student visa for usa from india requirements

If you are interested in studying in United States of America, it’s important to know the details about getting a student visa. So, if you are traveling to the U.S. just for education purposes, then you will need a F (academic) student visa. The F-student visa is issued to students who wish to attend an approved program at a school or university located within the United States.

In the past few years, there is been a huge surge in the number of Indian students wishing to study overseas. One of the front runners among the others is the USA. It has no dearth of universities and institutions who offer courses for international students. The United States also offers a student visa program for students from other countries.

Applying for a United States student visa is a daunting process for many students. To best prepare for the experience, making the most of your time invested in the application itself is key. Our informational website gives you the information that is necessary to make your best application. It starts with understanding the ins and outs of what is required and moves on to providing tips based on observation from other applicants.

If you are planning to study in the United States, you will need to apply for a student visa. You will also need to meet certain requirements before applying for a student visa.

First of all, you must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited institution. The school must be located in the United States and must have been approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

You must also have been accepted by the school as a full-time student who has paid the required tuition fees for the entire course of study. You should also have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses during your stay in the United States. Your passport must not expire for at least six months after your intended date of entry into the United States, and you must provide evidence that you are able to pay for your travel costs from India to America.

The U.S. Consulate requires that applicants be physically present in India when they submit their application for a student visa, so applicants must make sure they have enough time available to make this trip before applying for their visa (usually one week). Once they receive their visa approval letter from the U.S. embassy or consulate in India, they can then book their flight tickets onto any U.S.

Student Visa Requirements for USA from India

To study in the US, you need to apply for a student visa. This visa is issued by the United States Embassy or Consulate in India. You need to provide certain documents and pay fees to get this visa.

Documents Required for Student Visa:

You must provide the following documents when applying for a student visa:

  1. An acceptance letter from an accredited college or university in the United States.
  2. Evidence of financial support (tuition fees, living expenses and health insurance).
  3. Evidence of intent to return home after completion of studies (for more than one year).

US Student Visa Eligibility

India is the second-most popular country of origin for international students and exchange visitors in the US. (China is the first.) Most applicants for a student visa for the USA from India — about 94,000 — plan to study at the graduate level. The next-highest group is students with an internship on OPT (Optional Practical Training) qualifications; these students may still be enrolled at their US university or have recently finished their studies. 

Approximately 80% of all students from India travel to the US to pursue a course of science, technology, graduate or undergraduate engineering degree programs, or math (STEM), while 10% come to study in graduate or undergraduate business degree programs. The most popular states for international students are California, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania, each hosting more than 50,000 students from different countries. 

Learn more about Shorelight’s bachelor’s programs for international students and master’s programs for international students

While the US Department of State does not release the number of applications requested and the number denied, they do say that more than 816,000 total visas were granted from US embassies and consulates in India in 2019, a 6% drop from 2018. 


For the visa interview requirement, the current wait time is between 12 calendar days (Chennai/Madras) and 36 calendar days (Hyderabad). Wait times fluctuate, so be sure to schedule your US visa appointment as soon as possible. You can check the projected wait times at the US Department of State website. 

Documents to bring to your student visa interview:

  • Passport
  • A copy of the photo you will use for your visa
  • DS-160 and I-901 SEVIS payment confirmation pages
  • I-20
  • School transcript and official test scores you used on your university application
  • Diploma (if applicable)
  • Bank statements you used to fill out your college application


While there are no rules requiring a minimum bank balance to apply for a student visa for the USA from India, it costs approximately $500 USD to obtain your F-1 student visa. The cost is broken down into two fees: the I-901 SEVIS fee ($350) and the DS-160 form fees ($160). You must apply for your student, nonimmigrant visa within 120 days of your program start date, but you should not wait too long after you receive your acceptance letter, because it can take several months to complete your USA student visa process from India. 

What if I Am Too Late to Schedule My Visa Interview?

If you are late to the student visa for the USA from India application process, do not worry — US consulates and embassies have an expedited interview appointment option for students who are about to start their university programs. But first, you must go through the regular process and pay the visa fees.

To start, complete the online written portion of your application (DS-160), pay the application fee, and schedule your appointment for the first available time, even if it is too late for your program start date. Once this initial paperwork is complete, the consulate will consider your request for a closer appointment date. 

To submit an expedited request, the US Bureau of Consular Affairs recommends you reach out to the embassy or consulate where you will conduct your interview to make an appointment for an expedited meeting. You can email the embassy your request for an expedited interview or get in touch with the India call center by phone. The embassy will email you with further instructions after you submit your request, generally within two days. 

Where to Apply? 

If you are wondering how to apply for a student visa to the USA from India, there are several US consulates and embassies in India where you can schedule your interview. To find your nearest US embassy location, see the links below:

What if My Visa Application Is Denied?

If you do not meet the student visa requirements for the USA from India and your visa application has been denied, that decision is final, and you cannot appeal. The good news is that you can reapply, and you can apply for a waiver of ineligibility. 

If you are denied a student visa for the USA from India, it is essential to find out why. For instance, if you are denied because you cannot prove you have the means to finance your education, you know what you have to fix the next time around. Many visas are denied because the documents required for a US student visa were missing or incomplete. When you find out why you were denied, you can fix the problem before your next interview.

What Else Do Students from India Need to Know Before They Apply for a Visa?

International F-1 visa holders are not required by law to have an international medical or health insurance plan; however, having health insurance is always a good idea for peace of mind. Further, most universities in the US require an active insurance plan before you enroll in classes.


Many overseas students are planning to come to the United States to begin their studies as USA consulates reopen throughout the world. While some may come alone, others, such as postgraduate students, may consider bringing partners or children.

While it is possible to bring family and dependents to the United States on a student visa, there are rigorous requirements that must be followed, and the process can be time-consuming.

The student-dependent visa is referred to as the F2 Visa. The F2 visa is a non-immigrant dependent visa that allows immediate family members of F1 student visa holders to visit the United States. Dependents include the individual’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are studying in the United States.

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