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U.S. Student Visa

How to Apply for Your Student Visa

If you wish to study in the U.S., you must have a valid student visa. The U.S. Embassy issues student visas for full time study on the understanding that you have sufficient funds for study and living expenses for the duration of your stay in the U.S. There are regulations that must be met before a student visa can be issued and these vary from country to country.

Information about how to apply for your student visa can be obtained from your Education Recruiter or the nearest U.S. Embassy in your country.

Five-Step Checklist

  1. Obtain your passport from your government. Your passport must be valid at least six months prior to your intended visa application.
  2. Now that you’ve paid your deposit, make sure to submit your official required documents to clear any remaining conditions in your Admit Letter. Once all conditions are met, documents are received, and payment is made, your I-20 will be processed. Once complete, the official admit letter and I-20 will be couriered to you.
  3. Using the SEVIS number (which is on your I-20) you can then book your visa interview via your country’s U.S. Embassy website. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa interview early.
  4. Pay the one-time SEVIS fee. Please refer to the SEVIS fee website for guidance on paying the fee. The earlier you start the visa process the less you have to worry about obtaining a visa appointment. Make use of the time while you wait for your visa appointment by reviewing pre-arrival information as well as submitting all required information for the enrollment process.
  5. Attend your visa interview and remember to bring all your ORIGINAL/OFFICIAL documents sent to you from GSSP with you to the appointment.

For more helpful information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to applying for a student visa, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Did You Know?

After completing your studies, you may be eligible to undertake OPT (Optional Practical Training). This allows you to work in the U.S. for either one or three years after graduating depending on your major.

As per the recommendation of NAFSA (Association of International Educators), there are 10 points to remember (PDF) when applying for an F-1 or a J-1 visa.

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