To study in the US without citizenship, you will need a student visa for the time of your stay. Applying for a student visa is a long process, so you will have to start preparing for it ahead of time. There are several steps involved in applying for a US visa, so you will need at least three to five months before your course starts. Consult a good attorney to get the right instructions when you are applying. There are five stages in the process of applying for a US student visa.
Apply to a SEVP-approved institution
Make sure that the university you are applying for has the accreditation of the US government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program(SEVP). Accreditation will ensure that your degree is recognized by other universities, professional associations, employers, and government ministries around the globe. The universities having SEVP accreditation even provide the necessary documents to get the US student visa.
Pay the SEVIS fee
You will have to pay the SEVIS fee at least three days prior to submitting your application for a US visa. You can pay the fees through a paper form or use the online portal of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) SEVP website. Avoid any mistakes to input the required details exactly as they appear on your I-20 or DS-2019 form. Once you are done with the process and making the payment, you will get a confirmation from the website. Save the confirmation note as you will need it at the time of your US student visa interview.
Complete a US student visa application
After paying your SEVIS fee, you will need to make an appointment with a US consulate or embassy in your country. Apply for the US student visa form. It is best to apply as early as possible to make you can join your classes from the first day. Issuing your visa can take up to 120 days. Different countries have their own application forms and may require a lot of documents along with your application form. Make sure you have everything before you go to the embassy with your application.
Pay the VISA application fee
The Machine Readable Visa Fee(MRV fee) or visa application fee form is paid at the embassy or at the website provided by them. This will be a non-refundable, non-transferrable visa application fee. You can pay this either at an approved bank or by phone or online. You will be asked for your MRV fee receipt when you visit the embassy for your visa interview.
Schedule and attend a US student visa interview
The last and final step is to attend a visa interview. It can be done online or on a phone call with your nearest US embassy or consulate. Keep your documents ready, as you will have to tell your fee receipt numbers even on your phone call. Your visa application cannot be completed until you appear for the interview. Make sure to give your interview with all the necessary details. All the best!