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USA Visa Guide

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Everything you need to know about USA Visa Guide

Overview

USA hosts a large number of international students every year. Students prefer USA primarily because of top-ranked universities and reputed degrees. The country offers high-quality education, multicultural environment, and  ample job opportunities.

Applying for a student visa is the  the most crucial step in making your dream of studying in the United States a reality. This student visa guide takes a cursory look at various categories of visas and aims to provide an in-depth explanation of how to apply for an F-1 Student Visa, which is required for international students who wish to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in the United States. 

In addition to this, candidates need to be aware of the factors that could lead to the denial of their application. 

 


 

 

The visa applicants are interviewed by a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy. After relevant information is reviewed, the application is approved or denied, based on standards established by the U.S law. 

An application can be be denied because the consular officer does not have enough information required to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa, because the applicant did not qualify for the visa category , or it could be because the information reviewed indicates the that the student is ineligible under the grounds of the law. 

 

 

Types of USA Study Visa

 

There are three types of student visas to the USA:
 

F-1 Student Visa
 

  • Students who wish to enrol in a programme that requires them to devote more than 18 hours per week to academic work are required to apply for an F-1 student visa. This encompasses all undergraduate programmes such as MS, MBA, and other similar degrees.
  • The F-2 visa is required for travel for dependents of F-1 visa recipients, such as a spouse or child. Please be aware that spouses are not permitted to hold jobs, but they are welcome to accompany their partners and file for their own visas so that they can work or study in the United States.
     

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
 

  • Students, visiting scholars, and lecturers who are participating in an exchange programme are eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. For instance, Fulbright researchers and a large number of students from Indian colleges who are participating in short-term study abroad programmes can travel to the United States on a J-1 visa.
  • The J-1 visa, also known as the Exchange Visitor Visa, is typically requested by working professionals who wish to participate in an exchange programme in the United States. 
  • The J-2 Visa is required for travel for any dependents, including children and spouses, of J-1 Visa recipients. Please take note that both partners in a married couple have the ability to work as long as consent is acquired in advance.

 

M-1 Vocational/ Non-Academic Student Visa

 

  • Students attending vocational or technical schools are eligible for the M-1 visa, which is a type of student visa. The application process for the F-1 visa and the M-1 visa are quite similar to one another; however, the M-1 visas have a time stamp on them when you enter the country, and students are not allowed to overstay their visit.
     

Latest Updates


 

  • The United States waives in-person interviews for specific visa applicants in India on February 27, 2022.
     
  • Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the United States of America expanded the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) programme for international students by including 22 additional topic areas.

 

  • Bioenergy, General Forestry, Forest Resources Production and Management, Human-Centred Technology Design, Cloud Computing, Anthrozoology, Climate Science, Earth Systems Science, Economics and Computer Science, Environmental Geosciences, Geobiology, Geography, and Environmental Studies, Mathematical Economics, Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science, Data Science, General, Data Analytics, General, Business. These are the 22 new fields of study that have been added to the STEM OPT programme.

 

  • After finishing their school, international students in the United States (US) on an F-1 visa are permitted to stay in the country for an additional 36 months and find work in their field of study. Because of these new enhancements, a greater number of students will be qualified for the STEM OPT extension.
     

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 ALERT

 

  • As of November 8, the United States has abolished pandemic restrictions for individuals who have received all of their vaccinations. 
  • The United States will only allow fully immunised foreign tourists to enter the country , according to a White House announcement. 
  • Health officials in the United States have indicated that all vaccines that have been given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization are suitable for flight travellers.
  •  U.S. government has announced temporary changes and allowances to F-1 and J-1 regulations. The allowances continue through the 2022 – 2023 academic year.

 

Working on USA Student Visa

 

  • Students are not permitted to hold off-campus jobs while they are enrolled in their first year of study. They are only allowed to put in a maximum of 20 hours of work each week. 
  • They are allow to work for 40 hours of work each week during vacations and holidays. The student has the option of finding employment with a private company that works with the educational institution, such as a canteen or a bookstore.

 

Dependents

 

The F2 or M2 visa is required for spouses and children under the age of 21 who intend to join the application in the United States for the duration of the applicant's stay in the country. A spouse with F-2 status is not permitted to participate in a complete academic programme, but they are permitted to take classes that are vocational or recreational in characters, like cooking or tennis. 

Children with F-2 visas are permitted to enrol in elementary, middle, or high school on a full-time basis at any level of education. They are not permitted to participate in a degree programme that requires full-time attendance at a college or university.

 

Additional Information

 

  • F1 visa holders have the potential to receive up to a year's worth of optional practical training (OPT) after they have completed their degrees. This means that you will be able to start working a year after you have completed your education.
  •  It is a permission to work temporarily that provides students with the opportunity to obtain practical experience in the field in which they are majoring.
  •  If you intend to continue working in the United States after that point, you will be needed to submit an application for a work visa. Even if you don't have a job offer or haven't applied for optional practical training (OPT), you can stay in the United States for up to sixty days after the completion of your programme.


 

For the Biometrics interview, you need to visit the –

 

1. Delhi -
 

S - 1 American Plaza (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower

Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110019

 

2. Mumbai -
 

Trade Center, Ground Floor, G Block,

Bandra Kurla Complex,

Bandra East, Mumbai - 400051 

 

3. Chennai -

 

No 3, Cenotaph Road,

Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – 600018

 

4. Hyderabad -
 

1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P.Road,

Begumpet, Secunderabad - 500003

 

5. Kolkata -

 

Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor)

Kolkata – 700017
 

US Embassy and Consulates Addresses -

 

1. The US Embassy in New Delhi

Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021

 

2. The US Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay)

C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051

 

3. The US Consulate General in Chennai (Madras)

220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006

 

4. The US Consulate General in Kolkata (Calcutta)

5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071

 

5. The US Consulate General in Hyderabad

Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003

 

Scholarships for studying in the USA

 

If you are an exceptional student, you may also submit an application for one of the many scholarships that are offered by the college or institution to which you have applied. There is a wide variety of funding available for academic pursuits in the United States. 

