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US student visa Information
Given below is some general information regarding obtaining a VISA to the US.
Types of visas
There are generally two types of visas available for students wishing to study in the US.
- F-1 Student Visa
- J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
With an F-1 visa, you are allowed to seek employment in the US after completing your study there. But with a J-1 visa, you have to return to your home country and cannot enter the US again for atleast two years. Check with the American consulate for more information regarding these types of visas.
I-20 form and F-1 visa stamp
Once you are admitted to a University, they will send you an I-20 form. The I-20 form is a legal document that entitles you to apply for a student visa at the US Consulate. If your application is successful, then the Consulate will stamp your passport with an F-1 visa stamp.
Documents required for the visa interview
You will need to take the following documents with you :
- Visa application form
- Visa fees
- Valid passport
- 12 colour photographs
- I-20 or IAP-66 form
- Acceptance letter
- Documentation to prove your ties to your home country
- TOEFL, GRE score reports (student copy will do)
- Mark sheets/degree certificates of undergraduate course work
- Financial documentation to prove your ability to pay for your education
Visa application fee and visa fee
Each visa application has to be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $45. If you are granted a visa, then you are required to pay a fee of $75. Payment has to be made in the form of a bank draft.
If you are receiving financial assistance from a university in the US, then they might send you an IAP-66, rather than an I-20 form. With an IAP-66 form, you get a J-1 or Exchange Visitor category visa. This visa comes with a stipulation that you have to stay in your home country for two years.
If relatives or friends are sponsoring your education, then you'll need a notarised affidavit of support from them clarifying their relationship with you and their commitment to pay for your education. You will also need to supply a statement of their annual income, bank statements and other financial assets.
Granting of Visa
When you are granted a visa, you will immediately be asked to submit your passport. You can then collect it the evening of the same day.