How to Get Your U.S. Student Visa 

Individuals who desire to study in the United States yet do not have United States citizenship must secure a student visa. The process necessary to obtain a student visa is complex. This process will also consume your time. If you have any intention of studying in the United States, it is best that you start working on obtaining your student visa as soon as possible. Ideally, you will begin the student visa application process at least six months prior to the start of your first course at a college or university in or near the greater Philadelphia area.

Identify the Right Student Visa for Your Needs

Three distinct student visas are available for international students who desire to study in the United States. The primary student visa is the F-1 visa provided to students studying at an English Language Program or another academic program. This visa remains valid until the study program is complete. 

The M-1 visa is specific to students who desire to attend technical schools, meaning those of the non-academic variety, or a vocational school. The J1 visa is for exchange students. The focus of this article is the F1 visa as it is the most popular visa for studying in the United States.



The Student Visa Process

Applying for a student visa to study in the United States requires the completion of several specific steps. These individual steps differ by each United States consulate or embassy. When in doubt, check the nuanced instructions on the embassy/consulate website where you will apply. 

The student visa process begins by applying to a school approved by the the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, commonly referred to with the acronym of SEVP. It is recommended that you apply to such a school a full year prior to the point at which you would like to commence classes. Don’t forget to pay the fee for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. 

The next step is to fill out the student visa application to study in the United States. You must also pay the visa application fee. Furthermore, there is a visa interview you must schedule and attend.

Additional Requirements

The United States is now using a visa application form for non-immigrants, dubbed the DS-160. This form is completed on the web. The purpose of this form is to replace other forms for consolidation purposes. Be sure to include a recent photograph of yourself to verify your identity. Spell your name on the application exactly as it is spelled in your passport. 

Be mindful of the social media question. If you have social media, the application requires that you list your accounts. Print out the application materials and bring them with you to the embassy where your student visa interview will be conducted.

Voloshen Law Will Help You get Your U.S. Student Visa

If you want to obtain a U.S. student visa to study at Temple, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, or another university in the vicinity of Philadelphia, don’t try to navigate the process on your own. We also help with other immigration matters ranging from establishing permanent residency, the naturalization process, and legal defenses for removal and deportation. You can contact us online through our contact form, send us an email at, or reach us by phone at (215) 437-7854.


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