Indian students make 18 per cent of international students in the United States and are the second-largest group of international students in the country.
There are many different kinds of visas available in the United States, but as an international student, you only need to know about two of them:
F-1 student visa
If you want to study at a US college or university, a private secondary school, or an approved English language program, you’ll require this form of student visa. If you plan to study for more than 18 hours per week, you’ll require an F-1 visa.
M-1 student visa
The M-1 student visa is designed for people who want to study in the United States for a specific purpose. With an M-1 visa, students can enter the United States and pursue full-time vocational studies.
After you’ve determined which visa is best for your studies, the following step is to gather all of the necessary paperwork to complete your application. The following are the documents you will require:
- Form DS-160, Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. For more information, go to the DS-160 web page.
- A passport that is valid for travel to the United States that is valid for at least six months beyond your expected stay in the country (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
- One photograph, taken during the last six months, measuring 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm).
- Depending on your nationality, there may be an extra visa issuance reciprocity cost if a visa is issued. You can find out if you have to pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and how much it costs on the Department of State’s website.
- An original signed Form I-20 from your US school or program has been approved.
After you’ve gathered all of your paperwork, it’s time to pay for your visa. Fees for both F-1 and M-1 student visas are US$160 or less than IN$13,000 for both. Please keep in mind that this does not include any extra fees that may apply to you. It’s also worth noting that there are no returns once payment has been made. Applicants for US visas must make an appointment with the Visa Application Center (VAC) and attend the visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in person.
The VAC appointment must be scheduled at least one day before the interview appointment. Both appointments can be scheduled online using this website or by calling the call center. It is recommended that visa applicants apply at least three months before their anticipated travel date. Although visa processing takes seven to ten working days on average, processing times for individual cases may vary according to unique circumstances and other requirements.
You can collect your visa and continue on to the next leg of your journey to the United States after it has been finished.