The US government issues different types of non-immigrant visas. For example, tourists and business-men are issued B-1/ B-2 visas and those authorized to work in the US are given an H-1B visa. Students going for vocational courses for shorter duration such as, in flying schools, English language courses etc. get an M-1 visa.
However, most students going to an accredited university for a full-time academic program, require an F-1 visa stamp.
Students are allowed to apply for the F-1 visa 120 days before the date of reporting mentioned on their I-20 form. The I-20 form is an official document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The following important details are mentioned in the document:
- the name and passport number of the student
- the name of the university which the student is joining
- the program to which the student has been admitted
- the date of commencement of the program
- the date by which the program has to be completed
- the total cost of education for one year.
The fall 2022 semester will begin sometime in the third week of August. So, if you plan to join an American university this fall, you can start applying for your visa from the third week of April.
How to Apply for an F1 Visa?
- Get your I-20 from the SEVP institution
- Apply online by filling the DS-160 form
- Pay the general visa application fee ($160)
- Pay the SEVIS fee ($350)
- Schedule your OFC appointment and F1 visa interview
- Attend the F1 visa interview on the scheduled date
Keep in mind that you should have adequate liquid funds to cover the total cost of one year of education – this is mentioned in the I-20 form. Many students are under the wrong impression that their sponsor needs to deposit this entire amount in the bank and that otherwise their visa can be rejected. This is not true. Funds can be shown in the form of bank deposits as well as other liquid assets including education loans. Of course, having adequate funds alone does not guarantee a visa approval. The consulate officer also considers the following points:
- whether you have admission to an accredited and reputed university
- whether your academic background is good
- whether your GRE score is satisfactory
- whether your sponsor’s income is adequate
You should also have good communication skills and should be able to give convincing and honest answers to the consulate officer’s questions.
Start preparing your financial documents now and apply for an F-1 visa as soon as you get your I-20 form from the university you desire to attend.
For detailed guidance, avail of our visa counselling services by attending our visa workshop webinar on 20th February or 27th February at 9:00 am.
If you are not already an Admission Counselling student at the academy, register here: https://rzp.io/l/YoS0BjR3
Once you pay and enroll, you will receive the zoom registration link shortly.