Study and Graduate at University of central Oklahoma
Buy a US Student Visa
If you want to study in the US and are not a US citizen, you will need to obtain a student visa. Applying for a US student visa can be a long process, so make sure you start preparing well in advance – at least three to five months before your course is due to start, Buy a US Student Visa
There are usually several steps to apply for a US student visa. These steps vary at each US embassy or consulate so it’s important to consult the instructions on the website of the embassy or consulate where you intend to apply.
In general, prospective students will go through five stages when applying for a US student visa:
- Apply to and be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved school in the US (six to twelve months prior to US study);
- Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee;
- Complete a US student visa application along with recent photo(s);
- Pay the visa application fee;
- Schedule and attend a visa interview.
Read on for detailed advice on each of these 4 steps.
1. Apply to an SEVP-approved institution
As an international student, you should ensure you choose an institution and program accredited by the US government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
Accreditation is important as it ensures your degree is recognized by other universities, professional associations, employers and government ministries worldwide. Buy college degree
Unlike some countries, the US does not have a centralized university application system, so you will need to apply to each institution you are interested in separately. You’ll need to fulfill each institution’s admissions requirements, and usually will also be asked to provide proof of sufficient financial resources.
Once you have been accepted by an institution, the university will enroll you in the SEVIS system and you will be sent a SEVIS-generated document called Form I-20 if you are eligible for an F or M visa, or Form DS-2019 if you are eligible for a J visa.
The SEVP manages international students in the F and M visa classifications, while the Department of State (DoS) manages Exchange Visitor Programs and international students on J visa classifications.
Both SEVP and DoS use SEVIS to track and monitor institutions and exchange visitor programs and international students. Buy a US Student Visa
2. Complete a US student visa application
Once you have received your SEVIS form and paid the SEVIS fee, you can make an appointment with a US consulate or embassy in your country for a US student visa application.
It’s best to apply as early as possible, regardless of when your program is due to start, as visa processing times can vary. Your visa can be issued up to 120 days before you’re due to enter the US.
Most countries have their own dedicated website for everything to do with making a US student visa application, which can be accessed from this main page. If you cannot find your country in the list, you may still be able to find the US embassy or consulate in your country using the US embassy’s website.
Online visa application: DS-160
In all cases you’ll need to complete the online visa application form DS-160. You’ll need to select the location from which you wish to apply and ensure you have all the documents and information you need to fill in the application.
After selecting and answering a security question, you’ll be taken to the pages of the form. At the top, you’ll find your application ID. You’ll need this ID to retrieve your form if you need to exit the application and return to it later. Study and Graduate at University of central Oklahoma
Personal details required to complete the DS-160 form include:
- Name and date of birth
- Address and phone number
- Passport details
- Details of travel plans, and travel companions
- Details of previous US travel
- Your point of contact in the US
- Family, work and education details
- Security, background and medical health information
- SEVIS ID and address of US school/program you intend to enroll in (as printed on I-20 or DS-2019 form)
You’ll also need to upload a suitable recent photo of yourself in the format explained in the photograph requirements. If your photo upload fails you’ll need to take a printed photograph – which meets the requirements – to your visa interview.
Take care to answer all the questions accurately and fully as you may have to reschedule your visa interview appointment if you make any errors. If you get confused when filling in the application form, you may find answers to your questions on the travel.state.gov website.
Once the visa application form is completed, you’ll need to electronically sign your DS-160 by clicking the “Sign Application” button at the end. After your application is uploaded, you’ll be sent a confirmation page with a barcode, barcode number and your application ID number which you’ll need to print out and take to your visa interview appointment. You do not need to print the full application.
3. Pay the visa application fee
The visa application fee is also called the Machine Readable Visa Fee, or ‘MRV fee’. Make sure to review the fee payment instructions available on your embassy or consulate website as methods may vary. In general, however, there are three ways to pay the non-refundable, non-transferrable visa application fee:
- In person at an approved bank
- By phone (you’ll receive a fee confirmation number)
- Online (you’ll need to print your receipt)
During your research, don’t worry if you come across the term ‘visa issuance fee based on reciprocity’ – this does not apply for F1, F2, M1, M2, J1 and J2 visa applicants.
You’ll be asked for the MRV fee receipt when you get to your visa interview appointment. Some J visa applicants will not need to pay application processing fees if participating in a US Agency for International Development (USAID) program or a federally funded educational and cultural exchange program with a program serial number beginning G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-7.