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ColumnsSteps to apply for US student visa

Steps to apply for US student visa

Published: 19th Jun 2021 11:05 pm

In our series on 5-Steps to master’s admissions in the United States, we talked about “Step 4: Apply for Your Student Visa” last week. We have discussed so far the different types of study visas (F-1, J-1, and M-1) and steps to apply for the student visa. Today, we will talk about visa appointments.

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For the appointments for both biometrics at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) and the visa interview at the Embassy or the Consulate, applicants should take note of following important points:

Taking appointment: Students should apply for their visa appointments at least three months in advance of the intended date of travel to the United States. The earlier they book their appointment, the more likely they will be able to get the interview date and time of their choice.
Arrival: Applicants should arrive at the venue no earlier than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time.
Documentation: Take note of the following mandatory documents required for the two appointments:

* Biometrics visit at VAC
• Valid passport
• DS-160 confirmation page
• Appointment confirmation page
* Visa Interview visit at Embassy/Consulate
• Passport
• Form I-20 (if applying for F-1 or M-1 visa)
• DS-2019 (if applying for J-1 visa)
• Printed copy of appointment confirmation letter
• DS-160 confirmation page stamped at VAC
• SEVIS fee receipt

To get further information about bank and payment options, DS-160, appointment scheduling, visa wait time, photos and fingerprints, security regulations, documents to carry for the two appointments, and other related information, please visit

Students should also take note of the statement released by the US Consulate General in Hyderabad recently on its social media handles:

“US Consulate Hyderabad will open July and August student visa appointments starting June 14, 2021. Our capacity remains limited for the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to do our part in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Facilitating legitimate student travel to the United States remains a top priority for the US Mission to India.  Please keep a close eye on our social media pages for updates on our operating status. Please also keep monitoring our website for appointment availability.”

In next week’s column, we will discuss the SEVIS fees!


Q. I want to apply for law programmes in the United States after completing my bachelor’s degree that I am currently pursuing. What are the application requirements for these programmes? — Sundar Reddy

A. For the Master of Law (LLM) program, application requirements include transcripts for the first degree in law, 2-3 letters of reference, resume, statement of purpose and/or writing samples, financial documents, and an English proficiency score (TOEFL or IELTS). Most graduate law programmes do not require standardized admissions tests. However, for admission to the Juris doctor (JD) program, in addition to the above application components (except the transcripts that could be from any degree program and not necessarily a degree in law), students also need a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and students may find more details about the test at .

Q. My daughter is about to start her 12th standard. She is preparing to send applications for undergraduate programs in the US. While registering for the IELTS exam, she came across two options: Academic and General. Which is the correct test? — Asmita

A. The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is available in two types: Academic or General Training. The Academic format of IELTS is for individuals who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or institutions of higher education. The General Training format focuses on basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context and is for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience, migration, or training programs. If you are applying to US universities, you take the IELTS Academic test.

(The author is the Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the US – India Educational Foundation based at the US Consulate General Hyderabad)

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