Guide to get a US student visa, Do you have a dream of traveling to the US or studying in the United States university? then first go for a student visa.

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I will give you a step to step guide on how you can get a US  student visa to make your traveling easier.

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If you are not a US citizen and you want to study in the US, then the application process may be a little bit rigorous.

The first is to make sure you start preparing well in advance, at least six or seven months before your course starts.

Although this is the most common type of visa,  You still have to know the step by steps you will take to get what you want.

Things you need to know

The united states government offers three student visa types which include the following

1. F Student visa :

this visa is to study at an accredited U.S  college or university or to study the English language at an English language institute

2. J Exchange visa :

this type of visa is for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study.

3. M student visa:

the visa is for nonacademic, vocational study, or training in the united state.

Guide to get US student visa


U.S. law does not permit foreign students to attend public elementary school (kindergarten to 8th grade) or a publicly funded adult education program.

Hence, F-1 visas cannot be issued for study at such schools

An F-1 visa can be issued for attendance at a public secondary school (grades 9 to 12), but the student is limited to a maximum of 12 months at the school.

The school must also indicate on the I-20 that the student has paid the unsubsidized cost of the education and the amount submitted by the student for that purpose

Spouses and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States for the duration of his/her stay require derivative F or M visas.

There is no derivative visa for the parents of F or M holders.

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Family members who do not intend to reside in the United States with the principal visa holder, but wish to visit for vacations only, may be eligible to apply for visitor (B-2) visas

Notice that Spouses and dependents may not work in the United States on a derivative F or M visa.

If your spouse/child seeks employment, the spouse must obtain the appropriate work visa.

So you can apply for any type of the above Visa depending on the type of program you want. before you can apply for any of the above.

You have to understand that there are usually several steps to apply for a US student visa.

The steps are different at each US embassy or the institution so it’s important to consult the instructions on the website of the embassy or consulate where you intend to apply.

generally, the students will go through this five stages as he or she applies for  US student visa.

Guide to get US student visa steps to take

First  Apply and be accepted by a U.S. institution of higher education that is certified by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP).at least six to twelve months.

Pay the SEVIS-fee of $200, you will have to pay for the student and Exchange visitor information system, most of the time it is usually $200.

make sure you print all the receipts of all your payment. then proceed to submit your ID after making the payment.

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*  Complete a US student visa application along with a recent photo(s), after making your SEVIS fee the next thing to do is fill the online application form DS-160.

in this form, you are required to fill in your personal information.

Fill the online application form DS-160 which Requires the following information:

Name, address, Passport details, Details of travel plans, and travel companions, Details of previous US travel, Your point of contact in the US, Family, work

education details, Security, background and medical health information, SEVIS ID, and address of US school/program you intend to enroll in. etc.

Upload your recent photos in the format explained in photograph requirements

print the confirmation pages with a Barcode.

make sure you fill in your information correctly and any information wrongly given will incur reschedule of your visa interview appointment.

Once this One is completed electronically sign your DS-160 by clicking the “Sign Application” button at the end.

Pay the visa application fee, the next step you are to take is to pay $160 for the visa application fee. this payment is different from the SEVIS fee

Then visit the nearest US Embassy or Consulate check their website to the F-1 Student Visa section.

You can also make the nonrefundable visa application payment through, the person at an approved Bank,

Or fee confirmation number, through phone, or online.

You have to also print the receipt because the reference number will be needed as you progress.

*  schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy, visit the U.S. Embassy link, through a phone call, or other means, just remember that the application process will not be completed without attending the Interview.

You will need to input your passport number, your CGI reference number from the application fee payment, and the 10-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation.

Guide to get US student visa more info.

The consular officer wants to check:

this interview is for the consular officer to check if you are qualified to receive a US student visa.

And also not a risk on the security of the country, at the same time to ascertain if you have the intention of returning to your home country after the academic program.

after your interview, the consular officer will let you know when to receive your visa, although the wait time varies according to the country.


F-1 and M-1 visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your study start date, but you will not be allowed to enter the US earlier than 30 days before your start date.

if you want to go earlier than 30 days then you will need to get a visitor visa.

A valid visa does not guarantee entry into the US.

It only allows you to travel to a US port-of-entry and request permission to enter the US.

Permission to enter is given by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official.

Click HERE to find some questions to expect during your F1 visa interview.

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You will be asked questions regarding ties to your home country, your English language skills,

You have seen how rigorous it is but this I the final application process.

 Guide to get US student visa more info.

* Documents for the interview

Get all the documents for the Interview, which include the following.

1 . Your passport

2 . Receipt of payment for your visa application fee and your SEVIS-fee

3. Your DS-160 confirmation page

4. A photograph according to the guidelines on the photograph requirements.

5. Signed SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 (including individual forms for spouse/children)

6. MRV fee payment confirmation receipt

7. Printed copy of visa interview appointment letter

though some embassy may require additional documents, so make sure you are not out of the track always visit the website for the US Embassy or Consulate where you will apply.

Supporting Documents

  • Documents demonstrating strong financial, social, and family ties to your home country. this financial aspect is to show that you can fund the expense of your stay throughout your academic pursuit  in U.S.
  • Only original copies of bank statements, scholarship award letters, etc.
  • A copy of the principal applicant’s visa (i.e. F-1, M-1, J-1), or official documentation from the USCIS confirming the principal applicant’s status
  • A copy of the marriage and/or birth certificate for proof of relationship


Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can lead to permanent visa ineligibility.

If confidentiality is a concern, you should bring your documents to the Embassy or Consulate in a sealed envelope.

The Embassy/Consulate will not make your information available to anyone and will keep the confidentiality of your information.

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*  Getting to US

Once your visa is approved at the interview, then proceed to book your flight to the US

You will be asked to fill in a customs declaration form on the plane before you land. You will also need to fill in an Arrival/Departure Record I-94 form, online or paper form.

A student visa cannot be renewed or re-issued in the US; it must be done at a US embassy or consulate abroad.

If you are given a paper I-94 form, the date will be noted on the paper.

If you are given an electronic I-94, the CBP officer will provide an admission stamp on your passport which serves as proof of your electronic I-94, and write the D/S on the stamp.

All students must depart before the date on their I-94 form/stamp.

Failure to depart the US will cause you to be out of status. Being out-of-status in the US is a violation of immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future.


Please note that the American authorities can make changes to the visa application process without notifying us.

Different rules can apply to different nationalities.

Always read the instructions from the immigration authorities carefully.

The information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge but we cannot be held responsible for any error that might occur without our knowledge. When in doubt always trust the official sources LINK above  and check with them if need be. 

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