USA Student Visa

A study visa for the USA is one of the most sought after amongst those looking to study abroad. The US is probably the only country where students can apply for a visa without having a preset list of documents and where the interview decides if the student gets the visa or not. When applying for a USA student visa you need to show that you can pay for the entire course and that you have strong ties with your home country and will return home after studying. You also need to have been accepted to an institute of good standing in the US. Keep in mind that if you are applying for certain PhD or data-based courses, your application may require additional scrutiny and hence you should be applying early for your study visa.

There are two types of student visas that you can apply to study in the US – F-1 and M-1.

The F1 visa is the most common for students who wish to engage in academic studies in the United States. The M1 visa is for those who wish to study vocational subjects or undergo training at US institutes. With the amount of study visa information available online, it would be easy to be confused and doubt what information is needed to get a US nonimmigrant visa. However, by following simple rules you would have no problem in visa issuance. The process for a US student visa starts by filling in your DS-160 form and paying the visa fee. You can use the exchange rate mentioned on the visa application centre’s website. Remember to apply for an F1 study visa and not an exchange visitor visa. Once you are done with this process, you need to book two visa appointments with the US embassies and consulates in India. One appointment would be to collect your Biometrics and the other would be your visa interview appointment. After your visa interview appointment, you would be issued a machine-readable US study visa by the Consulate General or Embassy of the United States. If for any reason, your visa is held under Section 221(g), your visa would have to be processed by the Department of State in the US before it can be issued in India.

Documents required for a US student visa

The requirements for a U.S. student visa (F or M visa) may vary depending on the specific U.S. embassy or consulate and the type of visa you are applying for. It's crucial to check the official website of the U.S. Department of State or the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for the most up-to-date information. Additionally, visa requirements can change, so it's always a good idea to confirm the details closer to your application date.


However, here is a general list of documents that are commonly required for a U.S. student visa application:

  • Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application:

    Complete the form online and print the confirmation page with the barcode.

  • Visa application fee payment receipt:
  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, and keep the payment receipt.

  • SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt:
  • Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee and keep the payment receipt.

  • Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status):
  • Issued by the U.S. school or program you plan to attend.

  • Passport:
  • Valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.

  • Passport-sized photos:

    Generally, two recent color passport-sized photos with specific dimensions (e.g., 2x2 inches).

  • Visa appointment confirmation:
  • A copy of the appointment confirmation letter.

  • Transcripts and diplomas:

    Academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended.

  • Standardized test scores:

    Such as TOEFL, IELTS, or other required tests, as per the program's admission requirements.

  • Financial evidence:

    Proof of financial ability to cover the costs of tuition, living expenses, and other related costs. This may include bank statements, affidavits of support, or scholarship letters.

  • Ties to your home country:

    Documents showing your intent to return to your home country after completing your studies, such as a letter from an employer or evidence of property ownership.

  • Consular interview:

    Be prepared to attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Remember that specific requirements can vary, and it's important to check the U.S. embassy or consulate website for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Additionally, the requirements may change, so be sure to verify the details before starting your application process.

F-1 Visa Requirements

Institution Certification:

Provide Form I-20, a certificate of eligibility issued by the U.S. educational institution you plan to attend.


Full-Time Enrollment:

You must be enrolled as a full-time student, as defined by the educational institution, to maintain F or M visa status.


English Language Proficiency:

Submit proof of English proficiency through standardized tests like TOEFL or IELTS, as required by the educational institution.


Sufficient Funding:

Demonstrate the ability to cover tuition, living expenses, and other costs through financial documents like bank statements, affidavits of support, or scholarship letters.


Valid Passport:

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.


Home Country Residency:

Provide evidence of ties to your home country, showing your intent to return after completing studies, such as a letter from an employer or proof of property ownership. This helps assure the consular officer of your non-immigrant intent.

