F1 Visa: 5 easy steps
F1 Visa= Non-immigrant visa for those wishing to study in the U.S.
The general process for a F1 visa is as follows:
1) First and foremost you have to get accepted into a School/College/University.
2) After being accepted you are required to pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee in order to be enrolled into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System(SEVIS). Your I20 will be sent to you afterwards. This is extremely important because it will be presented to the consular officer when you attend your F1-Visa interview. If you want to bring your family (spouse/children) along with you, they will also require individual Form I20s. However, they do not have to be enrolled in the SEVIS.
3) Depending on the consulate or embassy you are dealing with the process to apply for the F-1 student visa may vary. A non-refundable visa application fee has to be paid. To make the process easier, there is an online visa application available. Complete it and print the DS-160 out to take to your F-1 visa interview.
4) You have to schedule your F-1 visa interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate. Sometimes this can be a little tricky, especially when you waited a little too long and there are no slots left that work with your enrollment date. Therefore it is important to schedule your visa interview well in advance. F-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days n advance of your course of study start date. Don't forget that you are only allowed to enter the US with an F-1 visa 30 days before your start date.
*A valid passport
*The Non Immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
*The application fee payment receipt
*A passport photo
*A certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form 1-20)
These are the basic documents, which means additional documents may be required depending on your situation, e.g.: academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates. Your TOEFL/IELTS/PTE, SAT, GRE or GMAT test score may also be requested, as well as proof of ties to your home country and financial documents to prove your financial stability.
5) For most people this is the final step, attending the F-1 Visa Interview. I am saying most, because sometimes your visa is denied. The visa officer may find you suspicious and thinks you are not eligible and come across as a potential immigrant. In this case you will be given a reason based on the section of law which applies to your ineligibility. This, however, is not the end of your dreams to study abroad. You can easily schedule another interview.
Assuming you prepared really well and have all documents with you, even if you won't be asked for them, and you are able to answer all questions asked without raising any red flags, your visa will be approved. The Questions are usually about the college and university, bank and finances, family and relatives, as well as work and job prospects. A visa issuance fee may have to be paid. Your digital fingerprints will be taken for records. Also, your passport will be taken so that you can get your visa. You will either be informed to pick it up or it will be delivered to you via mail.