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If you are planning to go to the U.S. to study, you need to request a Student Visa.
The United States supports international education and welcomes international students and exchange visitors. Before applying for a visa, students and exchange visitors must be accepted by their schools or program sponsors.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. You must have a student visa to study in the United States. Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F visa or an M visa.
NO VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
A student visa (F or M) is required to study in the United States. Foreign nationals may not check after entering on a visitor (B) visa or through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), except to undertake recreational study (non-credit) as part of a tourist visit. For more information on the VWP, see Visa Waiver Program.
For short periods of recreational study, a Visitor (B) visa may be appropriate.
A visitor (B) visa permits enrollment in a short recreational course of study, which is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate. Learn more about Visitor Visas.
Study leading to the U.S. conferred degree or certificate is never permitted on a visitor (B) visa, even for a short duration. For example, a student in a distance learning program that requires a period on the institution’s U.S. campus must obtain a student (F or M) visa before entering the United States.
WHAT IS A SEVP-APPROVED SCHOOL?
The first step is to apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States. After the SEVP-approved school accepts your enrollment, you will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. The SEVP-approved school will issue you a Form I-20. After you receive the Form I-20 and register in SEVIS, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a student (F or M) visa. You must present the Form I-20 to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview.
If your spouse and children intend to live with you in the United States while you study, they must also enrol in SEVIS, obtain individual Form I-20s from the SEVP-approved school, and apply for a visa (but they do not pay the SEVIS fee).
Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
Visit the Department of State EducationUSA website to learn about educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study and an overview of the application process. You can also visit the DHS Study in the States school search page for SEVP-certified schools.
HOW TO APPLY?
There are several steps to applying for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the embassy or consulate website.
COMPLETE THE ONLINE VISA APPLICATION
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
Photo –You will upload your image while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW
Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require a discussion of any visa applicant.
You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your consultation at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more challenging to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live.
Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early.
WHAT DOCUMENTATION DO YOU NEED?
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.