Cost of Student Visa in the USA

The cost of a U.S. student visa involves two main fees: the SEVIS Fee and the MRV Application Fee, also known as the Visa Application Fee. Here's an explanation of each:


SEVIS Fee (I-901 Fee):

  • Purpose: The SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Fee is required for F (academic) and M (vocational) visa applicants. It is used to support the maintenance of the SEVIS database and the issuance of Form I-20, which is a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.

  • Payment Process: Before applying for a U.S. visa, the applicant must pay the SEVIS Fee online through the SEVIS website ( and receive a confirmation receipt (Form I-901). This fee must be paid at least three days before the visa interview.

  • Amount: The SEVIS Fee amount varies based on the type of visa. The fee fF and M visa applicants typically pay $350, while J visa applicants may have a different fee.


MRV Application Fee (Visa Application Fee):

  • Purpose: The MRV (Machine-Readable Visa) Application Fee is a non-refundable fee paid by all applicants for U.S. visas, including student visas. It covers the cost of processing the visa application.

  • Payment Process: The MRV Fee is paid through the U.S. Visa Information and Appointment Services website or at designated banks, depending on the country. The payment receipt contains a unique receipt number necessary for scheduling a visa interview.

  • Amount: The MRV Fee amount varies depending on the visa type and the country where the application is made. The fee is generally paid in the local currency. The fee for an F or M visa is around $160.


It's important for applicants to check the specific fee amounts and payment procedures on the official U.S. Department of State website or the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where they plan to apply. Fee amounts and procedures may be subject to change, so applicants should refer to the most up-to-date information available at the time of their application.

English language requirements for US student visa

To prove you're not winging it with charades during classes, you need to showcase your English skills.

One popular show-and-tell option is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). It's like the Olympics for language, and for a U.S. student visa, you're aiming for a score between 6.0 to 7.5. Think of it as getting a ticket to the language fluency party – the higher the score, the fancier your invitation.

Before you begin your F-1 visa application, you must take the following steps

Get accepted by a SEVP-certified institution:

  • Choose a school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
  • Complete the admission process and get that golden acceptance letter.


Pay your SEVIS fee:

  • Head to the SEVIS website and pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee.
  • Keep that confirmation receipt safe; you’ll need it for the next steps.


Complete your DS-160 visa application:

  • Visit the U.S. Department of State Consular Electronic Application Center and fill out the DS-160 form online.
  • Upload a passport-size photo meeting the specified requirements.
  • Double-check all your info – no typos allowed!


Schedule your visa interview.

  • Create an account on the U.S. Visa Information and Appointment Services website.
  • Pay the visa application fee.
  • Schedule your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.


Attend your visa interview

  • Gather all required documents: DS-160 confirmation, visa appointment letter, passport, SEVIS payment receipt, school acceptance letter, and proof of financial ability.
  • Brush up on why you chose the specific school, your course of study, and your plans post-education.
  • Arrive at the interview early, dress sharp, and be ready to impress.


Remember, it's a process, but with these steps, you’ll be navigating the F-1 visa journey like a pro. Best of luck! 

After arrival steps

Post-Arrival Protocols:


1.  Contact your designated school official on a priority basis:

  • Upon arrival, promptly initiate contact with your designated school official.

  • Communicate your safe arrival, express readiness to commence academic activities, and address any immediate administrative requirements.


2. Contact your designated school official again, no later than the program start date listed on your Form I-20:

  • Well in advance of the program start date indicated on your Form I-20, re-establish communication with the designated school official.

  • Reinforce your commitment to adhering to program timelines, seek any additional guidance, and ensure alignment on procedural matters.


Maintaining timely and clear communication will contribute to a seamless transition into the academic curriculum.

F-1 Visa Application Process

1. Get Accepted and Get Your I-20:

  • Commence the journey by securing admission to a SEVP-certified institution and obtaining the I-20 form.

  • This document is pivotal, as it outlines the details of your academic program and is essential for the F-1 visa application.


