F-1 Student Visa Application Guide

Planning to attend college or university in the United States?

Learn more about the student visa requirements so you can adequately prepare for your student life in the United States.

In a nutshell, there are two kinds of student visa categories in the US: the F-1 visa or an M-1 visa.

The M-1 visa is issued for non-academic or vocational courses, while the F-1 visa is issued to all full-time international students planning to attend any academic institution in the United States.

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F-1 visas are issued to foreign nationals who intend to enter the United States and attend either of the following:

• University or College
• High School
• Private Elementary School
• Seminary
• Conservatory
• Language Training Program

F-1 visas can be issued up to 120 days before your study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States earlier than 30 days before your start date. In addition, the visa is valid throughout the duration of your program, and for 60 days after graduation.

Steps in Applying for a F-1 Visa

Before you can even begin applying for an F-1 visa, the first step is to apply to an SEVP-certified school in the United States. You can search for SEVP-certified schools on the DHP Study in the States website.

Once you have secured admission to an SEVP-certified school, your school will issue you a document called a Form I-20. The Form I-20 serves as documentation of your admission to an SEVP-certified school, as well as your enrollment in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database.

After you have paid the SEVIS I-900 fee, you can now apply for a student visa!
Step 1: Secure a Digital Photo for your Visa Application
Make sure to follow the photo requirements specified by USCIS

Step 2: Complete the Form DS160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
This form is completed electronically and must be submitted online.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment for your VISA interview
It is recommended that you schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. Also, make sure to schedule as soon as you can because wait times vary drastically depending on the season.

Step 4: Pay the Non-Refundable Visa Application Fee

Step 5: Gather the Required Documentation
The required documentation includes but is not limited to the following:

• Valid Passport
• Form DS-160 Confirmation Page
• Application Fee Receipt
• Form I-20

Other supporting documentation may be required to establish that you are fully qualified.

Step 6: Attend your VISA interview

F-1 Student Visa Application Guide
Download the F-1 Student Visa Application Guide to learn more about the student visa application process and apply on your own without the help of any third party individuals or organizations.

It contains a step-by-step-guide that will help you file your application as efficiently and quickly as possible.

The application guide contains the following sections:

• Overview of F-1 Visa
• F-1 Visa Eligibility and Requirements
• Comprehensive Application Guide with Forms
• Information on Work Authorization
• Information on Student Visa Exemption
• Information on School Transfers
• List of all USCIS (formerly INS) offices nationwide
• List of United States Embassies and Consulates

F-1 Student Visa Application GuideApply Now!

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