Study In USA

Study in USA

About USA

The United States of America (USA) hosts the greatest number of international students in the world. Quality education, a unique curriculum, a multicultural environment, and abundant opportunities are just some of the reasons why many Indian students want to study in the USA.

Student Visa USA - Requirements, Types of Study Visa, Fees & Process for Indian Students

Applying for a US student visa? Here’s help!

The United States is one of the top destinations for international students seeking a high-quality education and diverse cultural experiences. Studying in the US offers access to some of the world's most renowned universities, cutting-edge research facilities, and a vast range of academic programs. With its dynamic economy, rich cultural diversity, and stunning natural landscapes, the US provides a unique and exciting study experience that can open doors to career opportunities and personal growth.

Get free guidance to study in the USA

The US Government provides an opportunity to all Indian students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a student visa first. The visa you need will depend on your age and the type of study you wish to pursue in the US. Here’s an overview of the types of study visas and their application requirements.

Here’s an overview of the types of US student visas and their application requirements:

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The US Government offers three different student visa types:

Sl No. Types of student visa Description
1 F-1 Student Visa to study at an accredited US college or university or to study English at an English language institute
2 J Exchange Visa for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study
3 M Student Visa for non-academic or vocational study or training in the US

*For detailed information, please visit the US Government’s Department of State website.

As a primary step, you must first apply and be accepted by a US school or university that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once accepted, you will receive a Form I-20 from the institution's international student office, which is a paper record of your information in the database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Documents required for a US student visa

When applying for your student visa for the US, you will generally need:

  • A valid passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in       the US (unless exempt by country-specific agreements)
  • Acceptance at a SEVP approved school and your Form I-20
  • Application fee payment for the SEVIS
  • Non-immigrant visa application and the Form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Your photograph in the requested format, and number
  • If you are opting for Optional Practical Training (OPT), then in addition to the Form I-20, you must apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

  • Some additional documents that might be required include:

  • Academic preparation documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds to maintain your living expenses throughout the period of your stay in the US. This may include:
  • 1.Bank statements

    2.Financial undertaking by a sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs

    3.A scholarship program

  • Evidence that you will leave the US once you have completed your course of study. This can be in the form of an air ticket out of the US to your home country

  • You may also have to appear for a personal interview at the US embassy or consulate.

    F-1 Student visa

    Most students who wish to pursue their studies overseas opt for the F-1 Student Visa. There are three major steps to its procedure, being:

    Step 1 SEVIS fee and I-20 form collection Once you pay the SEVIS fee, you are given an I-20 form from your new school or college. Duly fill out the form and bring it along for your F-1 interview.
    Step 2 VISA fee and form collection Pay your visa fee at the designated bank or NEFT and collect the visa form. Duly fill out the form and bring it along for your interview.
    Step 3 D-160 Form Duly fill out the D-160 form and submit the confirmation along with the documents for the visa interview.
    Step 4 VISA interview You will be contacted by the US embassy to return the stamped passport. You can appear before the visa officer for an interview 120 days before the start of your program. *if you are a previous visa holder, you may be eligible for a visa interview waiver.

    Applying for your US student visa online

    You’ll have to apply for your student visa application online using the US Embassy and Consulates India website. You can apply up to 120 days before your intended date of the program’s start date. Remember to pay your visa fee and SEVIS fee to schedule your appointment and complete your visa documents respectively.

    How can we help with visa applications?

    Our student with an offer letter from any of our partner universities in the US, we can advise you on how to go about the entire process. We’ll make sure you are fully informed on the latest visa requirements and conditions; also help you prepare the right documents for your submission.

    Our team of experts will direct you to the official websites and to authorised immigration representatives to ensure you have the latest applications forms and guidance. To reduce the hassle, we can also help to certify, translate and courier your documents.

    US student visa fee

    As an applicant from outside the US, you will have to pay US$160 as an application visa fee

    There is now a US$350 SEVIS fee on F and M visa applications and US$220 on most of the J Visa applications, this includes the cost of the computer system which is used to record your stay in the United States (SEVIS).

    English language requirements for US student visa

    To gain your US student visa, you’ll have to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language. This usually means passing a secure English language test to be able to prove your communication and correspondence skills.

    The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year. The IELTS results are recognised by more than 11,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.

    US educational institutions require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 band.

    After arrival steps

    When you first arrive in the US, you must:

  • Contact your designated school official on a priority basis
  • Contact your designated school official again, no later than the program start date       listed on your Form I-20
  • While studying in the US, you will need to observe the following rules:

  • You must attend and pass all of your classes. If you are finding your studies too       difficult, you should speak with your designated school official (DSO) immediately
  • If you think you will be unable to complete your program by the end date listed on       your Form I-20, you must talk to your DSO about requesting a possible program       extension
  • You must take a full course of study each term. If you cannot study full-time,       contact your DSO immediately
  • You cannot drop below a full course of study without consulting with your DSO       You can always connect with our international education experts. They will guide       you on how to go about the entire visa application process

  • Intakes available in the USA

    Unlike a single intake in Indian universities, American colleges and universities offer three intakes. In some universities, intakes may also be referred to as a semester. The three intakes available in the US are:

  • Fall: A popular intake among Indian students, The Fall intake starts in the month of September
  • Spring: Starts in January; it’s best if you miss the September intake
  • Summer: Available for limited programs and colleges, the Summer intake usually starts around May
  • Approximate Cost to study in the USA

    Universities in the US are majorly divided into two categories - Public/State and Private. The education cost at a public/state university is comparatively lesser than that of a private institution. Your expenditure on tuition fees depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. To cover tuition fees, you will need approx. $8,000 to $55,000 (USD) a year (indicative).

