United States Student Visa Guide
Student Visa Step-by-step
The US Student Visa process involves a series of important steps, carefully outlined below, to ensure you are well-prepared for a smooth and successful application.
Step 1: Apply to a SchoolVisit US School Search
The fist step to attaining a US student visa is to Apply to a School in the US approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This is a crucial step because only SEVP-approved institutions can enroll students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
If you haven't already, Visit the Study Trekkers Guide on Applying to a US institution.
Step 2: Register with SEVIS and Pay FeeVisit Website
Once you receive acceptance from the SEVP-approved school, make sure you are registered with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). After this, you'll need to pay the mandatory SEVIS I-901 fee. This registration process is essential for all international students planning to study in the US.
Step 3: Collect Form I-20
After you've paid the SEVIS fee, your school will provide you with a Form I-20. This document is required for the next step in the visa application process.
Step 4: Apply for student visa (F or M)Visit US Consulate List
With your Form I-20, you can now apply for a student visa (F or M) at a US Embassy or Consulate. It's crucial to present the Form I-20 to the consular officer during your visa interview.
Step 5: Spouses & Children
Are you planning to bring your spouse and/or children with you? If so, they must also be enrolled in SEVIS and obtain individual Form I-20s from your school. They will then need to apply for their visas. Thankfully, no additional fee is required for their SEVIS enrollment.
Resource: SEVISVisit Website
Information on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, including current fees.
Resource: US Department of State Student Visa OverviewVisit Website
Information on the overall student visa process including visa types.