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US Student Visa Application in Nigeria

If you are planning to study in the United States for any length of time, you will need to apply for a Student Visa USA. This will allow you to remain in the country until your period of education ends. USA student visas come in three different forms, and you must hold the type that fully covers your education type in order to be accepted into the country.

For more information regarding the USA Student Visa and to gain access to uniquely tailored professional advice regarding your application, call the Immigration Advice Service team on +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online.

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    Overview of the Student Visa USA

    The United States has set some specific rules in place for international students to follow should they wish to apply for a place at a US educational institution. It is imperative that applicants carefully address each of the following regulations and act accordingly before applying for a student visa:

    • International students can only apply for places at SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved educational institutions in the US.
    • International students should only apply for a Student Visa once their chosen college/university place has been officially confirmed by the institution.

    In addition to the below list of required documents, your application can be further supported by a secondary school leaving certificate, a college leaving certificate, evidence of a high English language score in an approved exam and evidence of any relevant scholarship or bursary support.

    However, you will also need to explain your reasons for visiting the United States, your long-term plans including what you are going to do once your term of study ends, and how you are going to support yourself. These areas are covered in a visa interview which must be attended in order to receive your student visa.

    Types of USA Student Visa

    As mentioned, the United States government provides three types of Student Visas. Applicants can only hold one type and it must apply to the form of education you are receiving in the country in order to be valid.

    F1- Student Visa

    F1 visas are the more common version of the USA Student Visa as they cover the wider, general movement of international students from their home countries to SEVP-approved institutions in the United States.

    Holders of an F1 Student Visa can also transfer between programs upon approval by the USCIS and take on part-time work via a campus work board.

    F1 students are also able to take on Optional Practical Training if they apply for it, which begins after they graduate. This allows holders to stay in the US for up to 12 months after they have left their chosen educational institution. A complete F1 visa application form PDF can be found alongside forms for other student visas on the US government website.

    The M1 and F1 visa processing time stands at 120 days before the start date of the course the applicant is expected to attend. For a J1 visa, the applicant can expect to receive news within 70 days, but this depends on the level of communication between national embassies when the institutional exchange is being arranged.

    J1- Student Visa

    J1 visas are non-immigrant status visas that international students need if they are taking part in an international exchange program with an affiliated institution.

    M1- