• Notes -
    1. Carry all your documents in a transparent "Harmonium" file to your VISA Interview.
    2. This list is applicable to most students going to the US for their Bachelor's, Master's or Ph.D. degree.
    3. This is a full list of any and all documents that you may require to bring to your VISA Interview, you will only need to bring the documents that are applicable to your VISA application as not ALL of these documents are required, but they are recommended.
    4. These documents will definitely increase your chances of VISA approval as they can satisfy the Visa Officer beyond doubt about the legitimacy of your application.
    5. I have done my best to remove repetition of requirements from this article, please suggest any and all improvements/corrections that can be made to this article in the Comments section below.

  • Basic Visa Documents -
    1. Cover Letter stating why you should be granted VISA to enter the US.
    2. Passport
      (Your current and all old passports)
      (Original & Photocopy of the first and last page)
      (should be valid for travel to the United States with validity dates at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States)
    3. I-20 Form, from the Final University ONLY
      (Obtained after submitting Proof of Finances to the University)
      (Remember to fill in the information on the first page of the I-20 Form and sign it)
    4. DS-160 Confirmation
      (with a clear and legible barcode, the barcode number on this page is required in order to book your interview)
      (So, preferably a coloured printout)
    5. Form I-901 SEVIS  Fee Receipt
      (SEVIS = Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
      ($200 Fee to be filled online at www.ice.gov/sevis/ at least 3 days prior to your visa interview date)
    6. Visa Fee payment Receipt
      (Original & Photocopy)
      ($160 Fee to be filled after filling DS-160 form and Form I-901 SEVIS)
    7. Interview Appointment Letter
      (Appointment confirmation page)
      (Original & Photocopy)
      (Get a printable copy from ustraveldocs website)
      (This has the schedule, address and timing of your Bio-metrics (identification) appointment and your visa interview)
  • Universities' Documents -
    1. Admission letter &/or Enrollment Letter &/or Acceptance Letter from the Final University
    2. Admission letter(s), Enrollment Letter(s) and Acceptance Letter(s) from all the Universities that have accepted you
    3. Financial Aid or Scholarship Letters
      (if you got any from an organization or your Final University)
    4. Emails of your correspondence with your Professors of interest from your Final University

  • Academic Documents - 
    1. Senior Secondary School (10th Standard) Mark Sheet (Original & Photocopy)
    2. High School (12th Standard) Mark Sheet (Original & Photocopy)
    3. Diploma Certificate (if you have a Diploma) 
    4. Bachelors' and Masters' Final Degree Certificate(s)
      (if you have completed any of these degrees)
      (Provisional Certificate or Bonafide Certificate if you haven't got your final degree yet)
    5. Mark Sheets and Transcripts from all the Colleges you have attended
    6. SAT/GRE/GMAT Standardised Tests Score Cards
      (if not available, take a printout of scores displayed online on their respective website)
    7. IELTS/TOEFL English Proficiency Test Score Cards
      (if not available, take a printout of scores displayed online on their respective website)
    8. Letter(s) of Recommendation from your Professor(s) and your Employer(s).
    9. Resume/CV
    10. Training and Experience Certificates (if any).
    11. Statement of Purpose (SOP)

  • Liquid Assets -
    1. Provident Fund (PF) Certificates (of any or all or your sponsors)
      Personal Provident Fund (PPF)
      General Provident Fund (GPF) 
    2. Gratuity Statements
    3. Confirmation Letter of Balance
      (Bank Statement of Savings and Fixed Accounts)
      (Bank Acknowledgement Form)
      (Issued by the bank(s)' of your sponsor(s), stating that the sponsor has "XXX" amount of (sponsorship) money in their account(s))
    4. Official Loan Sanction Letter
      (From the bank providing the loan, detailing your approved loan, if you are funding your education through a loan)
    5. Rental Agreement (if you have given any of your property on rent)
    6. Stock Statements or DEMAT account statement
      (of all your sponsors who hold shares)
      (with entries at least from the last 6 months)

      (online prints acceptable)
      (showing the shares &/or mutual funds your sponsor(s) own and their current market value)
    7. Gold Valuation Report (From a Government certified gold shop/professional
    8. Summary of Bond Policies  with their Policy Surrender Values

