The F1 Visa is a U.S. student Visa (non-immigrant) required by international students who wish to study in the U.S. Any international student wanting to study in the USA will need to obtain a student visa for the U.S. Most students are issued an F1 Visa, and the general outline/process flow for obtaining an F1 Visa is as follows:
- Get accepted into a school
- Pay the SEVIS fee and receive your I-20
- Complete F1 Visa application
- Schedule and attend an F1 visa interview
- F1 Visa approval
F-1 Visa Document requirements
Before we share the list of documents required for the F-1 Visa interview, we would like to reiterate that you would not be asked for any documents other than your application/ appointment letter. However, being prepared is always advisable and you should keep these documents handy for that one in a million chance of the interviewer asking to see any document.
Also, file them neatly so that they are easily accessible. In addition, your original passport should be readily available, as you would be requested to submit the same.
Set 1: Personal Information
- Passport (current and all the previous ones)
- MRV Fee Receipt
- Visa Interview Appointment Letter
- DS 160 Confirmation Slip (with the bar code clearly visible)
- SEVIS Fee Receipt
- Passport Size Photograph (as per regulations mentioned)
Set 2: Educational Documents
- Academic Transcripts like Class 10th and 12th Certificates and mark-sheets
- GRE/GMAT/SAT scorecard
- IELTS/TOEFL/PTE scorecard
- Bachelor’s Degree/ Provisional Degree Certificate or course completion certificate or mark-sheet for all the years as well as the consolidated mark sheet (if applicable)
Set 3: Work-related Documents (if applicable)
- Joining Letter
- Salary Slips (last six months)
- Relieving Letter
Set 4: Financial Documents
- Loan Approval Letter (if applicable)
- Saving Bank Account Statement (recommended: last three years)
- Fixed Deposit Certificates (recommended: last three years)
- Tax Returns for the past three years
- Property Documents (residential, commercial, ancestral, and/or farmland)
Be Accepted at a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) Approved School
Before you can apply for your F1 Student Visa for the U.S., you must apply to and be accepted by a school approved by the SEVP.
Pay your SEVP fees and reserve your I-20
Once you’re accepted, you will be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee to be enrolled in the SEVIS. After that, your school will provide you with form I-20, and the same will be presented to your consular officer when you attend your F1 Visa interview.
Complete your visa application process
To complete your visa application process, you have to pay a non-refundable Visa application fee There is an online visa application available, which allows you to complete and print the Form DS-160 to take to your F1 Visa interview.
Schedule and prepare for your visa interview
Your Visa interview can be scheduled with the U.S. embassy or consulate. An F1 visa for the U.S. can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You will only be able to enter the US with an F1 visa 30 days before your start date. To know more about the F1 visa interview and what kind of questions you should prepare for, click here.
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