The U.S. Department of State has recently announced changes to the guidelines for F and M student visas. As of February 23, 2023, students are now permitted to apply for their visas up to 365 days before their program start date, which is a significant improvement from the previous limit of 120 days. The Form I-20, which is required for the visa application process, will now also be issued twelve to fourteen months in advance of the program start date, providing students with ample preparation time.
To obtain an F or M student visa, applicants must follow several steps.
First, they must gain acceptance into a qualifying U.S. school or university that has been approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once accepted, the student must pay a fee to enroll in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and obtain a separate Form I-20 for each individual, including dependents.
After obtaining the Form I-20, the student must complete the DS-160 form, which is the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and pay a nonrefundable visa application fee. Once within 365 days of the program start date, the student can log into the online portal and schedule an F or M visa appointment.
During the visa application process, students and their dependents may be required to attend in-person visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate. If the officer determines that the applicant qualifies for the F or M student visa, they will take digital fingerprint scans and take the applicant’s passport to complete the visa stamping process. Applicants will then receive their passports with the visas in the mail, or a pickup time will be scheduled for them.
Overall, the recent updates to the guidelines for F and M student visas will give students more time to apply for their visas and properly prepare for their studies in the United States. It is essential for students to adhere to the proper steps and guidelines to ensure a smooth visa application process.
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 sending an email to email@example.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.