How to Get a U.S. Visa Appointment for a Student Visa
Before you can travel to the U.S. for an academic program, you will need to get a U.S. visa appointment for a Student visa. To ensure a smooth application procedure, every applicant will need to complete some process and documentation before they can get their U.S. visa appointment for a student visa. This article gives you a complete guide on how to apply, receive favorable appointment date, and get your student visa.
Apply to a U.S. College or University of Your Choice
The first step to getting a U.S. visa appointment for a student visa is to apply to a college or U.S. university. The earlier you apply, the better. You can start your research by looking for potential universities that best match your personal and professional goals.
It is important to ensure that the School is accredited by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP). Once you have been admitted to an American university, you can start the visa application process. You must receive your visa before the program begins officially. J-1 students, for instance, are likely to register for exchange programs through their home institution. You can also search for designated sponsored organizations online at the official J-1 visa website.
Receive the I-20 or DS-2019 form the School
Once admitted to a school, you will receive one of the following two forms: F-1 and M-1 students will receive the I-20 form (Certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant student status). J-1 students will receive the DS -2019 form (Certificate of eligibility for exchange visitor status). Your School will send you the appropriate form. The form will contain the SEVIS code, the school address, and other essential information about the program.
Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee
Upon receipt of the I-20 form, you will be required to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. F-1 and M-1 visa applicants are expected to pay $200; this fee is required for all student visa candidates and is used to cover the cost of processing each application. To pay the I-901SEVIS fee, you will need to provide the following information, so be sure to gather the necessary forms before starting the process:
- Your name, date of birth, and address
- Your email
- Your country of birth and citizenship
- School code listed on the I-20 form
- The SEVIS identification number provided on the I-20 form
Since you must bring proof of payment at the visa interview, you must print the payment confirmation page. It is vital to note that the SEVIS I-901 fee is different from the visa application fee, which you will need to pay later in the application process.
Start Your U.S. Visa Application for a Student Visa
Now that you are done with admission, it is time to start your preparation towards getting a U.S. visa. Every intending international student will to schedule their U.S. visa appointment for a student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their country of origin. You can search for U.S. embassies and consulates online through this U.S. Department of State webpage. Please note that U.S. student’s visa procedures may vary slightly depending on which embassy you applied through. The embassy or consulate will let you know the country-specific or visa-specific requirements for your application.
Complete the Online DS-160 Form
Completion of the DS-160 online application is the step towards getting a U.S. visa appointment for a student visa. Here you have to enter a lot of personal data (name, address, nationality, etc.) and answer your health and criminal record questions. You also need to upload a photo. If you plan to get your passport renewed, you must do so before starting the DS-160 application, as the passport number must match the one you take to the interview.
Schedule a Visa Interview and Pay Application Fee
Generally, all U.S. visa applicants will need to attend an interview with a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate. You will also need to pay a visa application fee of $160. These fees are the same, regardless of the country of origin and where you are applying from. Please note that some embassies will ask you to pay this fee before attending the interview, while others will not. Your embassy should inform you when and how you will have to pay the visa application fee. If your embassy asks you to pay these fees before the interview, take the receipt as proof of payment.
Getting a U.S. Visa Appointment for a Student Visa
You will schedule your U.S. visa appointment for a student visa during the online application process. After successfully filling your DS-160, you will be allowed to book an appointment for your U.S. visa appointment for a student visa. The earlier you book the appointment, the quicker you will be interviewed. This is very important as you cannot enter the U.S. without a visa. And if your resumption date at the School is close already, any delay may lead to missing out on some academic activities.
How to Get an Expedited U.S. visa appointment for a student visa
Appointment wait times at various U.S. embassies and consulates may vary, depending on the workloads at each place. It is possible that the earliest available date for a U.S. visa appointment for a student visa will be too far to fit into your resumption date. In such a situation, you may apply for an expedited appointment. You will need to provide evidence that you are to resume an academic program on a particular date, and there are no regular visa appointments available within that period. Your original Form DS-2019 or I-120 will be required as supporting evidence.
Attend your U.S. Visa Appointment for a Student Visa
Whether you get your appointment via the regular or expedited application, you will be given a date, time and venue for your interview. The interview is the last phase of your application for a U.S. visa appointment for a student visa. It is important to prepare for it well as your performance can make or mar the entire process.
During the interview, you will answer a series of questions. These questions will mainly focus on why you want to study at the school you have selected and what you intend to do at the end of the program. It is important to clarify that you do not intend to stay in the United States after completing it. If your interview is eventually successful, the consulate will inform you when and how to return your passport with a visa.
Pay the visa Issuance Fee (if necessary)
Depending on your country of origin, you may need to pay an issuance fee to receive your visa eventually. Some countries have a visa reciprocity agreement with the United States. Nationals of these countries don’t pay visa issuance fee. If your country doesn’t have such an agreement, you will need to pay the fee.
Receive Your Visa and Travel to the U.S.
If your application is approved at the end of the interview, you will receive your passport and visa within a few working days after the interview. This is the time to start making your travel plans. You can book your flights and make other arrangements for the journey.
Upon arriving at the U.S., you will undergo some entry screening process with a U.S. Custom and Border Protection officer. If you are granted entry by the officer, you will be allowed to enter the U.S. on your non-immigrant student visa and commence your academic program.
Documents for U.S. Visa Appointment for a Student Visa
Just like every visa application, you will need certain documents to process your U.S. visa appointment for a student visa. Keep in mind that the documents may vary, depending on the embassy or consulate in charge of your application. So, you will need to check with them to be certain of what is required of you. In any case, however, the following are some of the general supporting documents for a U.S. student visa application.
- Your passport
- A copy of the visa photo
- Printed DS-160 confirmation page
- Printed I-901 SEVIS fee confirmation page
- Visa application fee payment receipt
- Form I-20 for F-1/M-1 students or Form DS-2019 for J-1 students (make sure to bring the original form, not a copy)
Your specific embassy may request additional forms and documents, such as:
- Official college/university transcripts have attended
- Degrees/diplomas from schools/colleges/universities attended
- Standardized test results (if requested by your U.S. school)
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Proof of family or economic ties indicating your intention to leave the United States at the end of the program