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  • Guide to USA Visa Requirements for Overseas Students

    Guide to USA Visa Requirements for Overseas Students
    Friday, June 12, 2015

    Getting a visa is one of the most important steps when applying to study in a different country. If a visa is not granted, it becomes impossible for the student to go for higher education in that country. Moreover, visa requirements can get confusing for students. It is important to understand the complete process of getting a student visa in order to study at the best universities in the United States of America.

    Types of International Student Visas

    There are three possible visas that can be issued to students who wish to visit USA for their studies. It is important to be familiar with these visas as each of them has a different set of rules and features. The type of visa can also affect the financing options available during the period of study.

    F-1 Visa

    This visa is meant for academic studies. They are issued to overseas students who are going to attend an academic programme in an institution in the USA. These visas are the most common type given to international students. In order to maintain the F-1 status of the visa, the students have to complete the minimum coursework required for fulltime students. Additionally, students can get part time or on-campus employment with this visa.

    J1 Visa

    Students who are visiting USA to get practical training will be given a J1 visa. However, the practical training must be of a kind that is unavailable in the native country of the student and is necessary for the completion of the academic programme. The J1 visa status has similar facilities and restrictions as that of the F-1 visa. However, this is only till the exchange visitor programme sponsor permits it.

    M1 Visa

    These visas are given to students who are getting enrolled at a vocational or a non-academic education institute. Students with a M1 visa are not allowed to work for the duration of their studies. Moreover, they need to show proof that they have enough funds to pay all the costs of tuition and living for the duration of their stay.

    The Application Process

    The application process for a visa could be very time consuming. Moreover, extreme care should be taken throughout the process in older to ensure that the mistakes are minimized. Otherwise, the visa might not be granted.

    • The university or the institute will send a form that confirms that the student has been accepted. The form called I-20 is given for F-1 visas while the DS-2019 is given for the J1 visa. The student has to read and fill up the form accordingly. There should not be any mistakes or discrepancies in the form.
    • An appointment will have to be set up for the visa interview. The interview should be applied for as early as possible as it will take time to arrange it. Each US embassy will have a detailed set of information and guidelines for making interview appointments in their respective interviews. Payments will also have to be met in full. The details will be given by the office of the EducationUSA Advising Centre in the country of the student.
    • There is a new visa application form called the DS-160. This form can be completed online and is available at website of the US embassy. They have detailed instructions regarding the procedure for filling up the form. Once filled, the form will have to be printed and taken for the visa interview.
    • The students should start preparing for the interview as soon as possible. This will ensure that enough time is available even if delays or appeals occur.

    Various resources are provided by the immigration authorities and US embassies to help overseas students apply for visas and prepare for the interviews. These resources can be invaluable for the students.

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