F-1 Student Visa (U.S. Student Visa)
The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows an individual to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, or other academic institution. A student must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
Steps for Applying for an U.S. Student Visa
The visa application process commences with the receipt of an I-20. The I-20 confirms a students’ acceptance and enrollment at the university.
The visa process is long and looks difficult, but your personal counselor at IDP will assist and guide you every step of the way.
Step 1: Pay SEVIS Fee (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
SEVIS is the internet based part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that is developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS).
SEVIS maintains current and accurate information of all F, M, J visitors and their dependents. Schools (universities, colleges, institutions) transmit mandatory information via SEVIS to all the relevant U.S. government bodies.
You cannot apply for your F-1 visa until you pay the SEVIS Fee.
Fee payable: USD 200
Payment option: Credit card at http://www.fmjfee.com/
Step 2: Payment of visa application fee at Standard Charted Bank
Standard Chartered Bank is nominated to receive F-1 visa fees on behalf of the US Embassy Singapore. This fee is also known as the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee.
The Visa Fee Receipt will have a barcode sticker and must be kept safely. The barcode number will be activated a few hours till one working day after payment.
Before going down to make the payment, the person must print out a deposit slip with the appropriate amount (US$160, US$190, US240, US$270) from the US Embassy website and show it to the counter staff in order for them to process the payment. All payment are in Singapore dollars and the amount for the F-1 Visa is US$160 for your reference, the website is http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/sg/sg-niv-paymentinfo.asp
Visa fee: US$160
Method of payment:
In cash, at Standard Chartered Bank.
Step 3: Complete the Visa Application Form
The visa application form for your F-1 visa is completed online. The form that needs to be completed is: DS -160
You also need to upload a recent (within the past six months) passport size photograph of size 50mm X 50mm (2" x 2") with a white background.
You should print the confirmation page with a barcode at the end of the visa application form.
Step 4: Book Visa Interview Appointment
Once the barcode number on your visa fee (MRV Fee) receipt is activated, you have to set up an account at the US Embassy website and book your appointment.
Step 5: Attend you Visa Interview
You are advised to arrive at the Embassy no earlier than 20 minutes before the scheduled interview time.
List of documents required for F-1 visas (student visas)
1. Passport (valid for at least a further 6 months beyond the end date of your planned stay in the U.S)
2. One 5cm x 5cm photograph
3. Interview appointment confirmation
4. Online application form (DS-160)
5. Visa fee receipt
6. SEVIS fee receipt
7. I-20 form
8. Offer letter from U.S Educational institutions
9. Financial documents
10. All previously obtained qualifications and transcripts
11. Standardized test results required by U.S educational institutions
12. Work experience certificates
13. Other relevant documents
14. Documentation to demonstrate familial, economic, and social ties to your country of origin.
Step 6: Passport Collection
If your visa application is approved, you will need to leave your passport with the embassy after the interview for them to apply the necessary stickers onto your passport and collect your passport from the embassy at a later date.