List of Documents Required for USA Visa Application for Indian Students

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Feb 18, 2022 01:17 PM

Looking forward to studying in the US? Check out the entire list of documents required for US visa application for Indian students along with answers to several questions including types of visas, how to apply for US student visa, US student visa fees, and more to make the transition easier.

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Getting a US student visa can be a bit confusing and surprisingly easy at the same time. While immigration rules in the US for overseas students have undergone multiple changes in recent years, the country still remains to lead the list of popular study destinations among Indian students because of several reasons, especially since the victory of Joe Biden in the US Presidential Elections 2020 there has been a lot of reforms and opportunities for the international students. However, along with the excitement of pursuing higher education in the states, there often arise a series of doubts about the US student visa process.

With the majority of top universities located in the US according to the QS World University Rankings 2021, the US boasts of being home to some of the finest universities in the world. This, among other reasons, has time and again attracted millions of students from all over the world to the US, with close to 20% from India alone. 

Any citizen of a foreign country wishing to study in the United States needs to hold a US student visa, issued by the US Department of State. He/she may be issued one of the three types of US students visas depending on what programme he/she will be pursuing in the US. Scroll through the article to find the entire list of documents required for US visa application for Indian students along with answers to several questions including types of visas, how to apply for US student visa, US student visa fees, and more. 

Also Read: Study in the USA: Know All About Spring (January) 2023 Intake

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Types of US Student Visas

As a student there are three types of US Student which can be applied for. The time period on these visas is extendable for post work study visa. However, the stay back period may differ according to course and education level. Given below are the three types of visas that an Indian student can apply for when going to the US for higher education: 

F-1 Visa for Academic Studies

An F-1 visa, the most common visa type among Indian students in the US, is granted to applicants who are attending an academic or English Language programme. Those holding an F-1 visa must maintain a full-time student status with the minimum course load. Students are expected to graduate from the programme by the expiration date, as mentioned in the I-20 form.

The visa further allows a student to work part-time. Students can opt for either on-campus part-time jobs or off-campus part-time jobs and also opt for optional practical training (OPT) after completion of the academic programme for up to 12 months. 

J-1 Visa for Practical Training

A J-1 visa is for those applicants who wish to obtain practical training in the US in order to complete their academic programme. They must be approved to participate in a work-and study-based exchange visitor programme, sponsored by an organiser. 

Students with a J-1 visa can seek employment opportunities in the US with restrictions as that of an F-1 visa, as long as the sponsor allows the student for the same. 

M-1 Visa for Non-academic or Vocational Studies

An M-1 visa is granted to a student who wants to attend a non-academic or vocational school and is not permitted to engage in any part-time job during the course of their studies. The M-1 visa applicants must produce evidence they have enough sufficient funds to cover all living and tuition costs during their entire period of stay in the US. 

List of Mandatory Documents Required for US Visa Application for Indian Student

An Indian student applying for a US student visa should gather and keep the following required documents ready before their visa interview:

  • A valid passport for travel to the US – It shall be valid for at least six months post the duration of stay in the US.

  • A separate application should be submitted for each family member listed in his/ her passport.

  • The Nonimmigrant visa application and the confirmation page for Form DS-160.

  • The payment receipt for the application fee.

  • Photo - Although one must upload his/ her photo while submitting the online Form DS-160, a photo might be required at the interview if the photo upload fails. 

  • Certificate of eligibility for the student visa- Form I-20 which will be sent by the SEVP-approved school once they have input the applicant’s information in the SEVIS database. The form i-20 must be signed by both the applicant and the school official.  

  • Birth Certificate and evidence to support one’s intent to leave the US after completion of the academic programme.

  • Visa SOP

List of Additional Documents Required for US Visa Application for Indian Student

A consular officer will interview an applicant to determine his/ her qualifications for a student visa and may ask for additional documents, such as the following:

  • Financial Documents

  • Academic and Experience Documents

  • Applications made to US universities

Financial Documents

These are the documents which shall provide evidence of sufficient funds and source(s) to cover tuition fees, living and other expenses while in the USA. The immigration authorities require prospective students to prove that they can handle the financial burden which shall be exerted by education and living in the US. These confirmation documents may include the following, such and beyond:

  • Personal Savings if any.

  • Bank account details and type of account maintained.

  • Sources of funds which shall finance the education and living expenses.

  • Detail and capacity of each source and how do these sources remain intact (how the sources get their money from).

  • Scholarships if any.

  • Any other source of funds which you may prefer to use, and its details.

Academic and Experience Documents

The immigration authorities might be interested in testing the authenticity of your claims and ask for academic, and in case of work experience stated, related documents to prove the statements as true. In this regard following may be asked for, such and beyond;

  • Academic Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools attended.

  • Standardized test scores required by the U.S. institution.

  • Other application documents such as SOP and LOR, etc.

  • Experience letters from institutions where you have worked.

  • Salary slips and bank statements showing income.

  • Other documents as asked by the authorities proving the cause and detail.

Other Applications made to US universities

In order to ensure that acceptance is authentic and on reasonable grounds the authorities may ask for:

  • Other applications made to other universities in the US or other countries.

  • Application status currently or at time of visa application.

  • If rejected then the grounds which led to rejection as stated by the university applied to.

  • The acceptance letters and grounds of acceptance.

  • A statement of explanation of choosing the university if multiple acceptance letters.

Note: Although mentioned here in detail, it is advisable that students go through the list of required documents before scheduling their visa interview.

Also Read: Difference Between OPT and CPT

Have doubts about the list of documents required for a US visa application for an Indian student? Write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com for further guidance. Also, browse through our list of top-ranked US universities and stay tuned for the latest updates on higher education in the US. 

Want to Know More Details About the US Study Visa?

Student Visa application process can be extremely taxing and going to a visa interview without proper preparation is nnot recommended at all. You may however alleviate your worries as our experts are there to help and guide through all this. Connect With Them!

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