2. Pay Your SEVIS Fee:

  • Navigate to the SEVIS website to fulfill the mandatory I-901 SEVIS fee.

  • This financial transaction is a prerequisite for initiating the visa application process.


3. Complete Your DS-160 Visa Application:

  • Navigate the intricacies of the DS-160 form, ensuring accurate and comprehensive completion.

  • Adhere to the specified guidelines for passport-sized photo submission and meticulous data entry.


4. Schedule Your Visa Interview:

  • Utilize the U.S. Visa Information and Appointment Services platform to schedule the pivotal visa interview.

  • This step includes the payment of the requisite visa application fee.


5. Attend Your Visa Interview:

  • Approach the visa interview with meticulous preparation, armed with all pertinent documents.

  • Articulate your intent, academic pursuits, and adherence to visa regulations professionally.


Commitment to these steps ensures a methodical and successful F-1 visa application process.

F-1 Visa Interview

Embarking on the F-1 visa journey includes a crucial step—the visa interview. This interview holds immense importance as it is a key determinant in whether you will be granted the visa to pursue your academic goals in the United States. However, it's essential to approach the interview with a mindset that balances awareness of its significance with composure and confidence.


Significance of the F-1 Visa Interview:

  • The F-1 visa interview is a critical component of the application process. It provides an opportunity for the visa officer to assess the credibility of your intentions to study in the U.S. and your eligibility for the visa.
  • The interview allows you to demonstrate your preparedness, sincerity, and adherence to visa regulations.

Understanding the Process:

  • Familiarize yourself with the typical questions asked during F-1 visa interviews. Be ready to discuss your academic plans, reasons for choosing a specific program or institution, and your post-graduation intentions.
  • The visa officer aims to ensure that you are a genuine student with a sincere interest in your chosen course of study and that you have the necessary financial means to support your education and living expenses.

Preparation is Key:

  • Thoroughly prepare for the interview by reviewing your application documents, such as the Form I-20 and financial statements. Be ready to articulate your academic and career goals clearly.
  • Practice answering common visa interview questions with a focus on clarity and brevity. This will help you feel more confident and composed during the actual interview.

Maintain Composure:

  • Recognize that it is normal to feel a degree of nervousness before and during the interview. However, remind yourself that stress should not overshadow your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Take a moment to breathe and compose yourself if you feel anxious during the interview. Speak clearly and confidently, demonstrating your enthusiasm for your academic pursuits.

Positive Communication:

  • Maintain a positive and respectful demeanor throughout the interview. Visa officers are there to assess your eligibility, not to intimidate you.
  • Be concise in your responses, providing the necessary information without unnecessary elaboration. Clear and straightforward answers convey confidence and sincerity.

Focus on the Positive Outcome:

  • Approach the interview with a positive mindset. Visualize a successful outcome and remind yourself of the efforts you've made to reach this point in your academic journey.
  • Trust in your preparation, and remember that the visa interview is a step toward realizing your educational aspirations rather than an insurmountable hurdle.


While the F-1 visa interview is undeniably significant, approaching it with preparation, composure, and a positive mindset can turn the experience into a manageable and successful step in your academic journey. Confidence in your abilities and a clear expression of your genuine intentions will likely contribute to a favorable outcome.



What to expect at your visa interview?

A student visa interview is a crucial step in the process of obtaining a student visa for studying abroad. The purpose of the interview is to assess the applicant's eligibility and sincerity in pursuing education in the host country. While specific questions may vary depending on the country and the consulate, here are some common questions that are frequently asked in student visa interviews:


What is the purpose of your trip?

The interviewer wants to know that you are genuinely going to study and not for any other reasons.


Why did you choose this particular course and university?

They are assessing whether your choice is well-informed and if it aligns with your academic and career goals.


Can you explain your study plan?

The interviewer may ask about the details of your study plan, including the courses you will be taking and how they relate to your future career.


How did you find out about the university?

This question assesses the research you've done on the university and demonstrates your genuine interest in studying there.


