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Planning to Study in USA?

USA Student Visa

There are three major types of visas applicable to students planning to pursue a course in the US
F1 Visa – for students enrolling for programs at US universities and colleges
1. J1 Visa – for students participating in an exchange program through their Indian college or university and requiring to complete a portion of their course in the US
2. M1 Visa – for individuals planning to undertake vocational or non-academic training
For the majority of Individual students enrolling for academic studies in USA, the visa type is F1. By The following five steps can help students improve their chances of successfully obtaining a US visa to pursue a program of their choice –
1. Obtain Approved I-20: Get accepted into a program and institution accredited to the US Government Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) by fulfilling the institution’s admission requirements preferably six to twelve months prior to US study. The university would enroll you on the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System(SEVIS) and send you the system generated Form I-20.
2. Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee: This payment($350 at the time of writing) needs to be completed on the SEVP website at least three days prior to submitting a visa application. Online payment can be done using an international credit card. Alternatively Western Union quickpay can be done at neighbourhood Western Union outlets by referring the coupon number generated during the I-901 application process.
3. Fill DS-160 Visa application and pay the visa application fee : The DS-160 form can be filled online and some of the key information to be provided include – personal and family details including education and work history, passport details, etc.
a. security, background and medical information,
b. SEVIS ID and enrolling institution details.
c. Photograph in the specified format and dimension
Once submitted along with the online signature, the form cannot be modified. Hence extra care should be taken t review before final submission.
The application fee can be paid online using IMPS, NEFT or cash at DRUK Bank, Axis Bank and Citibank counters. On successful payment, a Machine Readable Visa(MRV) fee receipt would be generated, which needs to be stored and printed.
4.Schedule 2 appointmentswith at least 1 day gap: Using the credentials used to pay the visa fee, login and schedule appoints with – a. Visa application center(VAC):- This enables you to visit one of the five VAC locations and have your fingerprints and photo taken. This appointment needs to be at least 1 day prior to the visa interview scheduled at the consulate.
b. Embassy or Consulate:- Three pieces of information would be required for this, viz.
i. Passport number
ii. Fee payment date
iii. 10 digit barcode generated In DS-160 confirmation page
5. Complete the visa interview: The following are typical documents needed for the interview:
a. Passport valid for at least 6 months
b. Signed SEVIS Form I-20
c. SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
d. DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode and application ID
e. MRV fee payment conformation receipt
f. Printed copy of appointment letter
g. Photographs in prescribed format
h. Transcripts and degrees/diplomas from institutions attended. Work history and experience certificates
i. Scores/certificates from standardized tests like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, SAT
j. Financial documents to show that there are enough funds to cover all expenses for the first year study
k. Documents showing strong financial, social and family ties that compel you to return to your home country after your program or study
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