The purpose of applying visas for international students is to enrich their profile by completing their higher studies in well known top universities in USA. Year by year the number of visas issued by United States is increased. The educational institutions have to approve and accept the studentâ€™s visa applications and after acceptance,institutions have to provide all the documents which are necessary for visa approval to each and every student. The procedure of getting US visa to study is easy but it takes some time. The U.S. Department of state and U.S. Embassy offices welcome visa applications from all over the world from international students.
Types of Visa:
Non-immigrant student visas are categorized into three main typesare F-1 student visa, J-1 student visa and M-1 student visa.For every international student, type of visa is determined by the institution or by sponsored organization.
- F-1 Student Visa: This type of non-immigrant student visa is most common and majority of the international students wish to complete full time higher studies in an academic institution which is recognized by the U.S. government, these international students are eligible for F-1 student visa. Students can undertake part-time, on-campus employment (only 20 hrs per week during semester and 40 hrs per week in vacation holidays). After completing their studies, students can work on optional practical training (OPT) up to one year. Spouses or children accompanying international students are eligible for F-2 visa but spouses are not able to work in USA, the purpose of F-2 visa is only for accompanying F-1 visa recipients.
- J-1 Student Visa / Exchange Visitor Visa: J-1 student visa is for International students who wish to visit USA to undertake exchange programs or practical training and thesestudent visas are provided by the exchange visitor program sponsor. J-1 student visa employment options are same as F-1 student visa i.e. mentioned above. Spouses or children accompanying J-1 visa recipients are eligible to travel on J-2 visa and also spouses are able to work if the permission is obtained by exchange visitor program sponsor.
- M-1 Student Visa â€“ M-1 visa is for international students who wish to do nonacademic or vocational studies and M-2 visa is for spouses or children accompanying M-1 visa recipients. Both M-1 and M-2 visa recipients are not able to work but children are eligible for full-time schooling at the primary or secondary level.
Visa Processing Steps:
- Applying to SEVP â€“ approved institution -International students have to apply for the required course and SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved institution by the US government, these institutions can enroll the students in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) and provide all the necessary documents for the visa process. SEVIS issue Form I-20 document for the international students who are eligible for F or M visa and also SEVIS issue Form DS â€“ 2019 for the students who are eligible for J- visa. SEVP classifies the international students based on the F, M and J visa types.
- SEVIS Fee Payment â€“ International students must pay the SEVIS fee three days before the application submission of US visa and the payment should pay through the nominated bank.
- Completion of Visa Application â€“ After the SEVIS fee payment and received the SEVIS form, we have to make an appointment with US embassy for US student visa. Visa processing times can vary based on the students program and visa will be issued within 120 days.
- Visa Application Fee Payment â€“ Based on the instructions given by the US embassy website we can pay the fees easier and it may be paid through bank transaction or mobile banking or online.
- Visa Interview â€“ Students have to schedule and attend the interview through online or phone with US embassy.
- USA Arrival â€“ Using all the necessary documents and student visa, international students arrive USA and finally students can study and work in USA.