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USA student visa for Indian students - Requirements and Step by Step application process.

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The USA continues to be the top choice for Indian students looking for education abroad. As per the latest 2022 USCIS report, 1,99,812 Indian students went to the US in 2022 for higher education which is 19% more compared to the year 2021.

If your next step is to study in the USA? Then our experienced USA student visa consultants at Global Job Assist will guide you in every step of the USA student visa application process and pave the way to a successful career abroad.

Read this guide to know about the US universities, tuition fees, funds required, documents checklist, the application process, post-study work opportunities, student life in the USA, living costs etc.

What is a USA Student Visa?

A USA student visa is a study permit issued by the US government that allows international students to live and study in the US legally until the duration of the study program.

Types of US Student Visas:

Based on the type of course or program, US student visas are broadly classified into 3 types. They are:

F1 student Visa for academic studies:

  • This Visa is issued to students who choose an academic program (study at the university level) or English language program and must maintain full-time student status.

  • F1 Visa allows for part-time and on-campus work for less than 20 hours/week.

  • Students are allowed to work on optional practical training (OPT) for 1 year after completing their academic program.

  • F1 Visa is the most common international student visa.

  • Dependents of F1 visa holders like children and spouses will travel on an F2 Visa. Note: spouses are not allowed to work. To study and work they must apply for their own visa.

For example, Students who choose undergraduate and graduate programs like a Master's or MBA that require more than 18 hours of study in a week must apply for F1 Visa.

J1 Exchange Visitor Visa

  • J1 Visa is issued to students who chose to obtain practical training to complete their academic program. 

For example, scholars and many students on short-term study abroad programs from Indian universities will travel to the USA on a J-1 visa. It may include a 10-month vocational training or some research fellowship etc.

  • Dependents of J1 visa holders like children and spouses will travel on a J-2 Visa.

M-1 Vocational / Non-Academic Student Visa

  • M1 visa is for students who are going to attend vocational and non-academic schools.

  • M1 visa holders are not allowed to work during the course of their studies.

US F1 Student Visa requirements

  • You need a Valid passport with a validity date of at least 6 months beyond your study period in Canada.

  • Recent passport-size photograph with a plain background (taken within the last 6 months)

  • DS-160 confirmation page

  • Form I-20

  • SEVIS application fee

  • Academic/work documents

What is SEVIS Fee?

SEVIS is a student and exchange visitor information system. It holds all the current information of exchange visitors, nonimmigrant students and their dependents that come to the US under F or J status. Every F1 Student will be given a unique SEVIS number and a record created for you. SEVIS tracks every detail of you until you complete your visa program.

How to apply for a US Student Visa?

Step 1: Do your own research to find the suitable universities, courses available, tuition fees and living costs, language requirements etc.

Step 2: Prepare for IELTS and get a score that meets the requirements of the universities to which you are willing to apply.

Step 3: Apply for the university directly by visiting their official website. Provide all the required information and documents.

Step 4: If your application is accepted by the university. The university will send one of the 2 forms:

  • Form I-20 - Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for F-1 and M-1 visa application students

  • Form DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status for J-1 visa application students.

Step 5: pay the required SEVIS (I-901) Fee online after receiving your I-20 or DS-2019 form from the university.  

    • The fee is around 350 US dollars (28,740 Indian rupees) for F1/M1 student visa applicants

    • The fee is 220 US dollars (18,065 indian rupees) for J-1 visa applicants.

    • For short-term J-1 Visa programs, the fee is 35 USD (2,874 Indian rupees)

Step 6: Find the US consulate in your city

Step 7: Fill out the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application form online and make an appointment for your visa interview at your nearest US visa consulate and pay your visa application fee of 160 USD.

Step 8: Visit the Consulate on the visa interview scheduled date. This interview will decide whether you are granted or rejected for the student visa.

Step 9: If your visa is approved the US consulate will send your passport to you with your new visa in it. The embassies will ask you to collect it in person or it will ship it to your address.

USA Student Visa F1 Visa interview questions and answers

  1. Why do you want to study in the United States (US)?

  2. Why can’t you continue your education in your home country (India)? 

  3. What are you planning to study in the USA?

  4. Have you been to the US before?

  5. Why did you choose this university in the US?

  6.  How many different universities did you apply to?

  7.  Where is your school/university located?

  8. What are your English language test scores?

  9. How well can you speak English?

  10. Can you share your high school transcripts?

  11. How are you planning to finance your education?

  12. Who is sponsoring you?

  13. What is the profession of your sponsor?

  14. Do you plan on working while you are studying in the US?

  15. Do you plan to return to your home country after completing your education?

  16. Do you have friends, family, or relatives in the US? 

  17. Do you have a job or career in mind post-graduation? 

What is the USA Student Visa acceptance rate?

Around 1,25,000 USA student visas are issued in 2022 and the success rate is around 80% 2022.

Intakes in USA 2023

The United States also allows international students to enrol in university admissions in 3 intakes. They are:

  • Spring intake:

This intake starts from January to and ends in April

  • US Fall intake:

Most of the international students prefer fall intake to get admission which starts from the month of September and ends in December/January 

  • USA Summer intake: 

This intake starts in the month of May and ends in august

Cost of Masters (MS) in USA for Indian Students

International students need to pay a SEVIS fee of 200 USD (16417 Indian rupees) for F1 Visa and $180 USD (14775.66 Indian rupees) for M1 and J1 Visa.

The overall estimated cost of living in the USA for Indian students is $10,000 (820870 Indian rupees) to $18,0000 (1477566 Indian rupees) per year. 

It costs around $1000 (82087 indian rupees) to $1500 (123130 Indian rupees) per month. This cost includes accommodation, food, travel, health, entertainment etc. 

The cost of a master's in the USA for Indian students ranges from 16 Lakhs to 50 Lakhs per year based on course and type of program.