Studying Abroad: USA Student Visa

Well, folks! Some of the world’s best universities are located in The United States of America.It is but natural for you to desire admission into any of them.By now, you have an idea what studying abroad implies exclusively VISA!

I’m  talking esoteric formalities and quite a number of them, which are often lost on many aspirants.

There could be some who are acquainted with them, but not quite understand them with the clarity they deserve.

This article aims to bring lucidity to the subject-matter.

Formalities, Demystified:

First of all, you must wait for your I-20 or IAP-66 form from the school you have been admitted into.

(This I-20 form grants you Non-Immigrant Student Access into the USA, and also validates your admission into the institution.) (

*When you arrive in the USA, you need to present this I-20 form to US Customs and Border Protection at the port entry. *

You also must  apply to the US Embassy, or the US Consulate for your student Visa. Make sure that you’ve to apply for this Visa 90 days before the date mentioned on your I-20 form.

The nature of your aforementioned Visa must be  F-1-Student Visa (assuming you are to attend a full-time educational course). The visa is exclusively for students who are to undergo a full-time course at any registered college/school in America.

How do you apply for a Visa?

The details are listed below. Keep scrolling.

Applying For a Visa:

Applicants need to apply at the consular section of the American Embassy on any working day, (Monday to Friday), during working hours of the consular section.

For contact details of the Embassy Consular Section of New Delhi India, check this link out.

Required Documents(source :infozee)

  • Valid Passport
  • One Passport size photograph (In a specified format)
  • A Non-Immigrant Visa Application (Form 156) available from the Consular section.
  • Other required forms. (Depending on the country where you apply from)
  • Form I-20 executed by the authorizing official of the institution concerned, signed by the applicant.
  • Evidence of financial ability to cover the costs of the education and maintenance involved
  • Visa fee (payable in the notified currency)

More often than not, you will get your visa within 72 hours after your submission of the application.

Your System Requirements:

Some basic requirements which you (as the student) must possess:

1)Only English no Hinglish:

Most important. Since all your interactions will be in English, the common tongue, you are certainly not in your best strategic position entering the States without a proper understanding of it.

Generally, proof of your knowledge in English will be established in the I-20 form, by your particular school of choice.

Additionally, you are suggested to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (aka, TOEFL) to establish your credibility.

However if your application is denied, try asking the Consular Officer for a “written denial decision” which will let you know the exact official reason for your rejection.

2) Evidence of Financial Sufficiency:

You need to prove that you are well-equipped to cover your education cost, as well as your stay in the U.S.  Any reliable financial resource would count.

You may show that you are backed up by your institution via scholarship, or assistantship, or employment… and this will usually be printed on your I-20.

If financial support is rendered by your home nation:

In such case, You need to produce relevant bank/financial documents, which show that you at least have in your possession enough currency to cover the dollar cost of your first year, along with some evidence regarding funding sources for the following years.

Being an Indian student, if  you are not paying your own expenses, you would need to present an Affidavit of Support executed by the sponsor and sworn before a registered authority (a First Class Magistrate in India) along with evidence of subsequent financial sufficiency.

If  financial support is not rendered by your home nation:

In such case, you need to have a written letter from your sponsor’s bank, indicating that the sponsor has sufficient fund to cover the costs involved, together with a current notarized Affidavit of Support. stating willingness to finance the applicant’s educational expenses. The sponsor should also provide evidence of current employment and income.(Source:infozee)

Concerning Sponsorship:

Priority is indeed shown to promises of support from immediate family members.

In case of family friends, or persons who are less than immediate relatives: the affidavit should be accompanied by a statement explaining in detail what viable reasons the person has to carry out the sponsorship-responsibilities made on the affidavit.

The US Embassy particularly stresses that the commitment contained in an affidavit of support is not a mere formality. The U.S. Government regards Affidavits of support to be binding, legal documents that oblige the sponsor to be financially responsible for the student during his/her time in U.S.

3) Proof of Permanent Residence:

Despite being a non-immigrant, you need to convince the authorities about your intentions of returning back to your home nation after graduation.

This is so, because legally, all non-immigrants are viewed as intending immigrants (a.k.a, the idea that you will be so fascinated with the US, that you’d not want to turn back).

Do have with yourself the documents that substantiate you not being a prodigal son, to convince the counsel of your intent to return to your home country after completing your studies. Examples of documents of this nature could be any of the following:

  • Economic/social ties to an/an academic school, family business, private professional company or government organization. (Bring relevant letters which establish the fact)
  • Evidence of land ownership
  • Proof of past return(s) by other family members, who have studied in the US
  • Letters from your employers claiming your need for exclusive temporary training offered in the U.S.
  • An explanation of why similar training is unavailable in your home nation, if applicable.

It is advised that you do not bring family members with you to your Visa interview since the Consular Officials always prefer to interact directly with the applicant.

Finally when done, a visa stamp will be affixed to a page in your passport. Be sure to apply for a multiple entry F-1 student visa. This would allow you to migrate to your home country and the U.S. anytime during your stay in America.

4) University Acceptance:

The MOST important point mentioned last (oh the irony!)

All of the above information is meaningless if you have  nowhere to go to (ha!)

So, be sure to be accepted by a university.

And do take care of your I-20 form (sent to you by your institution, countersigned by you, and produced with a valid visa application)

Good luck, then!

Let us know if this information has been helpful to you.

Until next time!


In the writing of this article, we’d like to thank The US Embassy for all relevant information, and are indebted to for letting us in on them.