10 Essential Steps to Apply for a Student Visa in the U.S.

If you’re contemplating studying in the U.S., you’re not alone. The U.S. saw its highest number of incoming students in 2022 since before the pandemic. Here’s a clear, step-by-step guide to secure your student visa.

Identify the Right Visa: Depending on your course and purpose, you can opt for:

• F-1 Visa: Academic studies
• J-1 Visa: Exchange programs
• M-1 Visa: Non-academic studies

Find an Accredited School: Ensure the school is accredited by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). You can search for SEVP-certified schools on Google using the ‘SEVP school search tool’.

Receive your I-20 or DS-2019 Form: Once accepted, the school will send you the Form I-20 (for F1/M1) or the DS-2019 Form (for J1) verifying your eligibility.

Pay SEVIS Fee: After receiving your I-20, pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee online using Form I-901. Print and save the receipt.

Complete the DS-160 Form: Available online, this form requires personal, academic, and financial details. Ensure its accuracy to avoid issues during the interview.

Schedule a Visa Interview: Locate the nearest U.S. embassy and book your visa interview. Procedures might differ based on the embassy, with wait times recently reduced to as little as 3-4 weeks.

Pay the Visa Application Fee: Once your interview is scheduled, make the payment online.

Prepare for the Interview: Attend In-person, equipped with your DS-160 form, I-20, SEVIS receipt, financial proofs, and any qualifying exam results (like TOEFL). Answer all questions with clarity and truthfulness.

Visa Issuance Fee (if applicable): Some embassies might charge an additional fee upon visa approval.

Receive and Celebrate!: Once approved, you can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before your course begins. Though armed with a visa, remain prepared to answer questions at the entry point.

The U.S. is experiencing a record high in student visa approval rates, making it an opportune time to embark on your academic journey here. Need further assistance?

If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at www.visaserve.com for more information.