A Complete Guide to F-1 and J-1 US Student Visa Process


There are 3 categories of student visa basically: F1, J1, and M1 visa. But in this article, we’re gonna look into the details of the procuring processes of the former two only.

      1. F1 Visa: The first one, and the most sought after is the F1 visa. This is for all students wishing to pursue either of the two- undergraduate or post-graduate studies in the USA. (These students tend to require more than eighteen hrs of education in one week. )
      2. J1 Visa: On the other hand, the second visa – J1 is aptly designed for education seekers who would be traveling to the USA for an exchange program. Whereas the third kind of student visa has been designed for students planning to attend skill-specific training or industrial schools, which are quite the same as F1 visa, but these visas are constrained to a limited time period only.

Read on to find the detailed processes for applying for F1 and J1 visas.

What is the Process of Getting an F1 Visa?

1. Enrolling into the SEVP List

Admission to any university does not entitle you to enter the United States. The University to which you have been admitted must be on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) list. This SEVP list includes all institutions that are recognized and allowed by the US government, and only these universities may supply all of the essential paperwork for the Student Visa procedure.

And when you’re eventually approved by any of these universities, you are onboard the Sevis System and you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students), also termed as the I-20 form. This is where your next step starts!

2. Clearing your  SEVIS I-901 Dues

The fee for the SEVIS I-901 form is $200. It is mandatory that you input all your required details exactly as they are present on your Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students.

3. Fill the DS-160 Visa Form

You are eligible to fill out the DS-160 form once you have been acknowledged for the SEVIS I-901 form (you will obtain a receipt). The DS-160 is an online application for an F1 visa. It is strongly advised that you begin using this application straight immediately without delay.

Don’t put it off until the last minute. Although the visa will most likely be obtained at least 120 days before your arrival date in the US, you cannot enter until at least 30 days before your course begins… This procedure is quite straightforward, and all you have to do is attentively follow the directions. Just remember to write down the application’s identifying number, which is necessary if you quit the filling procedure in the middle.

Include the below-given facts in the DS-160 form:

      1. Your name as per the birth certificate and your DOB.
      2. Permanent residential address and valid phone number.
      3. Correct passport details.
      4. Valid photograph fulfilling all necessary requirements.
      5. All relevant facts about your travel journey plans, and the travel buddies accompanying you.
      6. All true facts of previous US travel, if any at all.
      7. The person that can be contacted or linked with you, residing in the US.
      8. Factual and exhaustive compilation of your Family, work and academic background.
      9. All correct, valid, up-to-date collateral, backing and medical reports.
      10. In the rare case that you are unable to upload your photo onto the site, you can always take a hardcopy of it along with you on your student visa the day of the interview.

4. Clearing your MRV Dues

MRV fee needs to be now cleared by you in order to move ahead. The amount is about 160 USD.

5. Finalize Your Day of Interview & Biometric Appointment

When you arrive for your interview, be sure you have successfully completed all of the preceding processes. All fees must be paid, paperwork must be ready and confirmed, xerox copies and images must be available immediately, and everything must be double-checked off your list. Examine the most prevalent interview questions and patterns to ensure you’re prepared. Be prepared and arrive early that day to show more confidence.

What is the Process of Getting a J-1 Visa?

J-1 visa status is allegedly advantageous for students participating in very specific educational exchange programs such as the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Fulbright, LASPAU, DAAD, and AmidEast, among others. It is extremely likely that the University will use it for their students pursuing degree degrees.

Another requirement for a student’s eligibility for the J1 visa is that they get the majority of their financial support from sources other than personal cash. As we can see, there is a significant financial disparity between J1 and F1. Learn carefully about the J-1 student status’s benefits and limitations (as specified by the Government). Besides from these requirements, students applying for the J1 visa must also have specialized health insurance coverage.

The Eligibility of a Student for J1 Visa Depends on the following Criteria as Given Below

      • They must necessarily have an adequate amount of monetary support in totality for all of their school and living expenses, including additional financial support for any dependents that are in your company throughout your stay.
      • Another significant point here is that an aggregate of a whopping 51% of your entire financial support must be directed from an institutional or government sponsor in the form of scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, stipend with you being the intern, tuition waiver, or other direct support provided specifically for the educational program. Individual/ family funds and borrowed loans or support from family or friends will not qualify under this point.

Steps Involved

      1. STEP: Get a Sponsor: Keeping in mind the financial aspects of this visa that have been understood as above, if you are applying for J1 visa, you must definitely need to get yourself a sponsor first.
      2. STEP: Apply for the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchanger Visitor J1 status also referred to as the DS-2019: This form gives you a detailed analysis of things like your term period of the exchange program you are going to attend as well as the monetary compensation you might have to produce.
      3. STEP: Clear the Dues:  The SEVIS 1-901 fee is to be cleared by you at this stage and make sure you have the receipt of the payment. Also pay the Visa Services fee, which is approximately $160.
      4. STEP: The Interview: You need to arrive with all the documents ( DS-2019 Form, DS-7002 form, Form DS-160, a valid passport, photograph) to the US Embassy and be prepared to ace the interview. Go through all the common questions and be confident.

What are the Common Tips to Keep in Mind for both F1 and J1 Visa interviews?

    1. Be up-to-date with your preparation.
    2. Crosscheck and verify whether all documents are with you.
    3. Dress impeccably. First impressions are important.
    4. Try to calm your nervousness as it can be seen as a sign of weakness or dishonesty.
    5. Pay heed to your body language and personality.
    6. Be as thorough and compulsive as possible, avoid callousness.
    7. Do not provide for any documents that are not required for.
    8. Do not enter the venue of interview even a minute late. It shows great carelessness.

These Are Italy Student Visa Required Documents

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