 Additionally, a wide variety of educational organisations and colleges provide financial aid in the form of scholarships. It might be based on merit, or it can be based on need. The experts also recommend to the students that they look into the many forms of scholarships that are accessible to them. The following is a list of some of the most common scholarships available to students who intend to study in the United States:

 

  • Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship
  • Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship
  •  The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • AEF Scholarship
  • Rhodes Scholarship
Eligibility

 The procedure for obtaining a student visa in the United States requires you to bring a great deal of documents. You must provide not only the required documents but also supporting documentation in the form of financial and academic records. Before going to the consulate for the visa interview, you should make sure to consult this checklist one last time.
 

  • A passport that is current and has at least 6 months of validity remaining after your planned departure date.
  • A hard copy of the DS-160, which is the application form, may be found online.
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Interview appointment letter (original and copy)
  • The college will send you a Form I-20 (where you are going to study)
  • Visa fees payment confirmation receipt
  • Statements from your bank accounts going back at least three years, demonstrating that you have sufficient assets to pay for the first year (could be of parent or guardian)
  • Pay/salary slips
  • Mark sheets, and interim certificates are the originals.
  • Score sheet of standardised tests such as the TOEFL, GMAT, and IELTS, among others.
     

Supporting Financial Documents required for F1 Visa

 

  • In the USA, prospective students are required to provide evidence that they have sufficient means to cover the complete costs of their first academic year. 
  • In addition to this, students need to provide evidence that they have sufficient cash readily available to cover the remaining portion of the tuition fees.
     

Evidence of Financial Resources required for F1 Visa

 

  • The past three years' worth of tax returns (Form 16)
  • Bank statements and passbook for the past three years.
  • Original copies of pay stubs or salary statements
  • Letters of employment
  • Statement from a certified accounting firm
  • Scholarship correspondence (If the applicant has received it)
  • The letter granting permission to borrow money issued by the bank or other relevant authority
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Application

In order to obtain a student visa to study in the USA, you must:

  • Submit an application to a school in the United States that is recognised by the SEVP. 
  • After you have been issued a Form I-20 and have registered in SEVIS, you are eligible to submit an application for a student visa (F or M) at an American consulate or embassy.
  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 charge before you begin the process of applying for a US visa.
  • The DS-160 visa application form can be requested once the SEVIS fee has been paid and a receipt has been obtained. It is an application form that may be filled out online.
  • You should print out the paper confirming your application form to bring with you to the interview.
  • You can make your payment for the visa fee through NEFT or at any Citi bank or AXIS bank location that is allowed.
  • Schedule an appointment for both the interview and the biometric screening.
  • You need to physically attend the biometric appointment in order to have your photograph taken for the visa and to have your fingerprints scanned. This appointment is for the collection of your biometric information.
  • During the personal interview, the interviewer will question you on a variety of topics, including your choice of college, your financial situation, and your intention to return. They will keep your passport with them in order to obtain the visa stamped if they are sure that you are legitimate.
     

Note: Keep in mind that F-1 student visas can be obtained up to one hundred twenty days before the date on which your course of study will begin. On the other hand, you will not be permitted to enter the USA on an F-1 visa any sooner than 30 days before the day that your programme begins.

Fees

There is two different prices that must be paid in order to obtain an F1 student visa for the United States.

  • The cost of the SEVIS application which is $350. (INR 26,256)
  • The Visa Application Fee, also known as the MRV Fee, is  $160. (INR 12,003)

 

The many categories of student visas are described in the following table.

 

Type of Visa

Type of Fee

F1

J1

M1

SEVIS Fee*

Amount

$350

$220

$350

Accepted modes of Payment

Credit Card

Money Order/ Demand Draft

Payable in

Dollars at the applicable exchange rate as determined by the bank

MRV Application Fee/ Visa Application Fee

Amount

$160

$160

$160

Accepted modes of Payment

NEFT Online Transfer

Instant Money Transfer by Mobile - IMPS

By Cash at counters of Axis Bank/ Citibank

Payable in

Payable in INR at the Exchange Rate Fixed by the Consular Office (At present the exchange rate is fixed at $1 = INR 76)



 

Frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know about USA Visa Guide
Can you visit USA with Canadian student Visa?

Student visas and visas for temporary residents that are issued in Canada cannot be used in the United States. You will need to have a valid visa in order to enter the United States.

Can student visa dependent work in USA?

According to the regulations that govern US visas, F-2 dependents are not allowed to work in the United States. J-2 dependents are able to work in the United States so long as they have the appropriate permits. After the J-2 has arrived in the country, the application for this authorization can be submitted.

Can we work in USA with student visa?

Your US visa will allow you to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, and it will allow you to work full-time when classes are not in session (up to 40 hours per week).

How can i get student visa for USA?

The initial action is to submit an application to a school in the United States that is recognised by the SEVP. After you have been issued a Form I-20 and have registered in SEVIS, you are eligible to submit an application for a student visa (F or M) at an American consulate or embassy. You need to give the Form I-20 to the consular officer when you walk in for your interview to get your visa.

Who can sponsor for student visa in USA?

Parents: Your initial and most consistent point of contact should always be with either your father or your mother. Relatives: Those who are related to you through blood can also act as your sponsor. You can receive assistance from your grandparents, immediate uncles and aunts from both your mother's side and your father's side, as well as cousins.