USA Student Visa Guide


Fast Facts

Visa type: F-1 Student Visa
Official document required: I20
Visa Application process: Online or via your local embassy / consulate
Application cost: $180 USD
Healthcare: Budget at least $100 per month (private insurance)
Processing time: Allow 3 months if possible
Top three reasons for F-1 student visa refusal:  

  1. Lack of preparedness regarding study plans and goals
  2. Lack of plan / capability to finance the course fees and living costs
  3. Severe nervousness and untruths

The three key milestones to USA study

Here are the things to focus on if you're an international student planning to study in the USA


Apply and accept an offer from an approved university

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved


Receive your I-20 document

The university will enrol you in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and you will be sent your I-20


Complete visa application and schedule interview

Key to successfully navigating this stage is preparation and confidence.


Your I-20 and visa process in detail

About your I-20

All international university students planning to study in the United States require an I-20 providing certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant student status.

When will you receive your I-20?

When you have an offer and completed your universities acceptance process (this often requires a deposit payment) and your university has enrolled you on the SEVIS system you’re eligible for your I-20.


Applying for your F-1 Visa

  1. Double check your university is SEVP approved, this can be confirmed here:
  2. Pay the SEVIS fee at minimum three days prior to submitting your student visa application.
  3. Prior to completing your application ensure you review required documents and information, this can include details of prior travel to the US and medical health information.
  4. Pay your visa application fee by following the guidance instructions as per your local consulate or embassy, this can usually be completed  in person, online or by phone
  5. Schedule and attend your student visa interview and ensure you’re fully prepared, see below for a sample of you will need:
  • Signed SEVIS Form I-20
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode and application ID number
  • MRV fee payment confirmation receipt
  • Printed copy of visa interview appointment letter
  • 2 passport quality photographs
  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  • Evidence of academic transcripts etc. used as part of your university application
  • Financial evidence proving you can cover your tuition, travel and living expenses

Enroly's Quick Tips for the USA


Tip 1

PAY Sevis Before Your Application

Pay your SEVIS fee at least three days prior to making your visa application.

Tip 2

Alternative Entry Paths

Many US universities require standardised test completion e.g. SAT or GMAT. What many students don’t know is there are alternative entry points at top universities that do not require these standard tests.

Tip 3

Keep Your MRV Safe

Don’t lose your MRV fee receipt, you will need this for your visa interview.


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