How To Get a US F1 Student Visa?
The F1 Student Visa enables any international student to come to the US to pursue their higher studies under any of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) affiliated universities. With the F1 Student Visa, you will be able to travel anywhere in the US and even abroad without losing your visa status. The US F1 Student Visa being one of the most sought after educational visas, enjoys a very high demand among international students. So how do you get one?
What is the Eligibility for F1 Student Visa?
To be eligible to apply for F1 Student Visa you need to satisfy the following criteria:
1. Get admission to a SEVP accepted institution
First and foremost, you need to get admission to a SEVP accepted university or school in the USA to be eligible for F1 Student Visa. Before you start applying to random universities or schools, it is best to check whether they fall under the listed institutions under SEVP. Apply to only those institutions that are enlisted under SEVP so as to be assured of a US F1 Student Visa. Kindly note that you should get admission as a full-time student in any of the SEVP institutions in the USA.
2. Connection to your home country.
You need to prove that you have and intend to maintain strong ties with your home country. As proof, you will be required to submit certain supporting documents such as bank statements, bank accounts, family information and any job offers or job correspondence, etc. If you fail to prove the same, the chances of obtaining an F1 Student Visa will be significantly lower.
3. Proof of financial sufficiency.
To be eligible for F1 Student Visa, you should be able to prove that you have sufficient funds in your bank account to cover your expenses related to studies as well as cost of living in the US. A student coming from a financially backward background can also be eligible for F1 Student Visa if they seek to cover their expenses by means of scholarships or grants of any kind.
4. Be proficient in English.
This is one of the most basic requirements of being eligible for F1 Student Visa. You should be able to prove that you can speak, write and understand English at a level that helps you in an academic program. For this, you may be required to pass a standardized English proficiency test like IELTS or TOEFL.
How to Obtain a US F1 Student Visa?
The process to obtain an F1 Student Visa is fairly simple yet can be laborious. The application process for availing F1 Student Visa is as follows:
1. Apply to a SEVP enlisted institution
The US education system functions in a way that there is no centralised application process for US universities; rather you will be required to apply to each university separately. As an international student, you should be careful enough to apply to only those institutions that are accredited by the SEVP. Only SEVP-accredited universities can enroll students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which facilitates your application for an F1 Student Visa.
2. Pay the SEVIS fee
The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three days before application for US F1 Student Visa. The payment can be facilitated either through online mode with the help of debit or credit card, check, international money order and Western Union Quick Pay or it can be processed through paper form. The SEVIS fee for F1 Student Visa amounts to approximately $200. Keep the receipt and proof of payment with you at all times for further processing of your application.
3. Submit US Student Visa Application
Once you have paid the SEVIS fee, you can apply for the US F1 Student Visa. Connect with the US Embassy or Consulate in your country to make the student visa application. The online application for F1 Student Visa is form DS-160. Fill the application form and attach the necessary documents to complete the application process.
4. Pay Application Fee
Once you have submitted your application, pay the requisite F1 Student Visa application fee, which is known as the Machine Readable Visa Fee or MRV Fee. The MRV fee can be paid either in person at an approved bank, by phone or online. Save the MRV fee receipt as you would be required to produce it for your visa interview.
5. Schedule and Attend your F1 Visa Interview
Lastly, schedule your F1 Student Visa interview with a consular officer from your nearest US Embassy or Consulate in your country. You would be required to submit the following documents for your visa interview:
Passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US.
Signed SEVIS Form
SEVIS fee receipt
DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode and application ID number
MRV fee payment confirmation receipt
Printed copy of visa interview appointment letter
1-2 photographs in the format explained in the photograph requirements printed on photo quality paper.
These are the steps you need to follow and the things you need to keep in mind while applying for the US F1 Student Visa. If you have any further queries regarding F1 Student Visa, talk to our experts here.