa applicants must collect the documents listed as requirements to complete the process successfully.

  • Valid Passport
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Your photograph in the required format
  • I-20 Form 
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Vocational Students to Have Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status. 

Additional Documentation 


Additional documents include:

  1. Transcripts
  2. Standardized test scores
  3. Your intent to depart the US after course completion
  4. Evidence for sufficient funds

What is US Student Visa Eligibility?


To be qualified for a US student visa, also known as an F-1 visa, you must first apply and be accepted into a course of study at a SEVP-approved school in the United States. Additionally, you must be enrolled as a full-time student, be proficient in English or taking English courses, have sufficient funding, and show intent show intention to return to home country after finishing studies. Finally, you must register with SEVIS and pay the I-901 fee, and your institution will issue a Form I-20. You will then need to complete Form DS-160 and schedule a meeting at a US embassy/consulate to obtain the F-1 visa. It's worth noting that restrictions apply to work and dependents.
 

US Student Visa Processing Time 

Depending on the type of visa, different amounts of time are needed to process applications for US visas. The visa processing of the application usually takes 3 to 5 weeks. Once the application is approved, the consulate will issue the visa, which may take up to two additional workdays for delivery. It's necessary to remember that the processing time does not account for the time needed to deliver the passport to the applicant, which may involve using local mail or a courier service.

Where to Apply for a Student Visa in the USA? 

You need to visit to attend the Biometrics interview personally:

  1. Delhi: S - 1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower
    Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110019
  2. Chennai: No 3, Cenotaph Road,
    Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600018
  3. Mumbai: Trade Center, Ground Floor, G Block,
    Bandra Kurla Complex,
    Bandra East, Mumbai - 400051 
  4. Hyderabad: 1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P.Road,
    BegThe U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata (Calcutta)
    5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071 umpet, Secunderabad - 500003
  5. Kolkata: Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor)
    Kolkata – 700017

US Embassy and Consulates Addresses 


Check out address of the US Embassy and Consulates in India:

  1. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi
    Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021
  2. The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai (Madras)
    220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
  3. The U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay)
    C-49, Block- G, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
  4. The U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad
    Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003

How Much is Bank Balance Needed for US Student Visa?

When applying for a student visa, it is required that you provide evidence of adequate funds to support your education, accommodation, travel, and other needs. The minimum bank balance required for US student visa is $10,000. It is recommended to have at least 1.5 times the amount mentioned in your I-20 form or a minimum of $10,000 in your bank account. If your education is being sponsored by your employer, family, parents, scholarship, grants, or education loan, you must provide the relevant documents to support your claim. If a relative sponsors you, mention the relation in your application form.

Working in the USA while on a student visa

During the initial year of study, students are prohibited from accepting off-campus employment. Moreover, students can opt for part-time jobs, and their weekly work hours should not exceed 20 hours. However, when holidays and breaks arrive, students can work for up to 40 hours per week. In such cases, students can work for commercial firms that offer services to the college, including bookstores or cafeterias. Get insight on How to get part-time jobs while studying abroad if you plan to study in the USA.

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What makes students want to study in the United States?

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The United States is home to the world's largest number of international students. Many students aspire to study in the United States for a variety of reasons, including quality education, a distinctive curriculum, a multicultural environment, and numerous chances.

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