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F-1 Visa - Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for F-1 visa?

To apply for F-1 visa, you must submit:

  • Completed Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Each applicant should submit a separate application
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay
  • Two photographs (37 x 37mm), showing full face, without head covering, against a light background
  • The letter of admission from the school you plan to study in
  • The signed Form I-20A-B
  • A statement that you will leave the U.S. after the completion of your study
  • Proof of permanent residence in your home country, which you do not intend to abandon

Note: The Form I-20 does not guarantee receipt of an F-1 visa. The local Consular official makes the final decision on the issue of a student visa

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Where do I file my F1 visa application?

  • You have to apply at the U.S. consulate near the place of your residence
  • If you are already in the U.S. on another nonimmigrant status, you may apply for change of status to F-1. You should apply to study at a USCIS approved school in the U.S. If you are admitted, the school will issue you Form I-20A-B. You should submit this Form and a Form I-539 to the USCIS. If the USCIS approves the application, a new Form I-94 will be issued to you.

What is the processing time for F-1 visa?

The processing time for F-1 visa is generally one business day at most posts. It is often issued on the same day the application is made. This does not account for background check that may be required.

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