USA Student Visa 2021: Step by Step Procedure

Interested in applying for a Visa to study in the USA. If yes, read on to know the step-by-step procedure for a USA Student visa 2021.

This post details everything you need to know about studying in the USA, the USA Students Visa step-by-step procedure in 2021, US Visa types, required documentation, and things to consider before applying.

USA student visa

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Studying in the USA

More than 1,000,000 students who choose to broaden their education and life experience choose the United States as their study abroad destination, making the USA the world’s largest international student population. 

5% of all students enrolled in higher-level education in the USA are international students who possess a USA Student Visa, and the numbers are continually growing. Since the mid-1950s, when international student enrollment was only just reaching 35,000, international education in the USA has now come a long way. 

International students choose U.S. colleges and universities because of several reasons like

Academic Excellence

Variety of Educational Opportunities

Campus Life Experience

Academic Excellence

The USA, undoubtedly, is one of the world’s finest university systems, with outstanding programs in virtually all fields. For undergraduate studies, there are excellent programs that exist in traditional disciplines, as well as in professional fields. For graduate studies, there are the finest minds in the field of study, with the chance to become involved with exclusive research and educational opportunities. Most importantly, USA degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence.

Variety of Educational Opportunities

There are several thousand colleges and universities in the USA, boasting at least ten times as many campuses as in any other country. There are diversities e.g some USA colleges and universities stress broad educational principles while others emphasize practical, employment-related skills; and still others specialize in the arts, social sciences, or technical fields. So potential students who want to apply for a USA Student Visa and study in the USA have a variety of programs in your particular field from which to choose.

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Campus Life Experience

Having a USA student Visa and studying in the USA allows students to share and experience different American cultures as well as meet and make new friends. The majority of the universities, whether it is a small, private college in a small town or a university situated in the middle of a large urban area, offer a variety of student clubs and organizations to match the wide array of student interests. 

USA Students Visa 2021: Step by Step Procedure

Before applying for a USA student visa, students must be sure that they have passed their admission examination and received an admission letter from the university. 

A student can apply for either an F1 visa or an M visa depending on their degree program. 

F Students Visa 

The F visa is for students who want to attend a university, college, high school, or other academic institutions such as a language training program. This kind of visa is usually needed for a long-term stay to study in the USA. 

M Students Visa

The M students visa is for students who want to attend a vocational or non-academic institution in the USA. This type of USA student visa is needed for a short-term study program in non-academic or technical institutions in the USA. 

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Things to consider before applying for a USA students Visa

Before an international student must apply for an M or F visa to study in the USA, he or she should first secure a slot in a SEVP- approved (students and exchange visitors program) higher education institution. The institution should also have US or national accreditation as listed in the US department of education and council for higher education accreditation. Once a guaranteed spot is secured, the student will not be registered in the SEV information system (SEVIS) which will require the SEVIS 1-901 fee. The SEVIS fee costs $200 for M and F USA student visa applicants. When paid, the institution applied to by the student will provide a form 1-20 or DS 2021 which will be needed to apply for a student F or M visa at the U.S embassy or consulate in your home country. 

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To successfully fill out this form, be sure you have the following items on hand:

  • Your passport
  • A visa photograph (to upload)
  • Form I-20 or DS-2021 (remember, which form you receive depends on whether you are an F-1/M-1 or J-1 student)

In addition, you may need to supply:

  • A travel itinerary (if you’ve already made travel plans to the US)
  • The dates of your last five visits to the US (if applicable) and/or evidence of your international travel history within the past five years
  • A resume or CV
  • Additional information depending on your purpose for travel
  • On this application, you will also select the US embassy at which you intend to interview for your visa.

Bear in mind that you must fill out the entire form in English, except when asked to input your full name in your native alphabet. Translations are available on the form for those who have difficulty understanding the English instructions. the official DS-160 FAQ page is available for any additional questions about how to fill out this form,

When you’ve completed this form and submitted it online, print out your confirmation page to bring to your visa interview.

Contact your nearest US embassy or consulate (ideally, the one you input on your online application) to schedule your visa interview.

Pay Your Visa Application Fee

Pay the 160 USD application fee. This fee is the same price regardless of your country of origin and where you apply.

Last but not the least,  is the interview. The interview will be the deciding factor as to whether you will receive a USA student visa or not.

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Before attending your interview, gather the following items and information:

  • Your passport
  • One copy of your visa photograph (this may be required by certain embassies, particularly if you were unable to upload your visa photograph to your online visa application)
  • Your printed DS-160 confirmation page
  • Your printed I-901 SEVIS fee confirmation page
  • Your visa application fee payment receipt (this is only required if you paid the application fee before your interview)
  • 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 particular embassy may require additional forms and documentation, such as:

  • Official transcripts from colleges/universities you’ve attended
  • Diplomas/degrees from high schools/colleges/universities you’ve attended
  • Standardized test scores (if required by your US school)
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Proof of your intent to depart the US at the end of your program
  • You will undergo a security check and provide digital, ink-free fingerprints, usually right after you arrive at your interview.

During the interview, you will be asked a range of questions in English. These questions are mostly focused on why you want to study at the school you’ve selected and what you intend to do after the program finishes. Clearly state that you do not intend to remain in the US once you complete your program. 

For extensive lists of sample questions, you may be asked during your interview, visit International Student and Happy Schools websites

If your interview is successful, the embassy will then inform you when and how it will return your passport (with your new visa) to you. 

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