The United States is one of the popular destinations to study in the world. Every year, thousands of students across the globe apply for study visas for the U.S with the hope of a better future. In 2019, a record-breaking number of international students applied for a study visa. Though the sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had halted the study plans of many aspiring students globally, it did not diminish the popularity of this country among students.
As many students desperately want to study in the United States, it is crucial to look for the visa options available and, above all, to complete your application with all required documents. Apart from this, it’s important to know how long it takes for the U.S visa authorities to review an application and decide on the same. This article will learn about the processing times of the US study visa and visa pathways for aspiring students.
US Student Visa Processing Time
It may surprise you to know that the U.S has one of the fastest processing times for study visas. Some visas are processed quickly right after your interview, which is the final step of the visa process. At the end of the interview, you will be informed whether your visa is approved or not.
Usually, it takes around 3 to 5 weeks for the USCIS to process your student visa application. Applicants get a reply on their application, and the consulate will deliver the document. You will get the visa within two business days.
Types of Student Visa Options for the U.S.
F-1 Visa: Academic Studies
An F-1 visa is the most commonly used visa stream for individuals who plan to study in the United States. As the name suggests, the F-1 visa allows an applicant to study at an academic institution, which includes any US college, university, high school, private elementary school, approved English language school, seminaries, conservatories, or other approved academic institutions.
F-1 visa holders must complete their studies within the given time frame.
To quality, the applicant must be accepted by an approved school, college, or university as a full-time student. The applicant must also demonstrate sufficient financial funds to support themselves in the U.S.
M-1 Visa: Vocational Visa
The M-1 visa accepts applications from students who are enrolled in vocational studies or other non-academic programs.
To qualify, applicants must be accepted by a vocational institution approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). They must have fluent English language skills, have sufficient financial funds, and must be willing to leave the United States after completing their studies.
How to apply?
International students planning to study in the United States must keep the following points in mind:
- Be accepted into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) from an approved Institution
- Pay the SEVIS fee
- Complete the online visa application form DS-160
Students should begin their application process 3-4 months before the start date of their course. It might take some time for the authorities to evaluate your application and give their decision.
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