Applying for Your US Student Visa: Essential FAQs Answered!

There are two categories of student visas: F1 and M1. The M1 visa is given for non-academic or vocational education for a duration of less than a year, and it includes fields such as gemology, aviation etc. F1 visa is given for a full-time program leading to a degree such as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, which lasts at least one year. In this blog, we will discuss about the F1 visa. Below are a few important and frequently asked questions.

a) Where can you apply for an F1 visa?

Before COVID-19, applicants could only apply for appointments at the consulate closer to their residence. For example, applicants residing in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh could only apply to the US Consulate – Mumbai.

But now, there is no such restriction. You are allowed to apply to any Consulate where the appointment dates are available. Sometimes, you may get an appointment for OFC at one consulate and a visa interview at another.

The current visa application fee is $185, payable in INR 15540/-.

b) When will appointments for F1 visas begin for Fall 2024 applicants?

Applicants can apply for an F1 visa within 365 days of the course’s start date mentioned on the I-20. In other words, to ensure you get an early and timely date, you may apply for a visa as soon as you receive an I-20 from any university. Every year, the US consulate tries to accommodate all the students intending to apply for an F1 visa. However, since the number of students applying for visas is quite large, it becomes difficult to get an interview date if they apply in July or August. Therefore, it is advisable that students apply for the interview date as soon as they receive the I-20 from any university.  

Later, if you receive an I-20 from the desired university, you can fill out a new DS-160 mentioning the name of the new university. You must bring the original DS-160 confirmation page you have used to schedule your appointment AND the corrected DS-160 confirmation page to the consulate or document drop-off location on the day of your appointment. If you are unable to bring your original DS-160 confirmation page and your corrected DS-160 confirmation page, you must cancel and reschedule your appointment by entering your corrected DS-160 application number.

Still figuring out which universities to apply to and their deadlines? Here’s a Complete Guide to Fall 2024 MS Program Application Deadlines

c) What is an I-20 form and how do I obtain it?

The Form I-20 is an official US Government form issued by a certified school, which a prospective non-immigrant student must have to get an F-1 or M-1 visa. Form I-20 acts as proof of acceptance and contains the information necessary to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, apply for a visa and be admitted into the United States. Form I-20 has the student’s SEVIS identification number, which starts with the letter N followed by 10 digits, on the top left-hand side.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information Service (SEVIS) has been introduced by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IMS) for students. Before appearing for an F1 visa interview at the consulate, you need to pay SEVIS charges of US $350.

d) If my visa was rejected the first time, can I reapply for it?

Students are allowed to reapply as many as they want.

e) What is the Dropbox facility (Interview Waiver)?

With effect from 1st January 2024, if you have any other valid US visa except a B1/B2 Visa, then you are eligible for a visa through Dropbox, which is nothing but a visa interview waiver that allows eligible individuals to obtain a visa without a face-to-face interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Instead, these applicants can submit the required documentation at a designated Dropbox location.

To become eligible for the Dropbox facility,

  • The visa has to be issued after 1st January 2008
  • The visa should be issued after your 14th birthday.

If your visa has already expired, you can avail of the Dropbox facility, provided your visa expired not more than 4 years ago.

f) How long will it take to receive my passport if I apply for the F1 visa through Dropbox?

You are likely to receive your passport within 7 working days.

g) How to book an F1 Visa appointment?

  • Fill up the D-160 form
  • Create a profile on www.ustraveldocs.com
  • Choose the schedule appointment option and select visa type (Non-immigrant)
  • Follow all the instructions given on the website

Ready to take the next step towards your US academic journey? Contact us today to explore our exclusive USA visa counseling services. Our Services consist of the following:

  1. webinar providing detailed information about the Visa process and guidelines
  2. help with the preparation of financial documents
  3. one-on-one appointment with Mr. Dilip Oak for a mock visa interview.

You are also eligible to attend the pre-departure orientation program organized in June.

To enroll, call us at 020-67444222 or email us at support@dilipoakacademy.com.

Complete Guide to Fall 2024 MS Program Application Deadlines

Brunel University campus – the quad

Attention, Fall 2024 MS program applicants! Securing your spot in the upcoming academic year is critical, and timing is everything. In our comprehensive blog, we’re unveiling the essential details of university application deadlines that you’ve been eagerly awaiting.

As the deadline window approaches, students are gearing up to submit their applications before universities’ specified dates. It’s crucial to adhere to these deadlines, ensuring your applications receive the attention they deserve.

Our blog outlines a range of popular universities along with their application deadlines, spanning from December 2023 through July 2024. Additionally, we’ve included a section highlighting universities with rolling admission deadlines, offering students flexibility in their application submissions.

