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USA Student Visa Application Guidelines - MS in US

Being an Indian citizen, you are required to get a USA student visa before moving to the country for higher studies. Assuming that you have received an admit from a university in the US , you can now apply for a student visa. The visa you have to apply for depends on the purpose of your study. The US government offers three types of visas for prospective students from outside the country.




  • All the information you need about the USA Student Visa is available on this official website.

F1 Student Visa

Students applying for admission at a university in the US which requires more than 18 hours of study per week need the F1 student visa. All students aiming for undergraduate education, and postgraduate studies like MSc or MBA can apply for this type of visa. Spouses or children accompanying the applicants of the F-1 Visa will apply for F-2 Visa.

J1 Student Visa

This visa is for students, scholars and professors who are involved in exchange programs. Spouses or children accompanying the applicants of J-1 Visa will apply for J-2 Visa.

M Student Visa

The M1 visa is for students going to the US for vocational and technical schools. M1 visas have a time limit for staying, and students cannot overstay their visit.

Preliminary Steps for Visa Procedures

  • You first need to apply at a university that is registered under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
  • Once accepted by the university, you will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee for being enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The SEVIS Fee is $350 for the F and M visa types, whereas it is $180 for the J visa type.
  • Once you have been registered, you will obtain a Form I-20 (for an F/M type Visa) from your university’s international office (or the DS-2019 Form for a J Visa). This form has to be presented to the consulate officer during your visa interview. If you have any spouse/child(ren) accompanying you, they will require separate I-20 Forms. However, only you will be registered at SEVIS as you are the student.
  • Following this, you will begin the visa Procedure for your USA student visa.

USA Student Visa Procedures

Here we have provided a step-by-step process for USA student visa appointment booking, depending on your locality in India. You will also find the details on how to track your booking, the cancellation procedure and date exchange procedure.

There are several steps for the visa process. The order of these procedures and how you complete them vary according to the US Embassy or US Consulate in your locality. Kindly refer to the respective websites for more information.

1. Complete the Online USA Student Visa Application

You need to complete the online non-immigrant visa application, the DS160 form and print the application from the confirmation page to be brought during your interview. After you have completed the form, print and keep the DS-160 barcode page. You should also attach your photo in this step. Follow the format explained on their website.

2. Schedule the Visa Interview Appointment

The U.S Embassy/ Consulate will not book an appointment for you. It is your responsibility to schedule an interview.

  • List of US Embassy and Consulates
  • The wait times for the interview appointments vary by the location, season, and the visa category, so you should apply for a visa early. Check the appointment wait time on the link

3. Payment of Application Fees

The Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee would be around $160. Check their website to see the exact amount you need to pay, as per your application requirements.

4. Gather the required documents

Gather and keep all the following documents ready before your visa interview.

  • Passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US.
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you need to pay before your interview.
  • Photograph, which might be required in case the one you applied online has not been accepted.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status - Your university will send you a Form I-20 once they have entered your details in the SEVIS database. You and your university officials must sign the Form I-20. All students to be enrolled must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).

You might also be required to provide additional documents.

  • Previous academic information and Standardized Tests Proof
  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates of your previous education; and standardized test scores required by your university.
  • Your intent to depart from the US upon completion of the course of study; and
  • Financial resources to pay for your living, travel and education.

5. Schedule your Appointments

You are required to schedule two appointments – one for the Visa Application Center (VAC) and one for the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Firstly, schedule your appointment at a Visa Application Center. Here, you need to visit one of the five Visa Application Center locations and have your fingerprints and photograph taken. This appointment must be scheduled at least a day before your visa interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

Second, schedule the Visa Interview Appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

While scheduling your appointment, you will have to give complete information about the type of visa required, your personal information, dependents, location of appointment center, etc.

6. Attend the USA Student Visa Interview

Carry all the required documents and records along with you while going for both the interviews. At the Visa Application Centre, your digital fingerprints and photograph will be taken. After this, you will have to visit the U.S. Embassy/Consulate on your interview date. You will be interviewed by a Consular office to determine if you should receive the USA student visa. You should provide all your documents and answer them well to show that you are eligible for a USA student visa.

7. Pay fees

After the visa is issued, you will have to pay the Visa Issuance Fee and take the necessary measures for the return of your passport and visa.

Ms in US_Visa-Appointment-7

USA Visa Procedures

The step-by-step process for getting your USA Student Visa includes details on how you can do your visa appointment booking, depending on your locality in India.

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