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USA Student Visa from India
The USA continues to be one of the most preferred destinations among international students who plan to study abroad. According to the reports by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), around 1,99,812 Indian students went to study in the USA in 2022. When compared to 2021, the number of Indian students in the USA has increased by more than 19% in 2022. It is an interesting fact to note that one out of five student visas issued by the US embassy are for Indian students. The number of Indian students studying in the USA is increasing steadily, and you will definitely be in the company of like-minded students whom you can network and socialise with easily.Now, the next question that will come to your mind as you read these reports is: Is it easy to get a USA student visa from India? Well, it is not very difficult to get your USA student visa approved, provided you satisfy all the requirements specified. If you plan to study in the USA, you will definitely find it helpful to get detailed information about the student visa application process, the latest news, the application fee, and everything else. As such, we have gathered all the information you may need to know about applying for and getting your USA student visa.
Latest Updates for USA Student Visa for Indian Students
- June 30, 2023: In the Summer of 2023, the USA broke its record by granting more than half a million student visas.
- June 26, 2023: USA student visa interviews have been announced for this Summer, and you can book your interview slots from mid-July to mid-September.
Types of USA Student Visa for Indian Students
Depending on your course duration, intake etc., the USA student visas can be divided into three categories: F visa, M visa and J visa. In order to obtain a student visa, you must first obtain admission at a recognised US university. This institution must also be certified by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP). Once your application has been accepted, you will receive a Form I-20, which is a record of your information in the database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). We have tabulated the information about the three visa categories below for your easy reference.
Type of Student Visa
F-1 Student Visa
You can apply for this visa if you wish to apply to an accredited US institution or study English at an English institute
M Student Visa
If you are pursuing a non-academic or vocational study or training, you can apply for this visa
J Exchange Visa
You can apply for this visa for participation in an exchange program, including university study and high school
How Much Does A Student Visa Cost from India?
You have to pay USD 160 as an application fee when you apply for a USA student visa. However, you have to pay an additional SEVIS fee of USD 350 for F and M visas and USD 220 for J visas. We have tabulated the amount you have to pay when applying for a USA student visa in the table below.
Cost (in USD)
Border Crossing Card Fees
Petition Based Visa
Non-Petition Based Non-Immigrant Visa
SEVIS Fee for F Visa Applicants
SEVIS Fee for J Visa Applicants
SEVIS Fee for M Visa Applicants
SEVIS Fee for Special J Visa Categories
SEVIS Fee for Government Visitor
USA Student Visa Requirements for Indian Students
As mentioned, there are three common types of USA student visas: F-1, J-1 and M-1. The requirements you have to satisfy for each of them vary considerably, and you have to gather every detail possible so that you can arrange all the documents and get ready with everything before the applications are open. We have given the requirements you have to meet for all types of visas below so that you find it easy to apply.
F-1 Student Visa
With an F-1 student visa, you can study full-time at institutions approved by SEVP. It should be noted that the application fee that you pay is non-refundable. The requirements you need to satisfy to apply for the F-1 student visa are given below.
- A valid passport.
- All academic documents.
- Proof of enough funds in the home country.
- Passport-size photographs.
- Health insurance cover.
M-1 Student Visa
If you are planning to join vocational study or training in school or non-academic programs, you can apply for an M-1 visa. The requirements that you have to satisfy for the same are given below.
- A passport with a validity that exceeds your period of stay in the USA.
- Should be aged above 18 years.
- All academic transcripts.
- Proof of sufficient funds in the home country.
- A duly filled form DS-160, also known as Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
- English proficiency test scorecard.
J-1 Student Visa
If you wish to get employed in a study-based exchange and visitor program, you can apply for a J-1 visa. The requirements that you have to meet to apply for a J-1 student visa are as follows.
- Should be at least 18 years old.
- Applicants shouldn’t have any health issues.
- Should have an international driver’s license and experience of at least 50 hours.
- Shouldn’t have lived as a pair in the US before.
- English proficiency test scorecard.
- Clean criminal record.
- Should be ready to live away from home for at least 12 months.
- A valid passport.
English Proficiency Tests for US Student Visa for Indian Students
English Proficiency Test
Which Documents Are Required for US Student Visa?
When you apply for a USA student visa, you will be required to submit a few documents. It is essential that you take a list of them and arrange them beforehand so that there is no need for a last-minute rush. We have provided a document checklist below. Apart from arranging these documents, it is also important to visit the official websites to know whether you need to arrange any other documents.
