Find Scholarships To Finance Your Study - Fully Funded International Scholarships for International Students

Everything About USA Student Visa Application, Interviews And Top Tips

The US is the most visited country in the world. Ranging from tourism to official visits or any other casual visit, the country has never been short of people coming in. Except for some few countries that are Visa exempted from coming to the US, you’ve to apply for a visa before visiting the United States. 

Visa is like a ticket that’ll allow you to travel to the country, stay there and even work (depending on the type of visa you apply for). They’re different types and each type has its peculiar purpose. Here on this page, we’ll be providing you with everything about USA student visa application interviews and top tips. 


What is a US Student Visa?

Just like any other visa, the US student visa is another type of visa that is mainly given to students. If you’re a foreigner who wants to study in the US, and you don’t have a citizenship status, you’ll need a US student visa. This visa will give you the permit to live and study fully in the US.

The process of applying for a US student visa isn’t so hard, but it takes a long time to be fully processed. This means that if you’re interested in studying in the US, it is better you start your visa application process 6 months before the beginning of your program. 

Now if you’ve completed other steps and you’re in the application stage, then here is how to apply for the US Visa. Meanwhile, you’ve to bear in mind that the process isn’t in a regular pattern for all embassies or consulates. Make sure you read through the website of the US embassy or consulate that you’re applying from for more information. 


Apply to an EVP-approved institution

The first stage of your student visa application process is having been accepted into a SEVP-approved institution in the US.

You’ve to choose and be accepted into an institution and program accredited by the US government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This is because you’ve to make sure your degree is recognized worldwide. 

In the US, there’s no centralized or general metric for university application. All universities have different metrics of admission and you’ve to apply them yourself. To verify if an institution is accredited or not, you can use the Government study in the United States website

Your university will give you an application for to fill out, together with their brochures. You’ll also be required to show proof of funds and other basic requirements that’ll be included. 

An ASEVIS-generated document called Form I-20 if you’ve been accepted by the institution (if you’re eligible for an F or M visa). A DS-2019 will be sent to you if you’re eligible for the  j-1 visa. 


Paying the SEVIS fee

The SEVIS fee is a mandatory payment that you’ve to make. The payment should be made at least three days after submitting your application. The process involves you filling a paper form or an online form. 

Currently, the form is US$200 for F or M visa and $180 for students who are applying for the J student visa. If you’re a student applying for a j visa and you’re on summer work or travel, working at the camp counselors and au pairs, you’re to pay $35 instead. 

Once you’re done with the payment, you can download the processed payment slip and print it at any time. This printed document is used as evidence of payment during your interview. 


USA student visa application

After you’ve completed all the processes mentioned above, you can now proceed to start your application for a US student visa. To begin, you’ve to book an appointment with the US embassy of your country or consulate. It is better if you start the application early to get hold of your visa before your program begins. 

After every step, you’ve to complete an online DS-160 form. Make sure you have all the information needed at hand, then select your current application location. You’ll be given security questions to answer. Make sure you answer them correctly before proceeding to the main application page. 

On the application page, you’re to fill the information needed. You also need to have all the documents and information you need to fill in the application. After selecting and answering a security question, you’ll be taken to the pages of the form. At the top, you’ll find your application ID. You’ll need this ID to retrieve your form if you need to exit the application and return to it later. The following are the personal details you’ll have to fill;

  • Personal details required to complete the DS-160 form include:
  • Name and date of birth
  • Address and phone number
  • Passport details 
  • Recent Photograph of yourself
  • Details of travel plans, and travel companions
  • Security, background, and medical health information
  • Details of previous US travel
  • Family, work, and education details
  • Your point of contact in the US
  • SEVIS ID and address of the US school/program you intend to enroll in. 

Once you’re done filling out the DS-160 online, you can click on the sign application button to complete the procedure. A barcode number and an ID number will be sent to you after your application has been submitted successfully. 


Pay the visa application fee

The visa application fee is also called the Machine Readable Visa Fee, or MRV fee. They’re three ways to make the payment. They are; 

  • Through bank 
  • Through mobile transactions (charges may involve)
  • Online payment (you’ll need to print your receipt). 


Interview stage 

After the application process is completed, you’ve to schedule an interview with the US embassy or consulate. The interview is one of the most prominent phases of the process because you’ll get to meet the officials physically.  It is important to wait till you have done your visa interview before you leave your place of residence. Interviews outside your place of permanent residence may make the visa application difficult to be granted. 

During the interview, you’re to bring several documents which include the following;

  • Your Passport
  • SEVIS DS-2019 or Form I-20 
  • Form DS-7002 (for students under J-1 Trainee and Intern visa)
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • A copy of the visa interview appointment letter
  • A confirmation receipt of payment
  • Photographs (two to three depending on the requirements)
  • Academic transcripts and diplomas from the institutions you’ve attended 
  • TOEFL, LSAT, GRE, and GMAT scores from any standard authorized agency 
  • Proof of financial sufficiency.


During the Interview

The interview isn’t any special meeting where you’ll be asked questions you may not be able to answer. Do not panic, the most important part of the interview is bringing your documents physically for assessment. During the interview, you’ll be accessed to know if you’re qualified for the visa or not and determine the most suitable type of visa for you. 

You have to arrive as early as possible to beat the stipulated time. If you come late for the interview, you may be asked to fix another schedule. After your documents have been accessed. You’ll take your biometrics. Sometimes you’ll go through the medical examination there. You’ll also answer a series of questions like your plans after graduation, etc. 

After the interview, your interviewer will let you know if your application may be subjected to further administrative processing. This may add up to the waiting time, and it may be just a matter of a few days for it to be reviewed. 

The waiting time for the to be processed differs from country to country. The F-1 and M-1 visas can be issued after 120 days from the time of application. J-A j-1isa can be offered anytime from the time you did your application. 

Note: Visas aren’t necessarily a guarantee for your stay in the US. They allow you to leave your home country for the US, but you’ll stop at the port of entry. You’ll need a permit from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official. That shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re in the process of getting your documents, you’ll have to present it at the port of entry and you’ll be granted your permit. 


Take away 

The US is one of the finest places to study. The country admits students amidst fierce competition. You’ve to be prudent during your application in order not to make mistakes. It is proper that you should read through the contents on this page very well before you begin your application processes. 

Everything about the USA student visa, application, interviews and top tips have been discussed here already. Just begin your application today and you’re good to go!