US student Visa is a type of visa normally approved for people going to the united states for either Academic or Vocation program. I have written about how to apply for a US Business and Tourism (B1/B2) visa in the past. If your plan is to visit the US for conference, business, tourism or simply visitation, I suggest you check my VISA APPLICATION INFORMATION section for details or click here to go straight to the post.
Without further ado, in this post, I will be giving detailed and comprehensible information on how you can successfully apply for a student visa. Before I delve into the details, let me first introduce you to US student visa.
US student Visa (Vocational and Academic)
US student visa is required by anyone going to the United States for education purpose. The program of study could be either Academic or Vocational study. Academic programs are educational courses with a duration of more than 6 months before completion. Example of such academic programs is Bachelor degree which normally lasts for 3-4 years and masters program which usually last for about 9 months or more. The student visa for an academic program is called F-1 Visa. Vocational programs are program whose duration is less than 6 months. Most professional courses fall under this classification. The student visa for vocational studies is called M-1 visa. For both F-1 and M-1 visa, method of application is the same. Therefore, in future reference, I will drop the code for each visa and simply adopt “US student visa” nomenclature for both. Further reading on US student visa type is available here. More information about each of these visas and opportunities for studying in the United States can be found at the Education USA website.
Application procedure for US student Visa application in Nigeria
The under listed procedure is arranged in sequential order. I strongly suggest that each step should be followed in accordance with the order in which it appears below.
STEP 1: Getting admission to a recognized college or university in the United stated:
For you to apply for a student visa, it is necessary to have secured an admission to an institution. For the visa application, you will need to show proof of admission to tertiary institution in the United States. I will suggest you start by contacting schools in the US for admission. You can check out this website for further reading on admission and this for education in america. Very soon I will write a post on how you can secure admission to any university in the US. Keep checking my blog for updates. For now, Google is your best friend. Start by Googling schools in the United States and their application procedure. I will also suggest you apply to 2-3 different schools to increase your chances of acceptance. After securing an admission, you will receive an admission letter and another letter known as form i-20 or DS-2019. Read on to know what to do with the letters.
Step 2: Online application (DS-FORM):
You are required to fill an application form online. This form is called DS160 form and is available on the US immigration website. Click here to fill an application form. After completing the form, a DS160 confirmation page will be generated and you are required to print and bring the letter to the interview.
You are required to book an appointment ahead before going to the embassy. Click here for the official US government appointment booking website. At first, you will need to register an account then sign-in to proceed with the appointment. To successfully complete this step, you will need your DS160 confirmation page previously completed, the visa fees payment receipt received which you have received from Guaranteed Trust Bank Plc (GTbank) and your sevis receipt. Please note that the visa fee is payable at GTBANK. Do go to the bank with your passport data page for payment before completing this step
Application Supporting Document for US Student Visa
DS160 confirmation page
Sponsor’s bank statement of account:
For self-sponsored application, simply go with your personal statement of account. In both sponsored and self-sponsored application, the statement must show that you have enough fund to cover your tuition and living expenses.
On my other post on US business and tourist B1/B2 visa, I enlightened my readers on factors that affect US visa outcome. I talked about family ties, economic ties, travel history and interview. The same applies to US student visa. The only difference is that travel history doesn’t really carry as much wait in Student visa as it does to Business and tourism visa. As a student, you are hardly expected to have visited many countries before you are favored. Instead, it is more important to have a better interview performance. What I am saying is that if your aim is to go for studies, you should be able to speak to the consular in a fluent manner. Your response should be concise and comprehensible. You are expected to show some level of academic intelligence especially when addressing questions related to why you chose to study a course instead of another. You must be able to tell the consular what benefit you stand to reap upon completing your studies and your reasons should point towards progressing Nigeria with your education NOT WORKING IN THE UNITED STATES. At this point, navigate to US business and tourism visa application to read more on ensuring a successful US visa application.
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