Obtaining a Student Visa
All visitors must have a proper entry visa in order to enter the United States. There are many types of visas issued by the U.S. government.
To study in the United States as an International Student you will need a student visa commonly known as an F1 Visa (see below for a complete list of the Types of Student Visas). However, before you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for a student visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by a school that has been approved for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
We recommend that all international students visit the United States’ Department of State EducationUSA website before applying for a student visa. There you will find information about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study, opportunities for scholars, admissions, and more. This website may be found by logging on to www.educationusa.info.
Please keep in mind that while the Internet can be helpful in finding out information about traveling to the United States, you must be careful when looking for information about visas. Many websites are designed so that you pay money for information. And some websites may not be legit.
For that reason, you will want to be sure to base your decisions on information you receive directly from the U.S. government. For information about student visas, please be sure to visit the United States’ visa information website.
There you will find details about:
- Applying for a student visa;
- Scheduling an interview;
- Preparing for your interview and what documentation you will need to bring with you;
- Information about bringing your spouse and children to the United States while you study; as well as information on
- Extending your stay in the U.S. after your studies are complete OR changing your status if you decide to stay in the United States to work.
Types of Student Visas
There are many types of visas a person can obtain when coming to the U.S. For the most up to date information and a listing of the types of Student Visas, please visit United States’ visa information website.
It is important to follow the instructions for the visa application process carefully and completely. This will ensure that your application is approved in a timely manner.
5 Steps to U.S. Study Guide
We recommend that all international students visit the 5 Steps to U.S. Study Guide found at the US Dept. of State's Education USA website. Here you will find the most up to date and detailed information about the Application Process.
Tips for Applying
- A student visa is called an F-1 Visa.
- Apply EARLY. If it is your first time applying for a student visa, you may be required to appear for an interview. Also, it might take several months to get your visa from the Embassy or Consulate.
- June, July and August are the busiest months, so getting a consular interview appointment is difficult during those months.
- Bring the required documents with you to avoid having to make a return trip.
- If you want to come to the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the course start day, you must also qualify for a visitor visa.
- Carefully consider the dates you will be in the U.S. for school so that you do not violate the terms of your student visa.
For the most current information about student visas, please be sure to visit the United States’ visa information website.
Please check out our Visa Frequently Asked Questions page!