What are your plans after completing your studies?

This question aims to understand if you have clear goals and intentions for your future after completing your education.


Do you have any relatives or friends in this country?

The interviewer may want to ensure that your primary purpose for going to the country is for education and not for other personal reasons.


How do you plan to finance your education?

Be prepared to discuss your financial plan, including how you'll pay for tuition, living expenses, and other related costs.


Have you received any scholarships?

If you have received any scholarships, the interviewer may want details to understand your financial situation better.


What ties do you have to your home country?

The interviewer wants assurance that you have strong ties to your home country and are likely to return after completing your studies.


Have you ever been to [host country] before?

If you have visited the country before, they may ask about your previous experiences and how they influenced your decision to study there.


How will this course contribute to your career?

The interviewer wants to assess if your chosen course is relevant to your career goals and if you have a clear vision for your professional future.


Financial Ability:

  • How do you plan to fund your stay?
  • Can you provide proof of financial support?
  • Do you have a sponsor, and what is their relationship to you?


Remember to answer confidently, honestly, and with clarity. It's essential to be well-prepared, know your application details thoroughly, and have a clear understanding of your study and career plans.

Reasons for Rejection of US Student Visa

Factors Influencing US Student Visa Denial

Aspiring for a U.S. student visa demands meticulous consideration of potential pitfalls. Here are critical factors that may lead to visa rejection:


1. Insufficient finances

  • Concern: Inadequate financial resources for educational expenses.

  • Resolution: Present a comprehensive and transparent financial plan demonstrating ample funding.

2. Potential immigrant

  • Concern: Perceived intent to immigrate rather than pursue education.

  • Resolution: Articulate a clear commitment to the academic agenda and post-graduation return.

3. Ties:

  • Concern: Insufficient connections or commitments to the home country.

  • Resolution: Strengthen the demonstration of ties through professional, familial, or economic affiliations.

4. Documentation:

  • Concern: Incomplete or questionable documentation.

  • Resolution: Ensure meticulous preparation and submission of all required and authentic documents.

5. False Intentions:

  • Concern: Lack of clarity or inconsistency regarding academic and post-graduation intentions.

  • Resolution: Provide a coherent narrative aligning educational pursuits with future goals.

6. Interview Problems:

  • Concern: Suboptimal performance, nervousness, or inconsistency during the interview.

  • Resolution: Engage in rigorous interview preparation to convey confidence and clarity.

7. Visa Denial in the Past:

  • Concern: Historical denial of a U.S. visa.

  • Resolution: Address and rectify issues from past denials, demonstrating improved eligibility.

8. Funding Suspicion:

  • Concern: Doubts regarding the legitimacy of funding sources.

  • Resolution: Transparently disclose and substantiate funding origins from credible and lawful channels.

9. Poor Academic Record:

  • Concern: A subpar academic record.

  • Resolution: Emphasize dedication, growth, and the relevance of past academic performance to future goals.

10. Separate Applications from Dependents

  • If dependents' applications (such as those of family members) are not properly prepared or lack necessary documentation, it may impact the primary applicant's case.

F1 Student Visa Timelines

Step 1: Receive an Offer Letter from US College

  • You receive that coveted Offer Letter from your U.S. college.

  • Take a moment to celebrate, but then get ready to move into action. This letter is your official invitation to the academic party.


Step 2: Get SEVIS-generated I-20 Form

  • The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) generates your I-20 form.

  • This document is crucial; it's not just a piece of paper. It's your golden ticket for the visa application. Ensure you understand all the details it contains, as it outlines your academic program, costs, and more.


Step 3: File the F1 Student Visa

  • Time to file for that F1 Student Visa. Fill out the DS-160 form online, pay the visa fee, and gather all the required documents.

  • Attention to detail is your best friend here. Ensure your paperwork is pristine, from the DS-160 form to the financial documents and everything in between.


Step 4: Appear for the Visa Interview

  • You're scheduled for a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.