While we’ve meticulously curated this list, it’s important to note that universities may adjust their deadlines throughout the academic year. We strongly advise cross-referencing the dates directly on the official university websites to stay updated with any changes.

Stay ahead of the game by accessing our detailed guide, empowering you to plan your application submission effectively and secure your place in the Fall 2024 MS program.

UniversityDeadline
Deadlines in December
Arizona State University1-Dec
University of Colorado, Boulder1-Dec
Massachusetts Institute of Technology15-Dec
Temple University15-Dec
University of California, Irvine15-Dec
University of California, San Diego15-Dec
University of California, Santa Barbara15-Dec
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign15-Dec
Deadlines in January
Dartmouth College1-Jan
Duke University1-Jan
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute2-Jan
Kansas State University8-Jan
Washington State University, Pullman10-Jan
Carnegie Mellon University15-Jan
George Washington University15-Jan
Northeastern University, Boston15-Jan
Texas Tech University15-Jan
University of Central Florida15-Jan
University of Cincinnati15-Jan
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor15-Jan
University of Pittsburgh15-Jan
University of Southern California15-Jan
University of Virginia, Charlottesville15-Jan
Indiana University31-Jan
Deadlines in February
Ohio University1-Feb
Oklahoma State University1-Feb
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa1-Feb
University of Florida, Gainesville1-Feb
University of Kentucky1-Feb
Western Illinois University1-Feb
Columbia University15-Feb
New York University, Tandon School15-Feb
South Dakota School of Mines & Tech15-Feb
University of Illinois Chicago15-Feb
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth15-Feb
University of Rochester15-Feb
University of San Francisco15-Feb
University of South Florida15-Feb
Deadlines in March
California State University, Sacramento1-Mar
California State University, Chico1-Mar
Central Michigan University1-Mar
City University of New York1-Mar
Colorado School of Mines1-Mar
New Mexico State University1-Mar
Portland State University1-Mar
San Francisco State University1-Mar
State University of New York, Albany1-Mar
Texas Technological University1-Mar
University of Nebraska Lincoln1-Mar
University of Oklahoma, Tulsa1-Mar
University of Texas, El Paso1-Mar
Boston University15-Mar
University of Texas Arlington15-Mar
Deadlines in April
Arkansas State University1-Apr
California State University, Fullerton1-Apr
California State University, Los Angeles1-Apr
Oregon State University1-Apr
San Diego State University1-Apr
San Jose State University1-Apr
University of North Texas1-Apr
University of Oklahoma1-Apr
University of Texas, San Antonio1-Apr
University of Utah1-Apr
University of Virginia1-Apr
Virginia Tech1-Apr
West Virginia University1-Apr
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo1-Apr
Wichita State University1-Apr
California State University, Long Beach15-Apr
Clemson University15-Apr
Georgia State Univ15-Apr
Louisiana State University15-Apr
Old Dominion University15-Apr
South Dakota State University15-Apr
Stevens Institute of Technology15-Apr
University of Georgia15-Apr
Deadlines in May
Clarkson University1-May
Eastern Michigan University1-May
Illinois State University1-May
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis1-May
New Jersey Institute of Technology1-May
North Carolina State University1-May
Northern Illinois University1-May
Tennessee Technological University1-May
University of Dayton1-May
University of Louisville1-May
University of Memphis1-May
University of Michigan, Dearborn1-May
University of Nevada, Las Vegas1-May
University of New Haven1-May
University of New Mexico1-May
University of North Dakota1-May
University of Texas Dallas1-May
Wayne State University1-May
Cleveland State University15-May
Southern Methodist University15-May
University of Colorado, Denver15-May
University of Louisiana, Lafayette15-May
University of Tennessee, Knoxville15-May
Lawrence Technological University26-May
California State University, Northridge31-May
Deadlines in June
California State University, East Bay1-Jun
Middle Tenn State University1-Jun
North Dakota State University1-Jun
Santa Clara University1-Jun
Syracuse University1-Jun
Texas A & M University, Kingsville1-Jun
Texas State University1-Jun
University of Alabama, Huntsville1-Jun
University of Arizona1-Jun
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville1-Jun
University of Arkansas, Little Rock1-Jun
University of California, Riverside1-Jun
University of Houston, Clear Lake1-Jun
University of Illinois, Springfield1-Jun
University of Massachusetts, Boston1-Jun
Florida Institute of Technology8-Jun
Drexel University13-Jun
Auburn University15-Jun
California State University, Northridge15-Jun
Illinois Institute of Technology15-Jun
Kent State University15-Jun
Missouri University of Science & Technology15-Jun
Villanova University30-Jun
Deadlines in July
Florida International University1-Jul
Florida State University1-Jul
George Mason University1-Jul
Lamar University1-Jul
New York Institute of Technology1-Jul
State University of New York, Albany1-Jul
University of South Alabama1-Jul
Monmouth University15-Jul
Oakland University15-Jul
University of Connecticut15-Jul
Rolling Deadlines
Kettering UniversityRolling
Marquette UniversityRolling
Michigan Technological UniversityRolling
Oklahoma City UniversityRolling
Rochester Institute of TechnologyRolling
State University of New York, BinghamtonRolling
University of AkronRolling
University of Alabama, BirminghamRolling
University of Massachusetts, LowellRolling
University of North Carolina, CharlotteRolling
University of TulsaRolling
Worchester Polytechnic UniversityRolling
Wright State UniversityRolling

