How to apply for an F1 student visa
If you are an international student and wish to pursue your studies in the USA, then obtaining an F1 student visa is the most important aspect of your process. This blog will provide you with a detailed insight into an F1 visa and the steps to be followed to obtain it.
Many students consider getting an F1 student visa a difficult process. But, if you follow all the necessary steps and provide all the required documents then it is not as difficult as it seems. In this blog, we will provide you with all the details for obtaining an F1 visa. Let us first begin with a brief description of an F1 visa.
What is an F1 student visa?
To pursue education in the US, it is important to have F1 student visa. Getting yourself enrolled in an accredited US university, college, language program, the academic course is the first step to getting an F1 visa. F1 visa also provides students with employment opportunities. Off-campus employment is not permitted in the first academic session. But students can take up on-campus employment offered (if any). Once the first academic session is complete, the student has the option to opt for-
Before we move further to the steps involved in obtaining an F1 visa, let us first look at the documentation required to apply for an F1 visa.
Documents required for F1 visa application
- An authentic passport with an extended stay duration of up to 6 months.
- Form I-20 issued by the selected college/university.
- Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant application)
- SEVIS Fee receipt
- Passport size photo (recent)
- Bank statement of at least last three years.
- ITR of the last two to three years.
- Birth Certificate
- Proof of the Residential Address
- Medical Certificate
- Score sheet of any authorized standardized exam like TOEFL, GMAT, and IELTS etc.
- Academic transcripts, previous degrees or certificates, work experience certificate.
Once you have collected all the documents, the next step is to apply for an F1 visa.
The process to apply for F1 visa
- Apply to a SEVP approved college/university.
- After fulfilling all the requirements for documents, pay the I-901 SEVIS fee of $350. For fee details- https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901
- Once you pay the required fee, form I-20 is issued by the college. The process to get a visa can only begin once the candidate has obtained the form I-20 from the desired college.
- Thereafter, apply online for form DS-160. It can be filled and submitted online. (https://ceac.state.gov/ceac/ )
- After paying the desired fee, schedule an interview appointment with the US Embassy or consulate in your country.
- Once a suitable date and time is fixed, ensure that you have collected all the documents.
- Also, remember to keep all documents and their duplicate copies for future purposes.
- Stay confident and keep all the documents ready along with the academic qualifications/certificates, financial documents, work experience documents and certificates.
- After successful completion of your process, wait for confirmation from the embassy.
- Once approved, pay the required fee for the issuance of a visa.
- After the F1 student visa has been issued, you are eligible to enter the USA to pursue your course of study.
Important points to remember
- F-1 student visa can be obtained by the student only up to 120 days before the start of the course or program.
- You will not be able to enter the USA before 30 days of the start of your course. So, it is better to plan accordingly.
- Upon successful entry in the USA, you are assigned form I-94 (arrival record).Keep it safe for future purposes.
For details regarding entry into the USA, refer to the link-