  • This is the moment to shine. Dress sharp, be prepared to articulate your academic plans, financial capability, and be ready to answer questions about your chosen institution.


Step 5: Ensure your Visa Approval

  • Your visa is approved – the golden stamp in your passport.

  • Celebrate your win but stay focused. It's time to gear up for the next steps.


Step 6: Attend the College Orientation

  • The college wants to welcome you officially through an orientation program.

  • Attend the orientation – it's not just about paperwork and logistics. It's your chance to start building connections, understanding campus life, and getting mentally prepared for your academic journey.


Remember, each step is a milestone, and attention to detail pays off. Here's to a successful academic adventure in the U.S.!

Timeline for Admissions

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Finalizing university

A few months after your application has been submitted, universities will get back to you with their answers. You will be notified over email or university website about the outcome of your application. We will discuss these outcomes with you in detail and keep your priorities in mind, we will arrive at the final university which you will be attending.

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Apply for visa and pay the SEVIS and Visa application fee

Now that you have everything ready with you, you can apply for your visa application online which is the DS-160. You should do this as early as allowed as visa applications can take very long to process. We will be filling out your application form online and helping you navigate the process. 

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Receive visa and prepare for departure

When you receive your passport back with the visa stamped inside, you have successfully received your visa. We will be guiding you on what all you need to travel and steps to take in order to settle down at your university and to make the transition smooth. 

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Success rate

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When to start

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3 months in advance


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1 month at least

Success Story

Chris D'Souza

Chris D'Souza

University of Texas at Dallas


I am really happy with the service at KGC. They helped me get into UT Dallas with a full scholarship. I am excited and will recommend it to anyone wanting to study abroad. When applying to colleges in the U.S., the whole visa process can be rather confusing and time-consuming. That's where KGC can help out. They set clear goals and make the process of applying to college and visa much easier. They help out with essays, paperwork, and other necessities. The counsellors are polite and well-informed and helped me a lot with my interview preparation needs. I would highly recommend KGC services to anyone considering studying abroad.


Chris D'Souza came to us for his visa application to the US. We were able to help him with his US F1 student visa, application form and his interview where we did several mock interviews and simplified the process for him.

Some images and names in the reviews have been changed to protect the privacy of the concerned.

Karan Gupta

Message from Dr. Karan Gupta

Follow the 3 Cs when it comes to your visa interview. Be Calm, Confident and in Control. Your interviewer is looking for more information from you and your motivation behind studying abroad, so try to be as articulate and precise as possible. Also carry the following documents when you visit the US consulate or embassy: Printed copy of the appointment letter, DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months; current and all old passports and the original visa fee payment receipt; acceptance letter & SEVIS fee receipt; evidence of income and proof that funds are immediately available to cover your education in the US; School and college transcripts and standardized test score sheets.

Our Counselling Services Will Make You

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A dedicated counselor will be helping you throughout the process who will be there to assist you in matters and resolve issues that may arise.

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We will make sure that you are ready for any challenges and hurdles that come your way throughout the application process.

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Stay on track

With the help of scheduled reminders and our personalized timeline for the application process, you will always remain on track.

Our Services

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Specific application advice

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General guidance on student visa processes

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Application and support documents check

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Interview skills training and mock interview practice

We Have Helped Students With

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Previous rejections

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Low finances

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Interview Anxiety


The important factors to take into account are the course that you intend to pursue, the university offering the course, and the country it is located in. This will help you in narrowing down your choices. USA, UK, Canada, and Australia are popular choices amongst Indian students.

There could be a variety of reasons. We need to check the whole application in detail to provide you with a possible solution.

Students can apply 3 months before and fly to the United States within 30 days from the start of the course as mentioned in the Form I-20.

Yes. The I-20 form which is provided by the university where you have secured your admission is required for applying for an F1 Student visa.

No. After paying the deposit to the university where you have been accepted, the I-20 form process will begin.

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