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Student Visa USA: All You Need to Know in 2024!

Studying in America can be an exciting experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One such challenge is getting your US student visa approved by the US embassy or consulate

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The United States is the most popular destination for international students. It has a long history of welcoming foreign students and offers some of the best universities in the world. The US Student Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to pursue academic studies, language training programs or other types of vocational or technical training. 

The challanges that comes with student visa is generally the interview process. In this post, we will tell everything that you need to know about for applying a study visa and the tips for the interview.

What is a US Student Visa?

A (F or M) Student Visa is required for foreign nationals to study in the United States. Foreign nationals will not be able to study in the US if they have entered through the visitor (B) visa or through the VWP (Visa Waiver Program). You can however undertake recreational studies on a tourist visa.

Types of Student Visas in the United States

There are 3 different types of US Student visas:

The F1 visa is issued to international students for academic studies. It is issued to students attending a regular academic or an English language program.

It is the most common of all the USA student visas.

  • F1 student visa holders are required to maintain their full-time student status and are allowed to work part-time to a maximum of 20-hours per week.
  • International students holding an F1 visa are required to complete their course before the expiration of their I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

A J1 Visa is issued to international students who require to obtain practical training that is unavailable in their home country for completion of their academic program.

  • This student visa allows part-time employment limited to 20-hours per week. However, international students need to obtain permission from the exchange visitor program sponsor for employment.

An M1 visa is issued to international students attending a vocational or a non-academic school in the United States.

M1 student visa holders cannot work during the course of their studies.

  • Also, students applying for an M1 visa need to provide proof of funds which can cover their cost of studies and living expenses during the course of their stay.

Annual Intakes 

There are three intakes available in US universities.

These are:

This is a popular intake among Indian students. It starts in the month of September.

This intake starts in January. This intake is ideal if you have missed the September intake.

This intake usually starts around May. However, it is available only for limited programs and in few colleges.

Top 10 Universities in the US (SEVP Approved)

Here is a list of the best universities in the United States


Name of the University


Stanford University


Princeton University


University of California, Berkeley


Carnegie Mellon University


New York University


Harvard University


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Columbia University


University of California, Los Angeles


University of Michigan

Eligibility to Apply to US Universities for Studies

Here are the eligibility criteria you need to meet to apply to US universities:

  • Have a completed application form
  • Proof of Secondary School completion (12 years)
  • Certificate of English language proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Evidence of financial support (with the I-20 form)

Documents Required for US Students Visas

You would generally need to provide the following documents along with your application for a student visa:

  • Requisite application form duly filled and signed
  • I-20 showing that you are enrolled in a US universities
  • Valid passport for at least 6 months beyond the period of stay
  • Recent passport size photographs
  • Receipt of payment of visa processing fees
  • Confirmation page of DS-160
  • Documents to show you are a bonafide student
  • Payment of application fee for SEVIS
  • Documents to show sponsorship
  • Documents to show availability of funds

How to Apply for a US Student Visa?

After determining which type of US student visa you need to apply, you can begin with your US Student Visa application.

Irrespective of which category of student visa you apply for, you will need to undergo the following steps:

Cost of Applying for US Student Visas

Payment of the SEVIS fee: You need to pay the SEVIS-fee at least 3 days before submitting your US student visa application. You need to pay $ 200 if you are applying for an F1 or an M1 visa and $ 180 for a J1 visa.

  • While making the SEVIS-fee, you need to ensure that your all details need to be exactly as they appear on your I-20 or DS-2020 form.
  • This payment can be made using debit or credit card, Western Union Quick Pay, international money order or a check. Ensure you print your payment confirmation as it can be required during the later stages of your US student visa application.

Once you have completed and submitted your online application DS-160 form, you need to make an application fee of $ 160.

You can make this payment online, in person at an approved bank or by phone. Please note that this application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

It is advised to print and record this payment receipt as it might be required during the interview stage of your US student visa application.

Processing Time for Your Student Visa

Your student visa application is generally approved or denied during your visa interview. If your student visa is approved, you will get your passport along with your US student visa within 7 to 10 working days. However, most interviewers will not inform you about the approval or rejection of your application, and you will need to wait till you receive your passport..

Note: Do not forget to carry your passport, your I-20 form and all the other documents you carried with you during your US student visa interview. You might need these documents at immigration as well.

Why Choose Kansas?

Kansas Overseas Careers is the visa consultant in India. Served 20K+ customers and over 3K+ active cases.

  • Profile Evaluation: Based on your unique profile history, we make matches with the visa eligibility requirements, and advise you with the visas you must apply for.
  • Resume Writing: We guide you to create a resume that stands out as desired by the concerned immigration authority.
  • Procuring documents: Help you arrange documents needed before applying for a visa.
  • Professional guidance: Be it providing you with interview training, French/English courses or working samples for resumes, cover letters or assisting with application forms, medical or police clearance certificates - we will always be there for you.
  • Dedicated Case-Officer: We offer personal assistance and a single point-of-contact between the company and you, throughout the process
  • Post-Landing Services: We help you settle down in the country after you’ve received your visa. These services are specifically customized as per your requirements.

Don’t wait. Begin your visa application today!

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