The Student Visa Application Process

By Published On: June 1st, 2018

Written by Eric Chambers from our Las Vegas, NV location. Call us today if you need any guidance with this process.

Fax: 702-586-3232
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Las Vegas, NV 89121

The Student Visa Application Process

If you wish to enter the United States of America for education purposes, you will have to obtain a visa first. There are 2 different visa categories that you can look at for a student visa depending on the program you are going to enter. It is important that you know which category and what the application process will entail.

The Categories

There are 2 visa categories that you need to be aware of. The first is the F visa category which applied to students entering university or college and any other type of primary and secondary education. This visa category is also used for students who are entering any other academic institution such as a language training program.

The second category is the M visa category. This category will only apply to students who are going to be studying at vocational or other non-academic institutes. The only exception to this will be a language program which will fall into the F visa category.

Acceptance At A SEVP Approved School

The first step in the visa application process will be to apply to a SEVP approved school. Once the school has accepted your enrollment, you will be registered with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. At this point, you will have to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee.

After paying this fee, the school will provide you with a Form I-20. You need to have this form for the next steps of the application process. After receiving the form, you will have to contact the US consulate or embassy for a student visa of the correct category. You will have to complete an interview at the consulate or embassy during the application process.

Completing The Visa Application

When you contact the consulate or embassy, you will need to complete an online visa application. The Form DS-160 will need to be completed and this is done completely online. You will also have to print the application form confirmation page and take this with you for your interview.

During this online process, you will have to upload a photo of yourself. The photo will need to be in the correct format. You will be able to find out more about the photo guidelines on the embassy or consulate website.

Schedule An Interview

An interview is generally required unless the applicant is under the age of 13 or over the age of 80. There are few exceptions made for applicants who are between the ages of 14 and 79. The exceptions will generally be on the case of people who are renewing their student visas.

The visa interview will take place at a US consulate or embassy in the country you apply from. You may be able to schedule your interview at a location outside of the country you live, but this is not recommended. When this is done, it will generally be harder to qualify for the visa.

The wait time for your interview will vary depending on the location, the visa category and the season. This is why you need to look at applying for your student visa as early as possible. There are some websites that you can use to help you determine your potential wait time.

Going To The Interview

When the date for your interview arrives, you need to ensure that you are properly prepared and take all the necessary documents with you. You will need to have the means of paying the application fee which is generally $160. The payment methods accepted will be listed on the website of the location you will be visiting.

The documentation that you need to have with you includes a valid passport which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay in the United States. You will also need to have your Form DS-160 confirmation page. The application fee receipt will also be needed for the interview.

If your photo upload failed during your online application, you will need to take one with you. You must also take your Form I-20 which was provided to you by the school you have been enrolled in. There are additional documents which might be requested such as your academic transcripts and evidence that you will depart the United States after your education has been completed.


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