    School Tuition fees in USD (indicative)
    English language studies $700 to $2,000 a month
    Community colleges $6,000 to $20,000 per year
    Undergraduate bachelor degree $20,000 to $40,000 per year
    Graduate programs $20,000 to $45,000 per year
    Doctoral degree $28,000 to $55,000 per year

    Scholarships to study in the USA

    The amount of money available and the type of award varies between institutions. Certain research programs may provide up to 100% of the tuition fee besides covering a part of your living expenditures.

    Here are some popular scholarship programs you can apply to study in the US as an Indian student:

    S.No. Name of the scholarship Description
    1 Fulbright- Nehru Fellowships (Government-funded) Applicable for international students who are applying to master’s or PhD programs; this scholarship covers tuition fees, accident and sickness coverage as per US guidelines, airfare, and living costs
    2 Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program (Government-funded) This program is a part of the Fullbright program and aims to bring an accomplished young and mid-career professional from a developing country to study in the US for 10 months of non-degree graduate study and related practical experience
    3 #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship (Non-Government scholarship) It’s a scholarship and social media campaign designed to welcome international students into the US higher education system irrespective of the subject area
    4 UEFA (Non-Government scholarship) This is a summer program sponsored by Abbey Road Inc. which grants scholarships to 14-18 aged high school student that shows exemplary performance in their academics and extracurricular activities
    5 AAUW International Fellowships (Non-Government scholarship) These fellowships are awarded to international women students for full-time study and research in the US. It supports both graduate and post-graduate students accredited in the US institutions

    *This is an indicative list, speak with our expert for details and the best available options suited to your profile

    Please note: An MBA degree can cost significantly more, as can professional programs such as law, medicine, dentistry, some design programs, etc. Most doctoral degrees are 100% funded through research/teaching assistantships, research aid and bursaries

    Top courses to study in the US

    Here are the top fields preferred by international students:

    1.Engineering and computer science courses

    2.Life science courses

    3.Business management courses

    Job prospects in the USA

    Owing to a skills shortage across various sectors in the American market, international students with skills are in demand and those who are willing to settle in America have the option to apply under a Skilled Worker Visa and permanently work and reside in the country. Graduates are in high demand in the USA, especially in the field of healthcare, film production, real estate, retail sector, agriculture, engineering, and computers & information technology.

    Cost of living in the USA

    In the US, living costs vary by a substantial amount due to the vast territory of the country. Usually, urban areas are more expensive (in or near a big city) in contrast to smaller towns or suburban areas. Therefore, to have a fair view of the general living costs in the US, you should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:

    Expenses Average yearly cost*
    Books and Stationery $700- $1,200
    Travelling $700- $1,400
    Food $2,700
    Clothes and footwear $700
    Miscellaneous expenses $2,500

    *** Please note, it may vary depends on courses / region

    Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

    How much will it cost to study in USA?

    In the United States, universities are divided into two main categories: Public/State and Private institutions. Public/State universities generally have lower tuition fees compared to their private counterparts. The cost of your education depends on various factors, such as the type of qualification you pursue and the specific university or school you choose to attend. On average, you can expect to spend approximately $8,000 to $55,000 (USD) per year for tuition fees.

    For specific programs, the estimated costs are as follows: English language studies range from $700 to $2,000 per month, community colleges range from $6,000 to $20,000 per year, undergraduate bachelor's degrees range from $20,000 to $40,000 per year, graduate programs range from $20,000 to $45,000 per year, and doctoral degrees range from $28,000 to $55,000 per year. These figures serve as an indication of the approximate expenses involved in pursuing higher education in the United States.

    What is the duration of foundation or diploma programs in the US?

    Typically, the duration of these programs in the US is one year, during which you will need to achieve satisfactory grades to progress to the first year of your bachelor's degree. The majority of these programs commence in September as the main intake. However, in certain cases, there may be multiple intakes available if your chosen foundation provider in the USA offers such provisions.

    Can I work in USA during and after studies?

    The US education system provides international students enrolled in US institutions with the opportunity to engage in co-ops, internships, part-time, and even full-time jobs. However, international students require authorisation from the relevant authorities, which can be obtained through their school's international office or the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). There are three types of employment authorisation options available for international students, namely Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and on-campus employment.

    What are the popular scholarships to study in the US?

    Here are some popular scholarship programs you can apply to study in the US as an Indian student:

  • 1. Fulbright- Nehru Fellowships
  • 2. Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • 3. #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship
  • 4. IEFA
  • 5. AAUW International Fellowships
  • Who needs a student visa for the US?

    Anyone who is not a US citizen or permanent resident and plans to study in the US for more than 18 hours per week is required to obtain a student visa.

    Can I work on a student visa for the US?

    Yes, students with an F-1 visa are allowed to work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during school breaks. However, off-campus employment requires additional authorisation.

    How long can I stay in the US on a student visa?

    You are allowed to stay in the US on a student visa for the duration of your academic program, as long as you maintain full-time enrollment and comply with the terms of your visa.

    Can I travel outside the US while on a student visa?

    Yes, you can travel outside the US while on a student visa, but you must have a valid visa and an unexpired passport to re-enter the US. Additionally, you may need to obtain a travel signature from your school's Designated School Official (DSO) before you leave the US.

    If you have the dream of Study Abroad, we make the path for you and make it success. Orion Edutech Study Abroad provides a wide range of services to support you with your international education journey. If you are dreaming of studying overseas, Orion Edutech Study Abroad will get you there. From course information to career advice, we are dedicated to you and your international future.

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