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Student Visa Process for The United States of America



According to sources, the number of Indian students in The United States of America has doubled. More and more Indian students prefer to study in the USA for higher education because of the expansive range of subjects conducted in universities of this country. Universities in the USA are open to all international student applications that successfully complete the mentioned prerequisites process. The USA student visa process is often the procedure Indian students have trouble completing. Therefore, this article will conclude everything that one needs to know about The United States of America student visa process.

Before applying for a visa to study in the USA, students must have their university/college acceptance letter. The international student office reviews the financial documents and further sends out an I-20 form to the student after reviewing the application and capability to study in the U.S. In case of exchange students, the international office sends out a DS- 2019 form.

Note – Students must fill out the F1 visa form within 120 days of receiving the I-20 form.  


Refer to the following table to find out the type of student visa application you apply –


Types of Visa





F-1 student visa


Students with an acceptance letter to study in an accredited college in the USA for learning the English language based subjects



J Exchange visa


This visa is issued for students willing to participate in the exchange study program in a high school or a university in the USA



M student visa



For non-academic or vocational study or training in the United States of America



STEP 1 (I-20 form)

It is mandatory to patiently wait for the I-20 form (you will receive this from the university’s end) as it is not only a proof for admission confirmation but also has important details that you will require while applying for an F-1 student visa.

To apply for an F-1 student visa (DS – 160 form) you will need the following mentioned details –


  1. School/University name and address
  2. Program start date and end date
  3. School/University code
  4. Estimated cost for 1 year
  5. I-20 form consists of many more details, however, the above-mentioned points are considered to be extremely important for F-1 student visa application

STEP 2 (Process to fill DS – 160 form)

Shortly after receiving your I-20 form you can proceed to fill out the DS-160 form,

Here’s an overview of the DS-160 form –

  • DS – 160 form must be filled electronically/online
  • This form requires details of Passport, University, Fees, Basic information of the applicant, documents details and I-20 form
  • At the beginning of the DS – 160 form – one must select the Embassy/Consulate they are willing to visit for the F-1 visa interview. Locations available for Embassy/Consulate student visa interview are New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata
  • Questions related to immigration, nationality, and education are asked on DS – 160 form. All the questions are in English
  • An alpha-numeric code is generated after completing the DS – 160 form. Ensure to print out and also save a PDF format of the DS – 160 receipt. The print-out is a mandatory requirement for visa interview

*To get detailed information visit the official website of Homeland Security Department of USA

STEP 3 (F-1 visa interview application fee + Scheduling an appointment for OFC and Visa interview)

  • After successfully filling out the DS – 160 form, proceed to pay the F-1 visa interview fee.
  • The amount required for an F-1 visa interview is $160 i.e. RS 11,132/- (as of June 2019)
  • The application fee can be paid through internet-banking or mobile-banking services
  • The F-1 visa interview is scheduled for two days – OFC appointment and Visa Interview

*Note – Students are advised to schedule their F-1 visa interview at least 120 days before the university/college program is scheduled to begin. It is understood that the Embassy/Consulate does not accept students to complete their visa interview before 120 days.

STEP 4 (SEVIS I – 901 form)

The SEVIS I – 901 form fee is the last application step. The I-901 form is a non-immigrant application form. It is applicable for types of student visas i.e. F1, J exchange and M-1 visa. This form requires payment depending on the type of visa.

  • The amount required to pay for F1 and M1 visas (I-901 form) -$200 i.e. RS 13,949/- (as of June 2019)
  • The amount required to pay for J- exchange visa (I – 901 form) – $180 i.e. RS 12,555/- (as of June 2019)

Finally, visit the Embassy/Consulate location you scheduled to give you’re the United States of America student visa interview. The key to nailing the visa interview is to stay confident and being as honest as possible. You will be notified if your visa is approved or rejected immediately after the interview. We are sure you will get through your final step to studying in the United States.

Here’s wishing you All the Best for your student visa!

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About Aparna

Aparna Iyer is a Mass Media and Communications graduate who enjoys composing content of various sorts. When she is not writing, you can find her spending time with animals or playing a sport or watching a movie/series. She is also very keen on researching historic subjects and hopes to explore unseen parts of the world gradually.

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