The USA, home to the world’s highest-ranked universities, is the most prestigious destination to study abroad. Get a USA student visa to study in USA and unlock the many key opportunities to nourish your skills and reward your talent and qualities.

Learn from us how to apply for student visa in the USA and understand the visa requirements of the country. The USA is the favorite destination of students all over the world who are ambitious to get a world-class education and build a great career.

The USA is the world’s most prosperous nation and is the hub of opportunities for professionals in a wide spectrum of industrial sectors. With a rich history in academic excellence, many universities in the USA are welcoming talented students to study in USA at their campuses. How enthusiastic are you to get a USA student visa?

Before we delve into the details of how to apply for student visa in the USA, and the visa requirements thereof, let’s learn some key things about the USA itself.

About the USA

Here are some facts you must know about the USA.

  • The USA is the third-largest country in the world by landmass.
  • The USA is a federal republic of 50 states.
  • The US has a wide variety of physical environments ranging from the Arctic to the subtropical.
  • The country has some of the largest urban concentrations and some of the most uninhabited extensive areas in the world.
  • The US is the world’s greatest economic power in terms of GDP.
  • The country features one of the highest standards of living in the world.
  • The USA has less than 5% of the world’s population but produces about 1/5th of the economic output in the world.
  • Innovation, resilience, and flexibility are the salient features of the US economy.
  • The country poses minimal bureaucratic delays to businesses that are thus motivated to bring out new products and practices that are innovative.
  • The services sector accounts for over 3/4th portion of the country’s jobs.
  • Among industries, the major ones are transportation equipment, computer & telecommunications, biotechnology, energy, food products, and health services.
  • The top 4 universities in the QS world rankings belong to the USA.
  • US graduates are highly accepted by employers around the world.
  • Learning programs in the US are planned to suit the individual needs of the students.

Why study in USA?

Here are some of the reasons you should choose to get a USA student visa and study in USA.

  • The USA has educational institutions including universities and colleges that maintain high academic quality and are highly ranked globally.
  • Studying in USA is a great way to improve your English language skills.
  • The support facilities provided by the US institutions are excellent. They include:
    • Library
    • Transportation
    • Canteen
    • Placements
    • Health insurance
    • Hostel
    • Events
    • Discussion Forum
  • Educational institutes in the US are filled with international students from various parts of the world. There’s no better scope for exposure to multiple cultures and greater opportunity for networking on a global scale.
  • The range of courses and disciplines available for studies in the US is extensive.
  • A graduation/post-graduation from a university in the US is highly beneficial for finding jobs in the global market and building a promising career.
  • A certification from the US will increase the weightage of your CV.
  • US educational institutions offer flexible study options. E.g., international students can customize their study hours.

Best cities to study in USA

  • Boston
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington DC
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • San Diego

How to get a USA student visa – Visa requirements and more

If you want to study in USA as a full-time student, you will need a USA student visa. This visa is of the non-immigrant type and comes as F or M visa.

To be eligible to apply for an F or M visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your enrolment must be done in an “academic” educational program, a vocational program, or a language-training program
  • Your enrolment must be done as a full-time student at the institution.
  • You must have enough funds at your disposal to support yourself during the whole course of study that’s proposed.
  • Your school must have received approval from the Student & Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • You must have proficiency in the English language or be enrolled in courses that lead to developing proficiency in English.
  • You must keep a residence overseas and have no intention of giving it up.

F1 Student Visa

You can enter the USA as a full-time student with the F1 Student Visa (Academic Student) enrolling into any one of the following:

  • accredited college
  • seminary
  • academic high school
  • other academic institution
  • university
  • conservatory
  • elementary school
  • a language training program

The study program or course that you have enrolled in must lead to your getting a certificate, diploma, or degree. The schools you study at must be authorized by the US government to take in international students.

M1 Student Visa

The M1 Student Visa (Vocational Student) is for international students participating in vocational or other programs that are non-academic in nature but not language training.

How to apply for F or M visa?

The following are the steps to apply for a USA student visa of the F or M type.

  • Fill out the Form DS-160 (online non-immigrant visa application). Take a printout of the confirmation page of the form to be presented at the visa interview later.
  • While completing the Form DS-160, upload your photo in the dimensions and kind prescribed.
  • Schedule a visa interview at the US consulate or embassy in the country where you live. This is not compulsory for all. It will be conducted as per the following criteria:
    • If you are aged 13 years or younger, you aren’t generally required to attend a visa interview.
    • If you are aged 14-79 years, you must attend an interview. There may be exceptions for renewals,
    • If you are 80 years or more of age, you aren’t generally required to attend a visa interview.
  • The issuance of a USA student visa for F and M classes could take up to 120 days in advance of the date on which the course of study starts. However, you won’t be allowed entry into the US before 30 days of the course start date.
  • The issuance of a USA student visa for F and M classes for continuing students could happen at any time. The student just needs to be enrolled at a school/institution approved by SEVP and in SEVIS. The student can enter the USA at any time before the commencement of classes.
  • Pay the visa application fee (non-refundable) before the interview. If your visa has got approval, you may pay a visa issuance fee also provided it’s applicable to your nationality.
  • Gather the following documents and prepare them for your visa interview:
    • A valid passport (valid at least 6 months beyond the period you are going to stay in the USA)
    • Receipt of the application fee paid
    • Form DS-160 confirmation page
    • Photo (if the upload failed during your submission of Form DS-160)
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F1) Student Status – For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (M1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20
  • Attend the visa interview with a consular officer. The officer will decide whether you have the qualification to receive a USA student visa. It’s up to you to establish that you meet the requirements for the visa under US law.
  • Your digital fingerprint scans will be collected during your application process.
  • If the consular officer approves your USA student visa eligibility, you may pay the visa issuance fee. You could have to arrange for the return of your passport and visa.
  • Travel to the US and at the port-of-entry (airport) request for permission to enter the country. The DHS and CBP officials are the final authority to allow or deny admission to the USA.

How Y-Axis can help you

Y-Axis guides/counsels you as you apply for a USA student visa.

How much can I earn while studying in the USA?

As an international student in the USA, you can make up to $20 hourly. They are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week. The earnings will vary based on college and occupation. As an international student, you can earn the most by working as an RA/TA.

What's the minimum IELTS score required to study in USA?

Colleges and universities in the US expect a minimum of 6.5 bands as their IELTS score, However, scoring higher is always better. Most institutions accept applications for admission showing a minimum of 6.5 bands.

Can I work as a student visa holder in the USA?

Yes. International students can work in USA while studying with a few restrictions applied. M1 and F1 visa holders are permitted to work in specified training programs on the campus. They aren’t permitted to work outside the campus in the first year of their course.

What’s the cost to study in USA?

The annual tuition fees in the USA are as follows

UG courses

  • Public college – $14,250
  • Private college – $21,750

PG courses

  • Tuition fee – From $7,000 to $21,000

Your cost of living will depend a lot on your lifestyle.

How can I convert my B2 visa to an F1 visa?

You can attempt to convert a B2 visa to an F1 visa only from within the USA. International applicants outside the USA must apply for an F1 visa.

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