Updated May 2023
In today’s interconnected global landscape, studying abroad presents students with a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge, cultivate a global perspective, and receive an exceptional education. For Indian students, the United States has consistently emerged as a preferred destination, providing a blend of high-quality education and a vibrant multicultural environment.
Initially, the process of applying for a US student visa may appear daunting. However, armed with the correct information, it becomes more manageable and less complicated. Continue reading to discover additional details about obtaining a US student visa from India.
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US student visa for Indians
Indians have the opportunity to apply for two types of student visas when considering studying in the USA, depending on the nature of the course they intend to pursue. These visas are commonly referred to as the F-1 visa and the M-1 visa.
If an exchange student from India plans to enroll in vocational or nonacademic programs in the US, they should apply for an M-1 visa. On the other hand, if their intention is to pursue academic courses from an accredited institution in order to obtain a degree, they will need to apply for an F-1 visa.
The following are some of the programs that require an F-1 student visa:
- university or college
- high school
- private elementary school
- language training institute
US student visa for Indians requirements
Please note that Indian exchange students will have to go through a visa interview at their nearest US embassy or consulate to apply for a US student visa.
The following are some of the documents that must be carried for the US student visa interview:
- passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the applicant’s period of stay in the United States. Please note that each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in their passport
- the confirmation page of the nonimmigrant visa application that is, Form DS-160
- application fee payment receipt if the applicant is required to pay before their interview
- a photograph to upload while completing the online Form DS-160. Please note that if the photo upload fails, the applicant must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the photograph requirements
- The required documents for Indian students applying for a student visa in the USA include the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status for Academic and Language Students, Form I-20, or the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20. Please note that:
- the school will send the applicant a Form I-20 once they have entered their information in the SEVIS database
- the Form I-20 must be signed by the school official and the applicant
- all students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS)
- the applicant’s spouse and/or minor children, if they intend to live in the United States with them, will each receive an individual Form I-20
Moreover, it is important to note that the US embassy or consulate in India may require additional documents during the visa application process. It is highly recommended to consult with the embassy or consulate authorities to obtain accurate information regarding the specific documents needed for the visa interview.
How to apply for a US student visa from India?
To apply for a US student visa from India, follow the steps given below:
- apply to get accepted by a SEVP-approved school, and receive a Form I-20. This is your certificate of eligibility for student status
- pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online and print the confirmation as proof
- fill out and complete the online nonimmigrant visa application, that is, Form DS-160
- schedule a visa appointment at the US embassy or consulates in India from here
- prepare all the documents required for the visa interview, as mentioned above
- attend your visa interview, and wait for a decision on your visa application
US student visa from India wait times
The processing times for US student visas vary depending on the specific embassy or consulate where the applicant is applying. For applicants from India, the estimated wait times for US student visas are as follows:
- US Embassy in India, New Delhi – 63 days
- US Consulate General in Hyderabad – 56 days
- US Consulate General in Chennai – 21 days
- US Consulate General in Mumbai – 24 days
- US Consulate General in Kolkata – 17 days
It is strongly advised to contact your embassy or consulate directly to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the current wait times for US student visa applications.
US student visa from India cost
The cost of a US student visa from India is divided into the following categories:
- visa application fee (DS-160 form): USD 160 (INR 13,243)
- SEVIS fee: USD 350 (INR 28,970)
Please be aware that there may be additional charges. It is advisable to contact the US Embassy or Consulate to obtain more detailed information regarding the fees associated with the US student visa application process from India.
Where to apply for a US student visa from India?
The US student visa from India can be applied from any of the following US embassy or consulates in the country:
US Embassy in India
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi – 110021
You can contact them at 91-11-24198000 or send a fax at 011-91-11-2419-0017
US Consulate General Chennai
Gemini Circle Chennai 600 006
You can contact them at 044-2857-4000 or send a fax at 044-2811-2020
US Consulate General Hyderabad
Survey No. 115/1 Financial District, Nanakramguda
Hyderabad, Telangana, 500032
You can contact them at 040-6932-8000
US Consulate General Mumbai
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex
Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
You can contact them at 91-22-26724000
US Consulate General Kolkata
5/1, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata – 700071
West Bengal, India.
You can contact them at 91-33-6827-2400 or send a fax at 91-33-2288-1616/0356