  • Documents to Prove your Financial Sources & Security -
    1. FUNDS vs EXPENSES Statement for all years of your education.
      (Detailing your sponsor(s)' Annual Income vs your Annual expenditure in USA)
    2. Chartered Accountant (CA) Report with Asset Summary
      (R
      eport of all your Financial Funds and Assets from the CA you hire)
    3. Proofs of Validity of Sponsorship
      1. Affidavit(s) of Support from your sponsor(s)
        (required from sponsors who are not your parents or siblings)
        (If your sponsor(s) are from or live in the US, Form I-134 is required from them)
      2. Letter(s) from other sponsor(s) (IF ANY), who have promised to financially support only specific expenses like living, board, books, etc.
      3. Documents proving validity of huge transfers made recently to your account, that is, transaction receipts, signed and stamped by the Bank's Branch Manager.
    4. Proofs of Savings:
      1. Bank Passbook(s) of Savings and Current Accounts
        (Bank Account(s) Transaction Statements, IF your bank doesn't issue a passbook)
        (of all your sponsor(s)' account(s) which hold your funding money)
        (with entries from the last 3-6 months at least)
        (If most of your funds are in FD's, with very little money in Savings accounts, then you dont need to carry Bank Passbook(s) or Bank Account(s) Transaction Statements)
      2. Bank Passbook(s) of Provident Funds (PF) of your sponsors
      3. Fixed Deposit(s) Certificates (Original) 
      4. Private Fixed Deposit(s) Certificates (If you have Private FD's) (from Company, Credit Society, etc)
    5. If you or any of your sponsors are salaried/employed, carry the following:
      1. Salary Certificate of all sponsor(s) (Latest, Preferably last 2 recent ones)
        (online prints acceptable)
      2. Your own Salary Certificate if you were previously employed
      3. Salary Slips of all sponsor(s)(of the last 6 months)
      4. Employment Certificate of all sponsor(s)
      5. Previous Job details of of your parents (if your parents are your sponsors)
    6. If you or any of your sponsors own a business, carry the following:
      1. Their Business Cards,  
      2. A Brochure or a Product Catalog of the company.
      3. Fund Flow Statement and Turnover Reports for the last 3 years 
    7. If any of your sponsors are farming, carry a complete J Form with you
    8. If you or any of your sponsors invest, carry the following if available:
      1. Share Certificates (Original)   
      2. Bonds Certificates (Original)   
      3. Certificates of Other Investments like NSC/NSS/IVP/KVP/Mutual Funds
    9. Previous Years' Income Tax Returns
      (preferably of the last 3 years)
      (Form 16, if your sponsor(s) are salaried)
      (TDS Certificate(s), if your sponsor(s) are employed and Tax is deducted by the employing company at the source)
  • Immovable Assets -
    Note -
    These assets indicate a plan to return to you home country. These assets
    also prove financial security for the expenses of the of your study after your first year, if you dont have enough "liquid assets" to show for all the years of your study.
    1. Agricultural Land Documents (also needed if you are showing agricultural income)
    2. Residential Home & Ancestral Land/Home Documents (if applicable)
    3. Commercial Property Ownership Documents (if you own a factory, etc)
    4. A deed proving that you own property in your home country
    5. Property Valuation Report
      (Evaluation of your house(s), land(s) and factories)
      (From a property evaluation consultancy, however if you have taken a loan from the bank on a certain property, the bank will evaluate the property value)
    6. House Tax Bill (if you pay it in your state/country)

  • Your Identity & Proof of relationship to your Sponsor(s) -
    1. Your own coloured Photographs
      (You need them sometimes)
      (2x2 inches in size)
      (Showing your full face, without the head being covered by a cap/hat, no sunglasses, Power glasses are accepted)
    2. Driving License (Original & Photocopy)
    3. Family Photos (Pleasant photos with all the members of your family)
    4. Self Visiting Card
    5. Birth Certificate
    6. Other Identification Cards
    7. Character Certificates and Police reports as evidence to show that you are not engaged in any criminal activities.
    8. No Objection Letters to study abroad issued by the government of your country
  • You should bring the following documents to your interview (IF APPLICABLE):
    1. Documents demonstrating strong financial, social, and family ties to your home country that will compel you to return to your country after your program of study in the United States ends.
    2. Financial and any other documents you believe will support your application and which give credible evidence that you have enough readily-available funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study and that you have access to funds sufficient to cover all expenses while you remain in the United States. M-1 applicants must demonstrate the ability to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of their intended stay.
    3. Originals of bank documents, as, photocopies of bank statements will not be accepted unless you can also show original copies of bank statements or original bank books.
    4. Academic documents that show scholastic preparation. Useful documents include public examination certificates (A-levels, etc.), academic award letters and previously given standardized test scores (GRE, SAT, TOEFL, etc.).
    5. If you are financially sponsored by another person, bring proof of your relationship to the sponsor (such as your birth certificate).
    6. If you, as the principal applicant are taking your spouse and children with you to USA, you will need prove your relationship to them using your marriage certificate, wedding photos and the birth certificates of your children.
    7. If your family owns a business, provide evidence that you plan to return to your home country to work in your family business after your education is completed in the US.
    8. Documents that provide evidence that you and/or your family members (from your home country) have previously gone overseas (Example- to USA) for travel or study, and have returned.
    9. Carry a "Job Reliving Letter" or proof that you have been offered a job when you return to your home country or that you will be retained in your current job after you return.
    10. Letters from prominent government officials (mayor, principal, congressman, etc.) showing faith in your potential and offering assurance that you plan to return to your home country after your education.
    11. Documents that provide evidence that you have family remaining in your home country and that you have a plan to return to them.
    12. Evidence of confirmed flights "from your home country to USA" and "from USA to your home country".

Article Last updated on 11th July, 2016.

References -
http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-typefandm.asp
http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visaapply.asp

Ankit

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