- A valid passport
- Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee payment receipt
- Passport-size photographs
- Form I-20
- All academic documents
- English proficiency test scorecard
- Proof of financial backup in the home country
How to Apply for Your US Student Visa from India?
You can apply for your USA student visa online, and the processes to be followed for the same are pretty easy. We have outlined them below. You can refer to them. You should ensure that all the documents are arranged beforehand so that it is easier for you to apply. Also, ensure that you do not make any typing mistakes or other similar mistakes. All these can lead to your application being rejected. We have given the application process for the USA student visa below.
- Complete the online non-immigrant visa application with form DS-160.
- Upload your photograph. Make sure that it is within the prescribed size limit.
- Fill in the necessary details, upload the documents, and submit the application.
- Take a printout of the application form to carry with you when you attend the visa interview.
- Schedule a visa interview at your nearest US Consulate or Embassy. You can also apply from a US Consulate or Embassy outside your home country, but the chances of getting a visa can be difficult.
- Pay the student visa application fee of USD 160. It should be noted that this amount is non-refundable.
- Pay the one-time SEVIS fee for F-1, J-1 or M-1 status.
- Gather all the documents for the interview.
- Attend the interview.
Processing Time for the US Student Visa
The processing time for a USA student visa varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. On average, it can take three to five weeks to process your USA student visa application. It is necessary to apply early so that there is enough time to process your application. You may even have time to rectify any errors you happened to make while applying. Once your application is accepted, the Consulate will deliver your document. It can take another two working days.
How to Write an SOP for US Student Visa?
A Statement Of Purpose (SOP) is one of the important documents you need to submit along with your application if you are planning to study in the USA. An SOP is a 1000-1200 words essay that explains your purpose behind studying in the USA. We have given a few points below which you can use to write an impressive SOP.
- Start with an introduction.
- Divide the body into paragraphs and include details about your academic background, strengths, accomplishments and future goals.
- Summarise your essay by explaining your reasons for choosing to study in the USA.
USA Student Visa Rejection
Now, as we talk about the USA student visa, it is essential to learn about the reasons behind visa rejections as well. The following are a few reasons for your USA student visa application getting rejected. As such, have a look at them, and ensure that you apply the right way.
- Reflecting a hidden reason behind staying back in the USA after the completion of your studies.
- Inability to prove sufficient funds in your home country.
- In some cases, your visa can be rejected if your close family members already stay in the USA.
- Having past criminal records.
- Poor relation between your home country and the USA.
- Lack of ability to mention your intention behind staying in the USA.
- Producing false or fake documents.
- The program you applied for is suspicious.
- Applying for the wrong type of student visa.
- Several visa rejections earlier.
Renewal of US Study Visa from India
If your student visa expires before the end of your study program, you can renew the same. The procedure for renewing an F-1 student visa is the same as applying for a new visa. However, you may need to add some additional documents, like a photo of your visa, supporting documents from your university etc.
How Can THINKBIG Help in Your Student Visa Application?
THINKBIG can be your best companion to study in the USA from India. We can assist you with the following.
- THINKBIG offers IELTS coaching at nominal fees, where you will be tutored by experts in the field.
- You can get recommendations on the courses you can choose based on your academic scores, interests and tastes.
- THINKBIG can give you free counselling on everything you need to know about studying abroad.
- You can get free guidance on how to apply for a USA student visa.
You would have gathered at least a few important information about applying for a USA student visa from India. If you feel the need for additional information, you can contact THINKBIG, where we have trained counsellors to guide you through the application process. We can also help you arrange the necessary documents and update you on the latest news.
There is no stipulated minimum bank balance requirement to obtain a US student visa. However, it is required to have sufficient funds in your home country.
It is compulsory for all non-native English speakers to have a good English proficiency test score to get a US student visa. It is not compulsory to attempt the IELTS test; you can choose other tests like TOEFL or Duolingo.
It is not difficult to get an F-1 student visa if you satisfy the necessary requirements. The criteria that should be met are explained above.
Yes, you can get PR in the USA after studying, provided you qualify for the requirements necessary for the same.
Yes, it is compulsory to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) to apply for a US student visa.
Yes, it is compulsory to attend the visa interview for the USA student visa. You can schedule the appointment at your nearest US Consulate or Embassy.
After you apply for a US student visa, you can wait for the approval. It can take 3-5 weeks to process your US student visa application. In the meantime, you can make all other arrangements to move to the USA.
As an F-1 visa holder, you can stay in the USA for 60 days after the completion of your study program.
Yes, as an F-1 visa holder, you are permitted to travel internationally and domestically in the USA.