Visa Applications

F-1 Student Visa (U.S. Student Visa)

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows an individual to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, or other academic institution. A student must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

Steps for Applying for an U.S. Student Visa

The visa application process commences with the receipt of an I-20. The I-20 confirms a students’ acceptance and enrollment at the university.

The visa process is long and looks difficult, but your personal counselor at IDP will assist and guide you every step of the way.

Step 1: Pay SEVIS Fee (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)

SEVIS is the internet based part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that is developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS).

SEVIS maintains current and accurate information of all F, M, J visitors and their dependents. Schools (universities, colleges, institutions) transmit mandatory information via SEVIS to all the relevant U.S. government bodies.

You cannot apply for your F-1 visa until you pay the SEVIS Fee.

Fee payable: USD 200

Payment option: Credit card at

Step 2: Pay Visa Fee at HDFC Bank

You are required to pay the Visa Application fee at the approved HDFC Bank. The visa fee is also known as the MRV (Machine Readable Visa) Fee.

Fee payable:USD 140 + VFS INR 374

Payment options:

  • Cash
  • Demand Draft
  • HDFC bank cheque

The Visa Fee Receipt will have a barcode sticker with the identical number and must be kept safely. The barcode number will be activated in two working days from the date of payment.

Step 3: Complete the Visa Application Form

The visa application form for your F-1 visa is completed online through the VFS website. The form that needs to be completed is:

  • DS -160

You also need to upload a recent (within the past six months) passport size photograph of size 50mm X 50mm (2" x 2") with a white background.

You should print the confirmation page with a barcode at the end of the visa application form.

Step 4: Book Visa Interview Appointment

Once the barcode number on your visa fee (MRV Fee) receipt is activated, you can use this to login to the VFS website and book your appointment at the U.S. Embassy.

Step 5: Attend you Visa Interview

On the day of your visa interview, report to the appropriate gate at the U.S. Embassy, 30 minutes before your appointed time. You will need to carry all the mandatory documents as per the checklist given by your IDP counselor.

F-1 Visa (Student Visa) Document Checklist:

  • Passport (at least 6 months validity required)
  • Photograph (recent photograph)
  • VFS interview appointment letter
  • DS-160 (Confirmation page with barcode)
  • HDFC visa application fee receipts
  • SEVIS receipt
  • I-20
  • Scholarship letter
  • Financial Documents
  • Academic Documents
  • Test Scores
  • Work experience certificates
  • Other relevant certificates

Step 6: Return of Passport by Courier

The visa officer at the U.S. Embassy will retain your passport after the interview. Once a decision is made on your application the U.S. Embassy will deliver your passport to VFS, who will then courier the same to you within seven working days to the address provided in the visa application form.

Remember your personal IDP Counselor will help you from start to finish providing assistance in organizing documents, completing the forms and preparing you for the interview with the visa officer at the U.S. Embassy.

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