3 - 5 months prior to U.S.study:

Identify Student Visa Types

The U.S. Department of State issues visas in a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

        A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.

        A visa does allow a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission from a U.S. immigration officer to enter the United States.

What are the different types of visas for non-U.S. citizens who study in the United States?

        F-1 Student Visa. The most common visa for those who want to study in the United States. It is for individuals who want to study at an accredited U.S. college or university or study English at a university or intensive English language institute.

        J-1 Exchange Visa. This visa is for people who will be participating in an exchange program, including those programs that provide high school and university study.

Information about the student visa process is accurate as of July 2011 and is subject to change. Visit www.travel.state.gov for more information, or consult your nearest U.S. embassy/consulate or EducationUSA Advising Center.


Is your spouse, or child under the age of 21, joining you in the United States? Learn more about the F-2 visa and J-2 visa.


Did you know the U.S. Department of State issued 781,719 student and exchange visitor visas in fiscal year 2011? This translates to a worldwide acceptance rate of almost 86%. You will first need to receive an admission letter and a certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant student status from your U.S. institution before you can begin the visa application process.

EdUSA Connects Session International Students Demystify the Visa Process

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Be Prepared for the Student Visa Process!

Become familiar with the student visa requirements in your country and allow plenty of time to prepare your application.

"Because interviews are short, do your best to explain why you want to study in the United States, how you plan to support yourself while in school, and what your plans are for when your studies are finished.


- Vice Consul, U.S Consulate Monterrey, Mexico