Students who wish to study in the United States of America are required to obtain either the F-1 visa or an M-1 visa. The type of educational institution and the course of study will determine which of the visas is more suitable for the student.

Students with Visitor (B) Visas can only visit the USA for short-term recreational studies and cannot take up a program that will off them a degree or certificate in the field of study. Citizens of some countries are allowed to travel to the USA and stay for up to 90 days with the Visa Waiver Program. Such citizens do not require a USA Student Visa.


Students must have been accepted by any institution that approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) then enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to be eligible for the USA Student Visa. Once this has been done, the educational institution will issue the Form I-20 to them after they pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

Where the students wish to enter the USA with their family, they are not required to pay the SEVIS fee for the members of the family but must obtain a Form I-20 for each of them.

The applicants for the Student Visa must also upload a recent passport, fill an on-line visa application form and print out the form which they will take to their interview for confirmation of their application. The interview is scheduled for only applicants who fall within the ages of 14-79. Others are now required for go for the interviews. It is advisable for the students to schedule the interview in the USA embassy or consulate in the where they reside. 

For new students, although they may be awarded their visa 4 months to the beginning of their program in the USA, they are not permitted to enter the country before 30 days to the commencement of their program.

Returning students can renew their visa whenever they choose to, provided they are still eligible to hold one plus they are permitted to enter the country at will within the duration of their program.

Documents required for the application for a USA Student Visa (F-1 visa or an M-1 visa) include the following:

  • A valid passport that will remain valid for not less than 6 months after the end of the student's expected stay in the country.
  • The receipt of the application fee.
  • A recent colored photograph.
  • A Non-Immigrant Visa application form.
  • A proof of eligibility, preferably, a Certificate of Eligibility or Form I-20.
  • Degrees or certificates obtained previously from other educational institutions.
  • Proof of having sufficient funds to sponsor all expenses during your time in the country.


  • The USA Visa allows the holder to enter and live in the USA for as long as the program he or she lasts.
  • The visa also allows the holder to embark on recreational visits for the purpose of their studies.
  • With the F-1 visa, the holder can work legally while pursuing his or her degree or certificate.

Fee Structure:

The application fee for the USA Student Visa is $160.

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