The US Embassies and Consulates issue F1 visas to students who want to study in educational institutions in the USA. Applying for an F1 visa can be a long process and requires several documents. To make the process easier, we have compiled an F1 visa documents checklist.
- An F1 visa is necessary to enter and stay in the USA for the duration of your course. If you need to extend your stay, you will need to go through a legitimate agency to extend your visa.
- It is advisable to start the visa application process as soon as you receive your acceptance letter or admit card from the university, along with the I-20 form, which serves as proof of enrollment. The visa process can take a while, so make sure you have enough time in hand.
- After receiving the acceptance letter, you must register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and pay a one-time application fee. The university may require you to provide proof of funds and even deposit the tuition fees to receive the I-20 form. Once you have the I-20 form, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee (The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System).
- The I-20 form is an essential document for getting your F1 visa. It shows that you have the funds to live in the country during your course period and can also be used to schedule an interview with the US Embassy or Consulate.
- After receiving an acceptance letter from a university in the US, registering with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a necessary step. In addition to paying a one-time application fee, the university may require you to provide proof of funds and deposit tuition fees to obtain the I-20 form. Once you receive the I-20 form, you must pay the SEVIS (The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee.
- The I-20 form is crucial for obtaining an F1 visa, as it confirms that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in the US. Additionally, you can use the form to schedule an interview appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate.
To ensure a smooth visa application process, it is recommended to keep the following documents on hand:
- Passport: valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in the US
- MRV Fee receipt: payment confirmation page printout (if paid online)
- Form DS 160 (Non-immigrant Visa Application): online application confirmation page printout
- SEVIS fee payment receipt: payment confirmation page printout
- Photo: physical copies may be required if the online DS 160 form upload is unsuccessful; the photo must match the required format specified in the DS 160 Form
- I-20 Form: received from the university or institution
- Visa interview appointment letter
Additional documents may also be required, so it’s advisable to carry them with you. These documents may include academic transcripts, diploma/degree certificates, GMAT/GRE/SAT scores, IELTS/TOEFL/PTE scores, a loan approval letter, proof of financial capacity, and appointment/relieving letters/salary slips from any professional experience or internships. It’s also essential to demonstrate your intent to depart from the US upon completion of your program.
Once your visa application has been approved and the visa is granted, you should be prepared to pay the visa issuance fee. After completing the F1 visa documents checklist, you should prepare for the interview by developing answers to common questions. Ensure that you arrive early for the interview and bring all of the original documents listed in the F1 visa interview documents checklist. Additionally, non-English documents must be translated into English before the interview.
By taking care of these documents using the checklist, you can better organize and plan your visa application. Remember that planning is crucial to successfully obtaining your student visa and realizing your study abroad aspirations!