To study in the United States (US), you must have a Student Visa. Depending on your course and type of institution, you will either need an F Visa or an M Visa.
F Visa - You must be enrolled at either a university or college, or another academic institution, including language training programs.
M Visa - You must be enrolled at a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than language training programs.
To be eligible, you must:
1. You must apply and successfully enroll at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved school in the United States
2. Once you are enrolled, you will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
3. Your school will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status/Form I-20, which you must present to the consular officer during your Visa interview.
If you’re in the United States for a short period recreational study, you are encouraged to apply for a Visitor (B) Visa instead. Your short course or recreational course should not credit toward an academic certificate.
Please apply for your Visa early as the waiting time varies depending on location, season, Visa category, and so on
New students applying for F and M Visas may receive their Visa up to 120 days ahead of your course commencement date
However, you can only enter the US using your Student Visa not more than 30 days prior to the start date of your course.
Online Visa Application
Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160).
Upload your photo when you complete the online Form DS-160.
Print the form confirmation page and bring it to your interview.
Schedule an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country/the country where you currently reside.
Prepare the required documents before your interview. (Refer What You Need)
Attend the interview
After your Visa is approved, you may be required to pay for the issuance fee. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Note: Digital fingerprint scans will be taken during the interview as part of the application process
Application fee: $160 (Kindly make your payment before your interview.)
For more information about the fees that you are required to pay, please contact [email protected]
Medical Screening / Health Insurance
International students in the US do not have to meet any government-related health insurance requirements. However, please contact [email protected] for further clarification.
Duration of Stay
If you own an F Visa, you must depart the US within 60 days after you’ve completed your studies
If you think you couldn’t complete your course by the end date stated on your Form I-20, you must speak to your designated school official (DSO) immediately to request an extension.
You may request an extension through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, or contact [email protected] for more information.
English Language Requirements
To obtain your Student Visa, you must provide proof of English language proficiency, usually in the form of a language test. This test shows your communication and correspondence skills in English.
You are encouraged to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which is the most popular English proficiency test. US higher educational institutions require a minimum IELTS score of Band 6.5.
Biometric Residence Permit
A biometric identifier is used for identity verification purposes. Your digital photo and electronic fingerprints (scanned in an inkless process) will be required during your interview with the consular officer.
When you arrive at a US port-of-entry/airport, you must present your passport, Student Visa (F or M Visa), and Form I-20 for the Customs Border Protection (CBP) officials to permit or deny your admission to the country.
Once your admission is approved, the CBP official will provide you with a stamp or paper as your Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94).