Everything You Need To Know About F1 Visa




F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to students who come to the US for higher studies. An F1 visa is essential for any person who wishes to study either in a university, college, high school, elementary school, seminary, conservatory, language school or any other academic institution in the United States. F1 visa only gives permission to students to study. It is illegal for any student having F1 visa to take up regular job in the US.


F1 visa is issued either by the US Embassy or any of its consulates in the applicant’s country. Indian students going to the US for higher studies are issued F1 Visa by the US Embassy in New Delhi or its consulates located in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai or Hyderabad. No other body, organization or company has the authority to issue F1 visa to students. Students are advised to make F1 visa application either through verified agents or through official websites. The US Embassy and consulates also have dedicated personnel to help counsel the students.


Here we will take you through the entire process of getting the visa. Students are requested to read the following section carefully.


Since the F1 visa is issued only to those individuals who wish to study in the US, it is imperative for a student to first get admission (application approved) in a US college or university before he or she applies for F1 visa. Students must ensure that the college or university that they are applying in is SEVP certified i.e. it has received approval to admit international students under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the US Department of Homeland Security.

It should be noted that not all educational institutions in the US are allowed to admit international students. There are strict norms under SEVP that an educational institution has to follow in order to get the certification. One can visit the SEVIS website to check his or her institution’s SEVP status.

After getting approval from the educational institution, a student will get enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) for which he or she has to pay a one-time SEVIS I-901 application fee of $200. On payment of this fee, the educational institution will provide the student with the I-20 form. This will form the basis of the F1 visa application.


Students can fill the visa application online through US Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (Link: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/)

– The formal visa application process begins with the payment of non-refundable visa application fee. For F1 visa, the application fee is $160.

– The applicant then has to fill up and submit DS-160 form which compulsory for every non-immigrant visa applicant. If an applicant happens to be a male aged between 16 and 45 years, he will have to fill and submit DS-157 form in addition to DS-160 form.

– A student is required to upload information about their valid passport with validity of at least 6 months beyond the course duration. (Note: Students under F1 Visa are not allowed to stay for more than 60 days after the date of completion of the course as mentioned in the I-20 form)

– A Student is also required to upload a colored passport size photograph with following specifications:

– Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head

  1. Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  2. Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  3. Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  4. With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  5. Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis

– After filling the requisite information, a student can schedule F1 Visa interview either online or through an agent.

(Note: The date of interview may vary depending on the region, the number of applicants, visa category, time of the year and other factors. Hence, a student is advised to seek F1 visa interview as early as possible.)


There are certain documents that a student must take with him or her for the F1 Visa interview. They are as follows:

– A valid passport

– The Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160

– The application fee payment receipt

– A passport photo

– A Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F1) visa Student Status (Form 1-20)

In addition to that a student must also take documents to support your admission to the college or university in the US. They are

  1. School leaving Certificates and mark-sheets (Class X and Class XII)
  2. Graduation and Post-Graduation Certificates and Mark-Sheets (Wherever applicable)
  3. Any Diploma or Professional certification that supports his or her candidature for the course
  4. Test Scores of TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, SAT, GMAT, etc.


F1 visa is granted to students to study in the US. It is not given to them to stay permanently or find a work in that country. Therefore, in the interview, the student must ensure that he satisfies the interviewers with the following:

INTENTION TO RETURN HOME: F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa hence it is important to prove to the interviewers at the consulate that the student intends to return to his country after completing his course. If the interviewers feel that you intend to stay back in the US and settle down there, a student’s visa application could be rejected immediately. The student should convince the interviewers that he or she wants to go to the US only to get education and nothing else.

TIES WITH HOME COUNTRY: One of the ways to convince the embassy officials about one’s intention to return home is by showing strong ties with home country. He or she may show such intention through documents such as land or property in the home country, job offers, family’s residency etc.

ADMISSION TO AN APPROVED SCHOOL: As mentioned earlier, students must double-check the SEVP certification of the institution that they are applying in. If the institution is not SEVP certified, the student will not be granted visa as the admission stands null and void.

STRONG FINANCIAL BACKGROUND: A student must also display his ability to finance his course as well as the cost of living in the US. If a student has already taken education loan such as Student Cover’s SC Marvel, SC Excel, SC Crown or SC Beat, it is extremely unlikely that a student’s F1 visa application will be rejected as he or she will be able to show his or her ability to pay both tuition fees and living expenses, apart from getting guidance for visa application.


We hope that the information given above will be helpful to students while applying for F1 visa.


  1. unbe-Reply
    April 23, 2022 at 2:38 AM

    Great article! Thank you, pleased to see organized web-sites like these!

    • Puneet-Reply
      April 24, 2022 at 1:57 AM

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