USA Student Visa Requirements

The USA has consistently been the top choice among international students for higher studies. It is mandatory for those who apply for studying in the USA, to obtain a student visa, for realising their dreams of studying in the nation. There are many types of visas, having their set of requirements, but for studying in the USA, you need an F1 visa.

About F1 visa:

Students who will be studying for more than 18 hours a week need an F1 visa. This is applicable for both graduate and undergraduate courses, anywhere in the USA. Children or spouses, who will be accompanying the student need to carry an F2 visa. It is important to remember that spouses will have to attain work permits and apply for their visa, in case they also want to study or work. With an F2 visa, spouses can only accompany the student with an F1 visa. Read on to know about the USA student visa requirements.


USA student visa requirement comprises more documents than a typical tourist visa. Both mandatory and supporting documents of the applicant’s academic and financial records are to be presented.


  • Valid passport
  • Hard copy of the online application form DS-160
  • An original and a photocopy of the interview appointment letter
  • Form I-20, which is sent by the college
  • Confirmation receipt of the visa fees payment
  • Bank statement (either of the student, parent or the guardian) of a minimum of three months, which will show that you have enough assets for paying the tuition fees for the first year
  • Payslips
  • Provisional certificates or original mark sheets
  • Score sheet of exams like GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.


These are the documents which will show that you have enough funds for the payment of the first year’s total expense. The total expenditure includes tuition fees, accommodation expenses, and other miscellaneous costs (supplies, food, etc.). Proof of available funds for the payment of expenses for the rest of the tenure is also essential.

Evidence of financial resources needed:

  • Tax returns for the past three years (Form 16)
  • Bank statement/passbook (either of the student, parent, or guardian) of a minimum of three months
  • Statement from a verified CA
  • Original pay/salary slips
  • Letters of employment
  • Scholarship letter, if the applicant received it
  • Loan approval letter by the bank or the concerned authority

Keep it in mind that F1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days before the commencement date of the preferred course. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States, if your F1 visa status is earlier than 30 days before the commencement date. F1 visa holder qualifies for a year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) after their graduation is complete and for 3 years if the study was under STEM. This means that the student can work for a year after their education is completed. After the OPT ends, one needs to apply for a work permit to continue working in the United States. The student can remain in the country for up to 60 days after the ending of the course, even if they are not employed or have not applied for a job anywhere in the country.

Alvito Fernandes
Alvito Fernandes

Alvito Fernandes is an experienced study abroad counselor and entrepreneur, with a passion for mentoring students. With an MBA graduate class of 2002 and a Harvard Alumni on Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, he is well-equipped to provide expert guidance. As an ICEF certified agent, he has been recognized as Agent of the Month by Study Group UK and acknowledged as a preferred partner in Mumbai for GUS Canada. Alvito's work has had a significant impact on the lives of students, as evidenced by the testimonials of those he has helped study and migrate abroad. His straightforward and matter-of-fact advice, based on extensive industry experience and research, has earned him the trust of his clients. With a strong commitment to his students' best interests, Alvito's counseling is always aimed at preparing them to face any challenges they may encounter. His wealth of experience and constant learning from past students' experiences enable him to provide comprehensive guidance on various countries and courses.

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