What You Need to Know About Student Visa Application

student Visa

Obtaining a visa for education, say, in the United States, takes time, but if enough information is gathered ahead of time and the necessary documentation is kept on hand, it can be a very simple process. In fact, the number of student visas to the United States has steadily increased over the years.

Every foreign citizen who enters the United States requires a visa; for temporary stays such as full-time study, training, or research, a non-immigrant visa application is required; for permanent residence, an immigrant visa application is required.

What You Need to Know About Student Visa

A student visa can be obtained by any student who has applied to a college or university and has been accepted for admission. The college sends the student an I-20 form, which serves as the foundation for an F-1 Visa application. The category of visa issuance is usually determined by the type of institution the student attends and the courses of study.

If the student is going on an exchange program for consultation, training, or research, the agency that is sponsoring the visit sends a DS-2024 form, which is the J-1 Visa application.

F-1 or M-1 student visas are issued to students pursuing a full-time study course; J-1 visas are issued to exchange visitors or exchange program students.

A spouse or child of a student on an F-1 or M-1 Visa usually travels on an F-2 or M-2 Visa.


Anyone applying for an F-1 or M-1 student visa must be accepted by a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved institution. The Education USA website provided comprehensive information on study opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, as well as for research scholars, among other things.

When a student is accepted by a college or university, automatic enrollment in the SEVIS system occurs (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). After paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, the school issues a Form I-20 to the student to present at the consulate or embassy for the visa interview.

Student Visa Process

Step 1: The non-immigrant student receives the I-20 form for an F-1 Visa or the DS-2024 form for a J-1 Visa after being accepted by the university. This form must be filled out carefully, with details such as name, spelling, and initials matching those on the university’s acceptance letter. For security clearance, all applications are scrutinized; some countries have additional screening procedures that may take several weeks..

Step 2: An appointment for a visa interview must be scheduled as soon as the acceptance letter is received. When scheduling interviews, keep in mind the dates listed on the I-20 or the DS-2024. Every US Embassy has a website with detailed instructions on the visa appointment process. The US Department of State-affiliated Education USA centers are located all over the world and can provide information on paying visa fees and scheduling interviews. There is a fee to cover the costs of the system that records the student’s stay in the United States (SEVIS). In the country where the visa is requested, there may be an additional fee for the visa application.