Getting a student visa in the USA is a systematic process that can seem complicated if you don’t
know the little details that you need to work around. The process is almost similar with getting a Canada students visa. This is why most people spend way too much time, money, and energy on acquiring a student visa which otherwise would seem a seamless process. But, you have got nothing to worry about since you are in the right space as we are going to guide you through all the steps you need to follow to ensure you get your student visa quickly with minimal effort. So, let us get started.
We recommend that you start preparing for obtaining a visa at least five months before your
preferred educational course is due to commence. This is to avoid any unnecessary mishaps that
you might face along the way. Having extra time would allow you to rectify any mistake that you
might make in the process.
Depending on the US embassy or consulate, you would have to go through a sequence of events
for obtaining the student visa. Usually, this involves the five following steps.
Steps On How To Get The USA Students Visa
Applying to a SEVP-approved Educational Institution
Your journey has to begin with selecting an educational institution that has been accredited by
the SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) of the US government. This accreditation is
important not only because employers and government officials around the world will
recognize it but also because SEVP can offer the required document to apply for a student visa.
Use this website to locate SEVP-approved institutes and fulfill all the necessary forms. As soon
as an institution accepts you, they will put you in the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor
Information System) where you will get to know what type of visa (F, M, or J) you are eligible
Paying the SEVIS Fee
The second step involves paying the SEVIS fee at least three days before you submit your
application for a US student visa. You will get the form from the US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) SEVP website.
The fee currently stands at $180 for J Visa and $200 for an F/M visa although if you, as a J visa
holder, are working as a camp counselor, you will have to pay $35. You will also get information
on the various payment modes on the website itself.
Completing the US Student Visa Application
After completing the first two steps, you now have to get an appointment with a US embassy or
consulate in your nation for the US student visa application. This visa can be issued 120 days
before you arrive in the US. From this website, you will get all the information you need for the
Here, you need to fill in all the personal details along with a photograph and SEVIS ID, and the
address of the institution you are applying for. Carefully fill everything in and then proceed to
electronically sign your DS-160 by clicking the button that says “Sign Application”. You will
receive a barcode and application ID number once the application is uploaded.
Paying the Visa Application Fee
Also known as the MRV fee (Machine Readable Visa fee), the Visa application fee has to be paid
next. You need to ensure to review the instructions for the payment available on the website of
the embassy or consulate.
You can pay in person at an approved bank or through a phone wherein you will get a fee
confirmation number or online where you must print your receipt. This is a non-transferable
and non-refundable payment.
Sitting for the US Student Visa Interview
Finally, you will have to schedule and sit for the interview that can take place via phone or
online by calling the nearest US embassy or consulate. It is okay if you make your interview
appointment with a different embassy than the one you used to apply for your visa. However, it
might be a bit difficult if you apply outside your permanent residence.
Make sure to have all the documents for the interview including the passport which must be
valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay. If there is more than one person in the
passport, each of them who is applying for the visa must submit separate application forms.
From there on, you will get all the relevant information you need to handle your student visa in
the US. Follow all these steps and make sure to keep everything official.