The USA continues to be the top choice for students planning to study abroad.
There are three types of student visas to the US:
Students applying for a program which requires more than 18 hours of study in a week require an F1 visa. This includes all undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs like MS, MBA, etc.
Spouses or children accompanying F-1 visa recipients will travel on an F-2 visa. Please note that spouses are not able to work but may accompany and/or apply for their own visa to the U.S. to work or study.
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for students, visiting scholars or lecturers pursuing an exchange program. For example, Fulbright scholars and many students on short-term study abroad programs from Indian universities will travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa.
J1 visa is usually sought by working professional who goes to America on an exchange program, hence the name Exchange Visitor Visa. These may include a 10-month vocational training or some research fellowship, etc. Whichever be the case, the applicants would be notified for the same by the respective institutions.
Spouses or children accompanying J-1 Visa recipients will travel on a J-2 Visa. Please note that spouses are able to work when permission is obtained in advance.
The M1 visa is a type of student visa reserved for vocational and technical schools. While the process remains similar to an F1 visa, the difference is that on entering, the M1 visas are time stamped and students cannot overstay their visit.
During the first year of studies, students cannot accept off-campus employment. Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week. During holidays and breaks, the student may work up to 40 hours per week. The student can work for a commercial firm that provides services to the college, such as a bookstore or cafeteria.
There are two fees associated with for F1 student visa for the USA
Here is the breakdown of different types of Student Visas
* Spouses and dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if they are going to the U.S. on F-2 or J-2 visas. For more information about the SEVIS program, you can read SEVIS Fee & US Student Visa: What it is and how to pay it?.
Student visa requires you to carry a lot more documents than you would for a tourist visa, by comparison. You need the mandatory documents along with supporting documents of financial and academic records. Make sure you refer to this checklist before going to the consulate for the visa interview.
|Type Of Visa|
|Type Of Fee||F1||J1||M1|
|SEVIS ( Student Exchange Visitor Information System) Fee*|
|Accpted mode of payment||Cerdit card
Money order/Demand draft
|payable In||Dollar at the applicable exchange rate as determined by the bank|
|MRV Application Fee/ Visa Application Fee|
|Accpted mode of payment||NEFT Online Transfer Instant Money Transfer by Mobile - IMPS By Cash at counters of Axis Bank/ Citibank|
|payable In||Payable in INR at the Exchange Rate Fixed by the Consular Office (At present the exchange rate is fixed at $1 = INR 70)|
For the USA, students need to show proof of the amount of fund they need to cover for the first year total expenses. It includes tuition fees, living expenses, and other expenses (like books). They also need to show the proof of the readily available funds for rest of the tenure of education.
There are several steps to apply for a student visa:
Spouses and children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany the applicant in the US for the duration of his or her stay require F2 or M2 visas. A spouse on F2 status cannot enroll for a full course of study but can take classes that are vocational or recreational in nature like pursuing a hobby or interest, such as cooking or tennis. Children on F2 status are allowed to attend elementary, middle, or high school as a full-time student. They may not enroll in a full-time course of study at a college or university.
The spouse and children of students cannot accept employment at any time during the stay-period on the F2 Visa.
F1 visa holders are eligible for up to 12 months of OPT (optional practical training) on completion of graduation. That means you can work for a year after you finish your studies. It is a temporary employment permission allowing students the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study. After that, you’ll be required to apply for a work visa if you have to continue working in the US. You can remain in the US up to 60 days after the completion of your course even if you don’t have a job offer or haven’t applied for OPT.
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