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.

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.