International students who wish to study in an American university or college must hold a US student visa. To be eligible you must have been accepted by an institution approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). There is a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee of between $180 and $200 applicable, depending on the type of visa you have applied for.
The US has no centralised university application process therefore each institution must be applied to individually. Once you have been accepted onto a course they will enrol you onto the SEVIS system and you will be sent the necessary forms to begin applying for your visa.
International students can receive a student visa for the USA 120 days before you are due to enter the country, so you should apply for one as early as possible as the process can take several weeks. After receiving the SEVIS form and paying the SEVIS fee you can now make an appointment with your local US consulate or embassy to arrange a full application.
The USA student visa requirements vary depending on the type of student visa you are applying for. F1 Visas are for academic training and are the most common type of student visa. There are also J1 visas available for practical training, and M1 visas which are more suited to non-academic or vocational studies. Regardless of which visa you apply for you will need to provide the following information and documentation.
• Detailed passport information
• Current residence information
• Details of travel and travel companions
• Details of previous US travel
• Details about your point of contact in the US
• Work, family and education details
• Security, background, and health information
• SEVIS ID and your educational establishment details
Additional requirements in obtaining a student visa include physical interviews, scores from English language proficiency tests, and financial evidence which demonstrates your ability to fund your studies in the USA.
If you need help meeting the criteria of your student visa application, or you simply require advice on the application process itself, contact IEC Abroad today for expert advice.