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You need to obtain a USA student visa to legally attend an approved school, language program, or academic exchange program. Student visas allow you to reside temporarily. You must leave the USA once your student visa expires. 

Types of USA student visas

There are three types of student visas including:

  • F-1 visa

If you are applying to high school or college/university for a graduate or undergraduate full-time program, any language program in the USA then you need an F-1 visa. 

  • M-1 visa

Students who are applying for a non-academic or vocational study program in the USA, need an M-1 visa. They can attend a culinary school or a medical training program. Usually, these programs are short term and career-focused. 

  • J-1 visa

J-1 visa is for exchange visitors, including study abroad students, interns, scholars and au pairs. 

Checklist of US Student Visa Application 

You must have the following item in hand to get a US student visa to study in the USA.


You must possess a valid passport issued by your home country. The validation of your passport is at least six months beyond the end date of your study program in the US. The Embassy does not consider the passport that will expire during your stay in the US or shortly after your program ends may not be used. Passport procedures and costs depend on your home country. You should check your home country’s government website for all details regarding your passport. 

Passport-Size Photographs

You need a recent passport size photograph as part of your application. Have more than one photo to upload later and submit with your online visa application. You have to follow specific instructions on how to take and upload a visa photograph. The photo can also be rejected if it does not fulfil the requirements. 


To pay the visa-related fees and various charges, you need enough money on hand. For the F-1/M-1 visa, the I-901 SEVIS fee is 350 USD and 220 USD for the J-1 visa category. If you are applying for a short-term J-1 program then you need 35 USD. All applicants have to pay visa application fees of 160 USD.