Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Archive
As you search for information about studying in the United States, you can enter in the search box below some key words or a question you would like an answer to, or you can look in one of the nine categories of most frequently asked questions listed below. If you speak Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian or Portuguese, please select your language from the pull down box below, and you will see these topic areas change to the selected language.
• F-1, or Student Visa: This visa is the most common for those who wish to engage in academic studies in the United States. It is for people who want to study at an accredited U.S. college or university or to study English at a university or intensive English language institute.
• J-1, or Exchange Visitor: This visa is for people who will be participating in an exchange visitor program in the U.S. The "J" visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs.
• M-1, or Student Visa: This visa is for those who will be engaged in non-academic or vocational study or training at an institution in the U.S.
B- Visa application forms are also available at http://evisaforms.state.gov.
C- The EducationUSA web site lists advising centers that help non-immigrants prepare for visa interviews.
An interview at the U.S. consular section is required for almost all visa applicants.
Each applicant for a student visa must submit these forms and documentation as explained below:
- Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students or Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students.You will need to submit a SEVIS generated Form, I-20, which was provided to you by your school.You and your school official must sign the I-20 form. See the previous section for SEVIS information.
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit the DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.
- One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in nonimmigrant photograph requirements;
- A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
- The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.
All applicants should be prepared to provide:
- Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;
- Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.;
- Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor own a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
Can’t find your questions answered in these FAQs? Click on the Ask an Adviser button below to contact your local EducationUSA Advising Center.