Ideally, we recommend that student complete the process by 31 January 2024, even if the universities accept applications beyond that date.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of services. Our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon.

We also offer online and classroom coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, and GRE Self Prep, a self-paced learning module, for those who prefer to learn at their own pace.

To enroll in our comprehensive overseas education consultancy services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

Applying for MS in Computer Science Without GRE: Considerations and Advantages

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE test centers across the globe faced closures, leading to a significant disruption in test-taking opportunities for aspiring students seeking to study in the US. To counter this, ETS introduced the option to take the GRE from home, but many students didn’t opt for this alternative. Consequently, numerous American universities granted GRE waivers for admissions during Fall 2020 and Fall 2021. However, the landscape has since shifted, with an increasing number of universities now requiring GRE scores for applications, especially in the highly sought-after Computer Science department. As we approach Fall 2024, the trend toward recommending the GRE is expected to continue, necessitating thoughtful consideration from prospective applicants regarding their application strategy.

The Shift in GRE Requirements:

Based on our data for Fall 2023, it’s evident that nearly 55% of universities offering MS programs in Computer Science in the US mandated the submission of GRE scores. This percentage is projected to rise even further in the upcoming application cycles. Notably reputable universities, especially those situated in states like California and Texas, have leaned towards making GRE scores an important component of their application evaluation process. Given this scenario, it is strongly advisable to take the GRE as it significantly broadens your application prospects.

Insights from Recent Surveys:

A survey conducted among 306 students at our academy between May 2023 and July 2023 provided valuable insights into score distribution:

ScoreNumber of Students
330 and above9
320 – 32941
310 – 31987
300 – 30974
Below 30095

Note: Many universities require a GRE score of 300+, and most students who got a score below 300 in their first attempt are retaking the GRE and are confident that they will be able to achieve scores above this threshold in their second attempt. Of course, a few universities do accept GRE score of 292+ if the academic records are strong.

Ease of GRE Preparation and Upcoming Changes:

Contrary to misconceptions, the GRE is not an insurmountable challenge. With roughly three months of focused preparation, achieving your target score is attainable. The forthcoming new GRE format, scheduled to launch on September 22, 2023, aims to streamline the test. The duration will be reduced to two hours from the previous four hours. Changes include reduced number of questions in each section and the removal of one essay section, resulting in a more efficient and less tiring test experience. These modifications make a strong case for considering the GRE. Read what ETS, the people who create the GRE, have to say about the new test format.

Advantages of Submitting a GRE Score:

Enhancing GPA: A robust GRE quant score can offset a lower undergraduate GPA, bolstering your prospects of admission to esteemed universities.

Scholarships and Financial Aid: Many institutions tie GRE scores to scholarship eligibility. A quant score exceeding 165 and a Verbal score surpassing 160 may qualify you for tuition waivers or financial assistance.

Deciding whether to take the GRE:

Explicit Requirement: If a university explicitly states that GRE scores are mandatory, taking the GRE is imperative to achieve your dream of pursuing an MS program in the US.

Recommended: Universities suggesting GRE submission on their websites imply its importance in the application process.

Avoiding Last-Minute Regrets:

Over the past two years, many students have initially opted against taking the GRE, only to find that their desired universities require it. This realization often occurs during the shortlisting process, leaving inadequate time for preparation. To circumvent such scenarios, careful planning and early GRE preparation are highly advisable. Click to know more about the upcoming GRE batches.

Navigating the choice of applying for an MS in Computer Science without a GRE score warrants thoughtful consideration. Evolving trends underscore a growing preference for GRE scores among universities. As demand for Computer Science education remains robust, planning ahead, recognizing the GRE’s significance, and seizing the opportunities it presents are prudent steps.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. To enroll in our comprehensive services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.