The steps to acquiring a student visa are not complicated, but the US student visa process can be lengthy. This is why it is best to start planning for applying for a student visa as early as possible.
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This step-by-step breakdown of the student visa process provides a general outline of the steps to acquiring a student visa for USA.
Step 1: Identify Student Visa Type
There are three different types of student visas, and the student visa application process varies for each type.
- Learn about each of the US Student Visas.
- Determine which student visa you need for your desired academic program.
Step 2: Take the Required Academic Tests
Most academic programs require academic test scores, so you must determine which tests you need to take before applying to universities or academic programs.
- Determine which Academic Tests you need to take.
- Register for the test.
- Take the test in your home country.
Step 3: Register at an accredited U.S. College or University
- Find a University you would like to attend in the United States. See tips on finding a suitable university for you.
- Apply to the College/University.
- Fulfill all formalities of registration.
- Obtain an I-20.
(After all your registration formalities has been completed the College/University will send you an I-20 which you will need while applying for the visa).
Step 4: Apply for the Student Visa
- You will apply for a student visa and go through a visa interview at a US consulate in your home country. If your immediate family is coming to USA with you on a dependent visa, then apply for their visa at the same time as yours.
- Visa will be issued for the duration mentioned on your form I-20. (In practice most students get five-year visas irrespective of the duration mentioned on the I-20).
- If you are refused a visa, you can apply again and again. There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for a visa.
- Having relatives or family in the US does not disqualify you for a US visa.
Step 5: Get your Student Visa Stamped
Visit US Student Visa Stamping for more information.
Step 6: Communicate with your College or University
Communicate with your College/University for important information and key dates.