Looking forward to study in US?… Here in this guide you will be given a brief explanation on the steps of obtaining an F1 Visa.
F1 Visa – US Student Visa Application Guide
Most foreign students looking to study abroad, often choose to go for popular places like America. However, to study in the United States of America you will need a specified type of visa known as the F1 Visa.
The F1 Visa is a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows international students to pursue academic studies or language training programs in the United States.
We have outlined a useful guideline below, which gives a detailed explanation on everything you need to know about the application and requirements for the F1 Visa.
In this guide;
- Admission into an SEVP approved school
- Payment of SEVIS fee and issuance of I-20 form
- F1 Visa application and fee
- Documents required for F1 Visa interview
- F1 Visa interview
- Further notes
Now that you have seen the guidelines/process on how to get an F1 Visa, it’s time to give a detailed explanation to each stage:
Admission Into An SEVP Approved School
Firstly, you must apply and be accepted by a US school or university that is accredited by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program [SEVP]. Note that not all the institution in the country meet the condition necessary to manage international student and the administration. Therefore, we recommend that before issuing any application to your university of preference for admission, you should first verify if they are listed in the SEVP. Otherwise, your visa won’t get approval.
Payment Of SEVIS Fee/Issuance Of I-20 Form
Once admitted by the SEVP accredited institution, you will be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee in order to be registered in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System [SEVIS]. Then you will be provided with a form I-20 from your institution, which is a paper record of your information in SEVIS. This I-20 form is what you need in order to apply for an F1 Visa.
F1 Visa Application/Fee
Application of the F1 Visa may differ depending on the US embassy you dealing with. You will pay a non-refundable visa application fee, which amount varies depending on the state of the US immigration at the time. You will have to apply online via US Embassy and Consulates website of your country, which allows you to fill and print the DS-160 form to take to your visa interview.
Documents Required For F1 Visa Interview
The following are documents that will be required for your visa interview;
- Your valid passport
- Non-immigrant visa application and DS-160 form
- Application fee payment proof
- Your passport photograph in the requested format
- Certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant student [I-20 form]
Some additional documents will be requested to prove your eligibility, they include;
Academic preparation documents:
- Original transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificate.
- Test scores such as the TOEFL, IELTS, GRS, GMAT
Documents that prove you have sufficient funds:
- Bank statements
- Proof of scholarship program
- Undertaking by a sponsor
Evidence that you will depart from US once you have completed your study.
This can be inform of an air ticket back to your home country.
F1 Visa Interview
Schedule your interview with the US embassy or consulate in your country. The waiting times for interview may vary depending on location and visa type. Therefore, it’s best to apply early for your visa. Your interview is what determines your qualification to receive an F1 Visa for the US. The questions focuses on what your intentions are for entering the country. The interviewer will try to know whether you have intentions of returning to your country after the completion of your study. Once you complete your interview successfully, your visa will be issued 120 days in advance. Note that you will only depart for the US 30 days before your program begins, you cannot enter earlier than that.
- Note that there’s no guarantee on the issuance of the visa, never make final travel plans until you get your visa approval.
- You will be able to work on the F1 Visa, but since it’s not a working visa only part-time during studies and full-time during holidays can be permitted. If you work illegally you will face visa termination and they will deport you immediately.
- If your F1 Visa is declined, which you will be given a due cause. You’re usually able to re-apply, but the process needs to start from the beginning. All application fee needs to be re-paid for the second time, except the SEVIS fee.
- Do not present fake documents at the interview, as fraud can lead to permanent visa ineligibility.
- You must prove that you are proficient in English Language. This can be proved by passing a standardized English tests such as the International English Language Testing System [IELTS]R. You will need a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 band before getting approval by any US educational institution.