How to Apply for a Student Visa

Photo-of-f1-student-visa-travel-LearnEnglishALCCNormally, a foreign citizen who wants to enter the United States for study at an educational institution is required to get a student visa of nonimmigrant status. This applies to foreign international students who want to learn English. To put in an application for your F-1 visa, you must know your course of study and the school that you will be attending.

Prior to Applying

You won’t be able to apply for a student visa until you have been accepted at an approved SEVP school. After full acceptance, you will then be automatically enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. You will receive Form I-20 from the prospective school to complete. An assessed SEVIS I-90 fee has to be paid. When you attend the F-1 visa interview, you will have to show the completed Form I-20 to the consular officer.

At the Interview

When you attend the interview, the consular officer will seek to determine whether or not you qualify for a visa. If qualification is determined, you will be placed into the appropriate category. In your case, you will be applying for an F-1 visa, as you will be considered an exchange student. Fingerprints will be taken as part of the application procedure.

After the Interview

Once the interview is over, your application might need additional administrative processing. The consular officer will let you know if this will be necessary. When you are approved, you will need to pay an applicable processing fee. Be sure to find out how long it will take to pick up or when your documents will be delivered to you.

Start Your Course Study

Most student visas, including the F-1 visa, are issued approximately four months before the start date for your course study. However, entrance into the United States would be no earlier than thirty days prior to your start date, so it is important to apply early.


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