US Student Visa Application Process Step by Step 2024

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US Student Visa Process Step by Step 2024 – Once you have qualified and received your admission letter, you are just one step away from getting to your dream college. This one step is to get your US Student Visa application approved. Over ten thousand of students reach to US for further education every year. The US has become a country which has to offer opportunities with its well-known educational hubs.

If you want to secure your US study visa in 2024, and if you are beginner, then the documentation and paperwork become so daunting at first. However, once you understand the whole procedure, and break it down into small steps, you can easily get your US Student Visa 2024. Here in this blog post, we are going explain the step by step process for US Student Visa, the types of US Student Visa and how to apply while you are going to begin your course.

US Student Visa Application Process Step by Step

Overview of the US student visa process  in 2024

More than nearly 1 million students are drawn to the idea of studying advanced degree courses in the US, according to the Institute of International Education. Nevertheless, there are so many opportunities after completing your degree in the US.

Here we are going to share an overview of the US Student Visa process 2024:

  • Receiving an Offer Letter from US College

Once you have received your offer letter frective university or ,ge thwill beyou are ready to get Form I-20 fruniversityversity.

  • SELVIS Generated I-20 Form

SELVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. To get this form, you have to pay a SELVIS-I 901 Fee. The Visa officer needs an I-20 form during the US F1 Student Visa Interview. In some cases, if you are planning to take your spouse or family member with you and they are going to reside with you, then you have to get an I-20 Visa form individually for them.

For them, their forms need not go through the SELVIS enrollment process because they would be travelling as dependents and would not study at your institution.

  • Filling the US F1 Student Visa

The process for F1 Student Visa varies depending on the US embassy you are dealing with. You must note that the Visa application fee is non-refundable. You have to fill out the DS-160 form and take a print of it while going for the visa interview.

  • Going for Visa Interview

To appear for the Visa interview you have to get your interview scheduled three months before the commencement of your course. The waiting time for the schedule of the interview varies depending on the visa category, time of the year, and place applied. Thus, you must apply for your US Student Visa at right time. Here check out the list of documents required for applying for US Student Visa 2024.


– If you belong to an English speaking country, you can get your Visa without ielts and if not, you must have ielts/toefl or any other English Proficiency test.

-You cannot apply for a student visa application three months before the commencement of your course.

  • Get your Visa Approval

The only way to get visa approval is to prepare for the interview. Ensure that you have all documents handy and you have dressed well. To be aware of what not to do, check out the common reasons for US Student Visa Rejection 2024

  • Ready for your College Orientation?

The moment you get approval of your Student Visa, make sure you have enough time to look after all your arrangements and flight. As per our research, the minimum time required to make the arrangement is 2 weeks. If you have done everything on time then it will help you in enjoying your orientation program.

Types of Student Visas in the US

There are three types of US Visa for international students who want to study in the US, that are F, M, and J.

F Visa

  •  The F Visa is for students who want to pursue an academic degree at a higher accredited university or plan to study English on a full-time basis.
  • The first type of F Visa is the US F1 Visa in which holders are allowed to work for 20 hours or less on the campus as per the University rules.
  • The second type is the F2 Visa, which is given to the dependent nts of an F1 visa. Considerably given to spouses or unmarried children under of  age 21 years.
  • The third type is the F3 Visa, which is called “border commuters”.

This Visa is given to the students who belong to Mexico and Canada living in the US for their studies at US University as a part time or full time student.

The basic requirements to apply for Visa are:

  1. English Language Proficiency Test (IELTS/TOEFL)
  2. Funds to finance your studies
  3. Passport validity after six after you graduate for US travel

M Visa

  •  The M Visa is for students who want to pursue non-academic or vocational degrees or training.
  • Therefore, the US M1 Visa is only for a fixed period of time and as per the duration of the course at the US University.
  • The M1 Visa holders are not allowed to stay in the US for more than a year and are also not allowed to work on or off campus.
  • Similar to the US F2 Visa, the M2 Visa is given to the dependents of the M1 Visa. Further, M3 Visa is given to “border commuters”.

US student visa process  in 2024

Now, let us dive deep into the US student visa process for 2024

Step 1: Choose a College and Program

The first and foremost step is to choose a college and program. You must consider looking at your academics and personal interests; for instance, if you are willing to study marketing, then you must consider looking top level university for marketing.

Then, comes the admission requirements, which varies depending on various terms and conditions of the universities. The basic requirements are English proficiency test, recommendation letter from your professor, Statement of Purpose (SOP), etc.

Once you have everything set, you might have to pay an application fee to take your application to the next step.

After the submission of the application, you may have to wait for some time to receive your admission confirmation. Next, when you receive your admission confirmation from the respective University, you are good to go to apply for a US Student Visa.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS Fee

SELVIS Fee is a centralized computer system that stores the data related to international students, student exchange, and their dependents as per the course duration. SELVIS monitors the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

What is the SEVIS fee?

