In general, when a person travelling to any foreign country requires non-immigrant visa for temporary residence and immigrant visa for permanent residence. When you are travelling to USA as a student, you need to have an F-1 (Academic Course) or M-1 Visa(Vocational or Technical Course) depending upon your course and school.


The process of acquiring an F1-Visa might be easy but, this is one the lengthiest process. International Students planning to get a degree from USA must apply for an F-1 Visa prior to the application process whereas, M1-Visa is the type of Visa is reserved for the student who are planning to travel to USA for vocational course or technical course. You can quickly issue M-1 Visa. A M-1 visa holder can do part time job on campus and off campus (on an approval from the USCIS). The basic requirements for an F-1 and M-1 Visa are as follows:

  • Sponsoring Institution: To obtain an F-1 Visa, the basic criteria is to have an enrollment in an academic Institution.
  • Sufficient Financial Support: Student must have sufficient fund to cover their education and stay cost in USA, as legal employment opportunities is restricted in an F-1 Visa.
  • Ties to your Home Country: Student must have strong connection with the home country-Family, Assets, Bank accounts and a job offer while completion of studies.
  • Residence in a Foreign Country and a Strong intention to Return Back to Home Country: An F-1 Visa holder must have a foreign residence and should have intention to return back to their home country after completion of the degree.
  • Have High English Proficiency: International Student should have their English level high to understand and speak as required by education institutions.

The process of Admission varies from university to university. You need to show that you have adequate fund to study in an university of USA without having a job and you may need to show Health Insurance in order to cover any medical expenses should you need any medical assistance. Once the university has determined that your application is complete and you are academically eligible, they will issue an I-20 form to enable you to apply for your student visa.

Requirement of Documents:

Get your I-20 Form: After accepting your program university will give you the I-20 form. With that form, you can initiate the application process.

Submit DS-160 form online: Your DS-160 form is the first form that you have to submit online. You should fill in all the necessary information which are relevant to your background, objectives in the U.S and your program of study. At the end when you submit the form, you will get a confirmation code and page which you will need later on for the interview and document file.

Pay the visa application fee: The visa application fee is a non-refundable fee which means that even if you don’t get the visa, you will not get the money back. Besides this fee, there might be additional fees depending on the Embassy that you are applying in. If you are from specific countries, you might also have to pay a visa issuance or reciprocity fee, which is determined by the U.S Embassy. Keep the receipts which prove you have paid all fees.

Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee: Since all international students in the U.S are registered in SEVIS, there is also a fee which needs to be paid. You should pay and keep the receipt as you will need it later.

Compile your document file:Your document file should be completed with all necessary forms. You should have it with you when you go to your visa appointment. The file should contain the following:

  • A valid passport for 6 more months after the expiration of your visa.
  • Your DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Your visa appointment letter.
  • One US Visa photograph.
  • Receipts which prove you have paid your fees.
  • Your original I-20 form and one copy.

Proof of your educational qualifications such as:

  • Degrees and diplomas.
  • Transcripts.
  • Standardized test scores, etc.
  • Proof of your financial stability, such as:
  • Bank statements for the last 3 years.
  • Tax information for the last 3 years.
  • Loans to finance your stay in the U.S (if applicable).
  • Scholarship for your education in the U.S, provide all relevant information (if applicable).
  • If you will be supported by an individual in the U.S, submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support and the person’s bank and tax return information for the last 3 years.
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