- Saturday, August 29, 2015
USA is considered as one of the top most destinations for study abroad. Considering there are different processes for different countries for student visas, it is advisable to have some knowledge and information on how to go about this. Applying for a student visa works out a long drawn process, for which it is advisable to start preparing much in advance, say, at least 5 to 8 months should work well.
Generally, any student will need five stages when applying for a student visa for the US.
1. Applying to an Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
Besides making sure you choose a course which is interesting, you need to be sure that the chosen course or program is accredited. Accreditation works out important as it can ensure that the degree you hold is recognised by other professional associations, universities, around the world. Institutions which are approved by SEVP are able to provide documents required for a student visa.
There is no centralised application process in the US which means, you will be required to apply for each university separately and also prove that you have sufficient finances for study in the US. Once accepted by the institution you will be enrolled in the SEVIS system (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) you will receive Form I-20 if eligible for an M or F visa, or form DS-2019 for J visa.
2. Paying the SEVIS fees
You need to remember that paying the SEVIS fees minimum three days before you apply for the US visa, for which you will need to fill up a form online or on the paper form, which will be accessible on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) SEVP website. Fill in exactly as required. You have the different details given on the website for payments, which can be done via credit card, debit card or even money transfers. Check the payment status on the website once the fees are paid. Make sure to get the print after the fees are paid as this is required as a proof for the interview for the US student visa.
3. Completing the US Visa application
You need to take an appointment with the US consulate or embassy after you receive the SEVIS form and paid the fees. This is for the application for a US Student visa. There are different steps to be followed in different US embassies or the consulates, for which you can consult the website of the embassy or consulate where you intend applying. You can apply online by filling in the required details by DS-160. Another requirement is uploading a photograph which is recent in accordance to the requirement. Make sure of answering all the questions without any errors or else you might have to reschedule your appointment for the US visa interview.
4. Paying the fee for visa application
The visa application fee, which is non-transferrable and non-refundable, is also termed as Machine Readable fee, or MRV fee. Review the instructions given on that particular website of the embassy or the consulate from where you wish to apply.
1. You can pay this by creating a user account on the net and fill in the details as the website directs. The deposit slip, DS-160 page, deposit slip along with the visa interview confirmation receipt needs to be printed and presented to a teller of a bank which is approved. Log onto your application online and fill in the details of the receipt of the US visa along with the MRV receipt.
2. You can opt for doing this over the phone by calling the number given on the website when you fill in the application form. Following the instructions given by the automated system, you can pay using your card.
3. Online payment can be done by bank transfer and using the credit card or the debit card. All you need to do is make sure you print the receipt after downloading, which is required for the visa application interview.
5. Appearing for the interview
This can be done by scheduling an appointment with the consulate or embassy, which you have contacted. You might need the MRV receipt number to get a date for the US student visa interview. There is no way you can think of getting a US student visa without appearing for the interview.