Student Visa In The USA: Types, Process, Requirements & Cost

Written by Kimberly Linhares

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August 22, 2022

If you plan on moving abroad, there are many US visas for Indian students and international students. One of the three international student visa categories listed below, the F1 Visa, J1 Visa, or M1 Visa, may be granted to anyone who plans to attend school in the United States. As an international student, you might be wondering what type of student visa in the USA is required for you. Although employment is possible with the F1 and J1 visas, it is not guaranteed. However, the M1 Visa does not permit the option of employment. This blog will help you learn more about the US student visa costs, requirements, types and how they work.

Types Of Student Visa In The USA

F1 Visa For Academic Studies

For academic study, you need an “F” visa. Students enrolled in an academic or English language programme are granted an F1 student visa in the USA. The vast majority of international student visas issued in the United States are F1 visas. An F1 visa permits on-campus, part-time employment (fewer than 20 hours per week). Additionally, students have up to a year after finishing their academic degree to complete optional practical training (OPT). Students must complete their studies by the I-20 form’s expiration date which is a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.

J1 Visa For Practical Training

Students who need to complete their academic programme with practical training that is not available in their home country are granted a J1 student visa in the USA. As long as the sponsor of the exchange visitor programme grants authorization, the J1 student visa permits identical employment to the ones permitted by the F1 visa but they are subject to the same conditions.

M1 Visa For Non-Academic / Vocational Studies

A student who plans to enrol in a nonacademic or vocational institution is granted an M1 student visa in the USA. It is prohibited for M-1 visa holders attending technical and vocational schools to work while they are enrolled in classes. The M-1 student visa applicants must provide proof that they have the cash on hand to cover their entire stay’s worth of living expenses and tuition.

Living With Your Student Visa In The USA

Remember that until you have been given a teaching or research assistantship, you cannot plan on working in the United States as you start to consider financial sources for your schooling and living expenses there. Immigration laws are particularly rigorous when it comes to employment while holding a student visa in the USA, therefore you cannot rely on anticipated income when you provide documentation of your financial means. Your application must be supported by an income that is both guaranteed and equivalent to or greater than the costs of your first academic year. To guarantee that your time studying in the US will be rewarding, careful long-term and short-term planning are required. You will be better equipped to take advantage of the wonderful academic and cultural experience of living and studying in the United States if you are realistic about your financial demands.

US Student Visa Process And Application Requirements

You must first learn about your university’s admission and the USA study visa requirements before assembling your application for a student visa in the USA. Be mindful of the following:

Academic Qualifications:

Each institution has its own set of academic requirements. You can find out what is required from your school. You can look up test scores and general academic status online if you are looking for a school that best suits you. 

Financial Stability:

You’ll have to demonstrate your ability to live independently and prove that you have sufficient funds to sustain your living expenses and tuition. 

Medical Insurance:

If you want medical attention, you may be required to provide documentation of your health insurance in order to cover any related costs.

English Language:

To admit themselves to an American university, students need an IELTS score of at least 6.5. However, if you are a student who has previously studied English, it is possible for you to apply for a US study visa without IELTS.

US Student Visa Requirements:

  • A passport that is valid for 6 months.
  • Acceptance at a SEVP-approved university and the form I-20.
  • Visa application.
  • Photograph in the required size.

Student Visa In The USA Cost

Applications cost about $160 for F, M and J visas. There is a SEVIS fee of $350, although students who are participating in US government-sponsored programmes (those with programme codes starting with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7) are not required to pay this fee.

How Long After Graduation Can You Stay In The USA?

Students holding F visas are required by US immigration law to depart the country within 60 days of the programme end date indicated on Form I-20. After the programme’s termination date, which is indicated on Form I-20, students with J and M visa status are required to depart the country within 30 days. However, you can apply for a visa extension via the USA. You can visit the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website if you want to prolong your stay in the USA. It is advised to research your alternatives for a visa after graduation before applying for a visa extension.

Changing The Status Of Your Visa 

Your plans could alter while you’re residing in the US, necessitating a change in your visa status is important if you do have any changes in your stay period. You don’t need to submit a new visa application if you want to do this at any moment while staying in the US. To modify your nonimmigrant status you must contact USCIS. As it’s crucial that your school is informed of any changes to your nonimmigrant status, it is advised that you inform your Designated School Official (DSO) of your desire to change. Your DSO can also assist you in the process. 

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Student Visa In The USA: Types, Process, Requirements & Cost.’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that may be of interest to you –

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