Visa guidelines for the USA

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Category: Visa/Travel
Posted on August 09, 2019
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The most powerful country in the world - The United States of America, Living here can be a life-changing experience. It has a very comfortable standard of living, and the main reason being the US Dollar, which remains one of the most robust and most influential currencies in the world. This multi-cultural country attracts students from all over the world. 

The USA will be an excellent place to base yourself. We have an informative guide on Visa procedures, which is a crucial aspect to keep in mind.

Study Visa

Did you know, there are three types of student visas to the US:

F1 Student Visa:

  • Your program of study requires more than 18 hours a week.
  • Includes undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Spouse or children can accompany you (but they cannot work or study).

Who can apply?

  • A resident of a foreign country who intend to return after the completion of the course
  • Has to show enough financial evidence to support his/her studies and stay in the US.
  • He/She can study only at the educational institution where a visa is  being granted
  • Have proof of identification of his/her home country.

Documents required are;

  • Passport
  • Fee Receipt (MRV)
  • passport size photographs
  • Appointment letter of the visa interview
  • DS 160 Confirmation Slip
  • Fee receipt (SEVIS)
  • Transcripts of your previous academics
  • GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/SAT/PTE scores

J1 Exchange Visitor Visa

This type of visa is for students, pursuing exchange programs or visiting scholars, who take up vocational training or some research, etc. for a short time (say ten months or so).

Check out the main categories of J1 visa

  • Short-Term Scholar
  • Au Pair
  • Internship
  • Work and Travel 
  • Camp Counsellor
  • International Visitor Program
  • List of documents required :
  • Passport
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of acceptance by the respective institution

M-1 Vocational [Non-Academic Student Visa]

The M1 visa is for students who go to the US for technical and vocational schools/training. The process of F1 visa is similar to F1 visa, and the only difference is that on entering the country, this type of visa (M-1) are time stamped. Students cannot stay after the expiry of their M-1 visa.

Easy steps for prospective students to apply for a student visa to the US:

Prepare well in advance (12 months before your study in the US), do the following;

  • Apply and get/be accepted by the US institution approved by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) 
  • Pay the (SEVIS) fees
  • Complete the visa application form (DS-160) and pay the fees.
  • Attend the visa interview scheduled for you.
  • You can search for the US embassy/consulate near you at https://www.usembassy.gov/.
  • The application can be downloaded from the same website.
  • Create your account and fill in the visa application form. 
  • An application ID will be generated for you for future references.
  • You will be notified on your interview dates or for further documentation.
  • On the interview appointment day, you can take a print out of the barcode number and your application ID. You will also have to carry an MRV fee receipt (print a copy if you have paid online).

Other types of Visas

A: ‘A’ visa is for foreign government officials and diplomats.

A1, G-1, NATO1-6: Used for renewal of ‘A,’ ‘G’ and ‘NATO’ visas

A-2, NATO1-6: It is for military personnel who are in the US.

B-1: This visa is for professional athletes, Business visitors, and domestic employees.

B-2: This visa is for tourists and visitors for medical treatment.

BCC: This is a Mexican Border Crossing Card.

C: This is a transit visa, travelers who transit in the US.

D: This visa is for crew members of aircraft and sea vessels.

E-1: This visa is for treaty traders.

E-2: This visa is for treaty investors.

E-3: This visa is for Australian professionals and specialty workers.

F-2: This visa is for dependents of F1 visa holders.

G1- G5, NATO: The visa is  for Designated international organization’s employees and NATO

H-1B1: This visa is only for Chilean FTA (Free Trade Agreement) professionals and Singaporean FTA (Free Trade Agreement) professionals

H1-B: This visa is for highly specialized professionals and Physicians.

H2-A: For those who come as a temporary worker for seasonal agriculture

H2-B: This visa is for workers for non-agricultural professions (temporary)

H3: For non-employment training programs

H1-C: For healthcare professionals (nurses)

I: For journalists

J: For International cultural exchange visitors

J-1: For Professors, scholars, and teachers as exchange visitors and Au-pairs exchange visitors

J-2: For the spouse of J-1 holder and children (under 21 yrs old)

K-1: For fiance

L: For Intracompany transferees

M-1: This visa is only for vocational students

M-2: For dependent of M-1 holder

O-1: For foreign nationals with excellent knowledge of art, science, education, athletics, or business.

P: This visa is for artists, entertainers, and athletes.

Q: For International cultural exchange visitors

R: This visa is for foreign nationals who go to the US for religious works

TN/TD: This is a is only for Mexican and Canadian NAFTA professional workers

T-1: This visa is for the victims of human trafficking.

U-1: Given to the victims of crime (criminal activity).

People wish to settle abroad after completing their studies because they get acquainted with the environment. After graduating from the US schools, you will think twice whether to go back to your origin or to stay again. There is a scope for higher income, stress-free environment, enough savings, and happy life. Joy to live an American life is worth a try. 

You can become a permanent resident of the US in different ways:

  • Sponsored by a family member
  • Sponsored by employers
  • Through refugee or asylee status
  • Humanitarian programs

Green card

The green card lets you stay in the US indefinitely if your job skills match with the job market in the US, then you will be highly preferred.

Green card eligibility categories are;

  • Green Card through Family
  • Green Card through Employment
  • Green Card as a Special Immigrant years
  • Green Card through Refugee or Asylee Status
  • Green Card for Crime Victims and Human Trafficking
  • Green Card for Victims of Abuse
  • Green Card through Other Categories
  • Green Card through Registry

There is a lottery system which is made available to people from different countries to win a Green card. For more details on Green card, please refer the official website https://www.uscis.gov/ 

Citizenship

You must wait for some more years to apply for citizenship. Check the eligibility criteria;

  • You should be 18 years old or above
  • You have a green card for at least five years
  • You have at least liven for three months in the state or USCIS district( where you applied for citizenship)
  • Evidence of your five years stay as a PR (green card)
  • You are fluent in English (Read, write, speak).
  • Abide by the law
  • You have a good character
  • Have a basic understanding of US history.

We hope that you find the information on our website informative and useful. We wish you for a smooth visa process and a wonderful trip to your dream destination. Bon Voyage!


Bhumika Sharma
Bhumika Sharma

Bhumika has more than 4 years of experience as a software engineer. Having done MCA from Dayananda sagar Institutions, Bangalore and BCA from Sikkim Manipal University, Sikkim, she found her calling as the head researcher at PlanAll. In her free time, her 5 year old daughter, Mishka, keeps her busy and happy.

Rishita Khurana
August 12, 2019 - 06:06am
Rishita Khurana August 12, 2019 - 06:06am

Thanks....It will be helpful for students

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