In the past 2 weeks, we have announced over 20 fully and partially funded scholarships for international students who wish to study in the United States. However, any international student wanting to study in the USA will need to obtain a student visa before entering the United States of America. The following are USA Students Visa requirements for those seeking scholarships in 2017/18.
Basically there are five successive steps involved in getting a study visa to enter any state of the USA, whether or not your program is self-funded or on scholarships. You will need to follow this process flow, which starts from getting admission into a public higher institution – university, college or other institutions.
- Get Admission into a USA School: Before you can apply for your F-1 student visa for the USA, you must apply to and be accepted by a school approved by the SEVP.
- Pay your SEVIS Fee and Receive your I-20: Once you’re accepted, you will be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee in order to be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Then, your school will provide you with a Form I-20. This form will be presented to the consular officer when you attend your F-1 visa interview. If your spouse and/or children plan to reside in the USA with you while you study, they will be required to have individual Form I-20s, but they will not need to be enrolled in the SEVIS.
- Complete the Visa Application: Applying for the F-1 student visa may vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate you are dealing with. You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee. There is an online visa application available, which allows you to complete and print the Form DS-160 to take to your F-1 visa interview.
- Schedule and Prepare for your Interview:You can schedule your F-1 visa interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. An F-1 student visa for the USA can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You will only be able to enter the US with an F-1 visa 30 days before your start date.
- The following documents are required for your F-1 visa interview:
- A valid passport
- The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
- The application fee payment receipt
- A passport photo
- A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form 1-20)
Additional documents may be requested to prove your eligibility for the F-1 student visa, including academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates. Test scores such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT may also be requested, as well as proof of your intent to depart the U.S. after your program is complete and proof of your financial stability.
- Attend your F-1 Visa Interview: Your F-1 visa interview will determine whether you are qualified to receive an F-1 student visa for the USA. Assuming that you have prepared the appropriate documents and meet all of the F-1 visa requirements, your visa will be approved at the discretion of the consular officer.You may be required to pay a visa issuance fee. Digital fingerprint scans will be taken for records. Your passport will be taken so that you can get your visa and you will be informed when you can get it back, either by pick-up or in the mail.