Visa for the USA

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The most powerful country in the world – The United States of America, Living here can be a life-changing experience. Moreover, 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. So through this article we will talk about long term and short term visas that can be applied for the USA, specially from a student’s perspective.

The Statue of Liberty, The USA
The Statue of Liberty, The USA

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

Types of Visa

Study Visa

There are basically three types of student visas to the US. So,let’s have a look at them

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

One needs the following documents for the F-1 student visa

  • 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

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. Further this visa is for a short time (say ten months or so).

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. However, the process of F1 visa is similar to the F1 visa, the only difference is that on entering the country, this type of visa (M-1) are time stamped. Therefore, students cannot stay after the expiry of their M-1 visa.

How to apply

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
  • One can also download the application from the above-mentioned website.
  • Create your account and fill in the visa application form. 
  • Further, one gets an application ID for future references.
  • You will be notified of your interview dates or for further documentation.
  • On the interview appointment day, you can take a print out of the bar code 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

The USA offers several visas based on the purpose. Such as:

  • ‘A’ Visa: It 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)
  • H 3: For non- employment training program
  • H1- C: For healthcare professionals (nurses)
  • I Visa: this is for the journalists
  • J Visa: 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).

Permanent Residency

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 about whether to go back to your origin or to stay again. Moreover, there is a scope for higher income, a stress-free environment, enough savings, and a happy life. So, 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.

Eligibile Categories for Green Card

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

There is a lottery system that is made available to people from different countries to win a Green card. For further details on Green card, please refer the official website 


You must wait for some more years to apply for citizenship. So let’s check the eligibility criteria:

  • One 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 one has 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.

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

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