The SELVIS Fee is a one-time fee that is compulsory for students applying for F-1/J-1 status. This fee is the operating cost and is excluded from other fees. You must pay the fees at least three working days before your Visa interview at the US Consulate or Embassy. Once you have paid the SELVIS fee, you must take out the printout and have it handy while going for your visa interview.

How to pay the SEVIS fee?

1. Firstly, complete your Form I-901

  • J-1 Students must use the program number of the university
  • F-1 Students must use the College or University Code

2. Use one of the two payment methods to pay

Importance of the SEVIS fee payment

The SELVIS fee payment is important for your application process because the computerized systems store and monitor students’ data. This will help students in the allocation of seats to the specific program and keep all documents in one place. Therefore, SELVIS fee payment becomes an obligation while you are applying for program enrollment in the US. Also, it will help you get a US student visa.

How much is the SEVIS fees for US student Visa

Description Amount
I-901 SEVIS Fee F or M visa applicants (full payment) $350
I-901 SEVIS Fee J visa applicants (full payment) $220
I-901 SEVIS Fee special J-visa categories (subsidized payment) $35
I-901 SEVIS Fee government visitor (no payment) $0


Step 3: Complete the Non-immigrant Visa Application

Overview of the Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)

The DS-160 Form is an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form for temporary travel to US. This form contains all the personal, professional, and educational information. Usually, the B1/B2 Visitor or K1 Visa(Fiance) holder fills this form.

How to fill out a Non-immigrant Visa application?

To fill out the application form, you have to visit Consular Electronic Application Center and it takes around 90 minutes to complete the form.

Step 4: Schedule and Attend a Visa Interview

The first work is to visit the US Embassy site and select the country you reside and the place in US you want to study.

Then, visit the US Visa Information and Appointment Services website. Below are the further steps for the website information filling.

  1. Select “Temporary Non-immigrant visas”.
  2. Select the country of the embassy or consulate you have chosen
  3. Click “Apply”
  4. Fill in your SELVIS ID and Program Number
  5. Pay the Visa non-refundable fee of $160 (This fee is separate from all the other scholarship fees)
  6. Schedule your Visa appointment
  7. Go for your Visa interview

Collect your Passport with an approved Visa

What to expect during the visa interview?

You must carry all your necessary documents with you while you go for your Visa interview. You are expected to abide by the rules and regulations.

  1. Reach the Consulate and stand in the Visa queue
  2. Go for the Security Check
  3. Fingerprint Verification
  4. Wait in the waiting area
  5. Interview begins

In the interview, the interviewer will be behind the glass window and he will talk to you through a microphone. His voice will be audible to you as the room will have speakers.

Now the interviewer will ask you questions to verify your identity, and documents. Be confident while answering the questions, and do not show any documents if it’s not asked for. Also, try to be concise and relaxed.

When the interview is over, the interviewer might say, “Visa approved”,  and it will be couriered to you in 3-4 business days.

And, if your Visa is on hold or does not qualify, you will be informed accordingly.

How to prepare for the visa interview?

To prepare for the Visa interview, you must be truthful with your thoughts. Mainly, you have to answer the personal questions about your family, education and ambitions. You must also mention that you have willing to go abroad for your further studies and you have the intention to come back to your home country. Practice with your family and friends and do not panic at all.

Step 5: Receive Your Visa and Prepare for Departure

Once you receive your Visa, you are ready to fly. The best would be to book your air in advance. Carry your international debit or credit cards for financial transactions. Carry your college admission confirmation letter, Visa, etc. When you reach the destination, get your Visa stamp on your passport while you enter the country.

Adjusting to Life in the United States

Now begins your new life. It is best if you would have taken a rental apartment or college hostel. Attend your classes, and meet new people across the globe, it is the time to explore your life. You can also work if your Visa approves you to do so, with that you can earn some money while living in the country.

We hope that you have understood the US Student Visa Process step by step and that you have gotten clarity. Understanding the requirements of the US Student Visa Application process is an essential step to getting your visa approval because minor mistakes could lead to disapproval of the same.

In final words, the best tips for a successful visa application process are to show your ties to the home country, be fluent in English, talk about your ambitions and give reasons for choosing the particular course. Also, the main and foremost part is to carry all the necessary documents and employment certificates. Hence, have a positive attitude towards everything you say, maintain eye contact, and dress neatly and tidyly.

What if you still don’t have clarity?

Worry not! We are here at your rescue. We can help you fill out your visa application form and smoothen the process of submitting a US student visa application. Fill out the form below, and we assure you that our admission managers at SecureMyScholarship can ease your US Student Visa process.

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Vipin Rana

My role involves supporting student recruitment for USA globally, establishing solid relationships with channel partners, and Student counselling. The most exciting part of my role is, having the opportunity to assist the students in fulfilling their educational and career goals. Working with SMS makes me proud as I work with a fantastic set of people across the globe.

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