7 STEPS to getting a F-1 Student Visa to Study in U.S. -  

#1 Get an Admit -
Before applying for a visa, all student visa applicants are required to be accepted and approved by their SEVP-certified school or program.
You need to complete the following steps as pre-requisites to get admit(s) to the Institutes of your choice:
  1. Fill the Online Applications required by the Institutes of your choice
  2. Pay the applicable Application processing fee to the Institutes individually
  3. SOP & a Cover Letter stating why you should be granted admission in your institution of choice.
  4. A copy of your current passport (Notarized Photocopy)
  5. Financial Aid or Scholarship Requests through E-mails or by simple mail
  6. Senior Secondary School (10th Standard) Mark Sheet (Notarized Photocopy)
  7. High School (12th Standard) Mark Sheet (Notarized Photocopy)
  8. Diploma Certificate (if you have a Diploma) (Notarized Photocopy)
  9. Bachelors' and Masters' Final Degree Certificate(s) (Notarized Photocopy)
    (if you have completed any of these degrees)
  10. Mark Sheets and Transcripts from all the Colleges you have attended (Notarized Photocopies)
    (keep an extra officially signed and sealed set of transcripts, as they are required to be submitted to your FINAL University by simple mail or manually)
  11. Standardised Tests Score from SAT/GRE/GMAT
  12. English Proficiency Test Score from TOEFL/IELTS
  13. Letter(s) of Recommendation (LOR's) from your Professor(s) &/or your Employer(s) (submitted online or through simple mail)
    (signed and sealed copies are required if the LOR's are to be submitted by simple mail)
  14. Resume/CV
  15. Training and Experience Certificates (if any). 
  16. Declaration of Financial Support through a Proof of Finances Form and Affidavit(s) of Support from your sponsor(s)


#2 Get your I-20 -
  1. Once accepted, educational institutions will provide each applicant the necessary approval documentation to be submitted when applying for a student visa. 
  2. It may take several weeks for your VISA to get approved, the US embassy may also want to verify the information you give them, so apply as early as possible.
  3. You can book your Visa Interview, "at most" 120 days (4 months) BEFORE the start of your education program in the US.
  4. You can schedule an emergency Visa Interview "at most" 60 days (2 months) BEFORE the start of your education program in the US.
  5. You can travel to the US "at most" 30 days (1 month) BEFORE the start date of your program, as printed on your I-20 Form.

#3 Pay the SEVIS (I‑901) Fee -
  1. Complete the SEVIS Form I‑901 by going to fmjfee.com.
  2. Select "Form I-20" as per your requirement. Click on Next. 
  3. If you choose to pay by check, money order, or Western Union Quick Pay, you must be able to print the Form I‑901 payment coupon when you complete the form online.
  4. Now, on the new page enter your Name, Date of Birth and the SEVIS Identification number listed on your I-20.
  5. Pay the $200 I‑901 (SEVIS) Fee. 
  6. Print the Payment Confirmation for your records. Reference the confirmation number  on all inquiries related to your I‑901 status. You may be required to produce your payment confirmation for your visa issuance, admission to any United States port of entry, for any change of non‑immigrant status, or other United States immigration benefits.  

#4 Fill the DS-160 Form -
  1. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully.
  2. Next, complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. All information must be correct and accurate.
  3. You can also save your work and later, start where you left off. However, in order to access your application later, you will need: (1) your Application ID, and (2) the answer to the security question that you have chosen.
  4. Remember, once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes.
  5. The interview Embassy/Consulate you select at the beginning of the Form DS-160 must be the same Embassy/Consulate where you schedule your interview appointment.
  6. Note: If you are denied visa previously, you need to fill and complete a new Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

#5 Pay the Visa (MRV) Fee -
  1. It can take up to 2 business days from the time of your SEVIS fee payment for your payment to be verified, so you may be able to do this step 2 days after filling the SEVIS fee. 
  2. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in US dollars and native currency.
  3. To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment.
  4. Create a profile, fill out the details asked, and the SEVIS Identification number listed on your I-20.
  5. Now you will need to login to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay the non-refundable, non-transferable Machine Readable Visa (MRV) application fee at  - https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/applicanthome.
  6. Note: The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is $160.
  7. You will receive a receipt after paying the application fee and you must keep your receipt number and the respective proof of payment listed in the Bank and Payment Options page, in order to schedule your visa interview appointment.

#6 Schedule VISA Appointements -
  1. Firstly, check appointment wait times at ustraveldocs.com.
  2. Open https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/applicanthome and click on "Schedule Appointment" on the left-hand side menu. This will start the process for scheduling your appointment. 
  3. You must schedule two appointments,
    1. OFC appointment for taking your Biometrics (that is, your fingerprints and photo) at the Visa Application Center (VAC), and
    2. Visa Interview appointment at the Embassy or Consulate (for your evaluation as a candidate to enter the US).
  4. Remember to schedule your visa interview appointment at an Embassy or a Consulate near to you.
  5. Also, schedule your OFC Biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Centre at least 1 day before your Visa Interview appointment at the Embassy or Consulate. 
  6. Now, you will need three pieces of information for in order to schedule your "OFC appointment" at the "Visa Application Centre (VAC):
    1. Your passport number,
    2. The date you paid your fee, and
    3. The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.
#7 Collect you VISA -
  1. Applicants can track the status of their visa application through https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/
  2. You can check whether your visa is ready to be collected using only your passport number on the status tracker .
  3. Although visa processing time is typically three working days, processing time for specific cases may vary due to individual circumstances and other special requirements. 
  4. Passports not collected within 14 days from 11 Visa Application Centers or 7 days from Blue Dart locations will be returned to the Embassy/Consulate.
  5. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. 
  6. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. 
  7. "Wait Times for a Nonimmigrant Visa to be processed" information by country does not include time required for administrative processing. Processing wait time also does not include the time required to return the passport to applicants, by either courier services or the local mail system.

Now you can travel to USA!



INFOGRAPHIC- Getting
a F-1 Student Visa to Study in U.S. -

References -

http://www.ustraveldocs.com
https://fmjfee.com/i901fee/desktop/index.jsp?view=desktop
https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/updatedata
https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/forms/ds-160--online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/frequently-asked-questions.html

Ankit

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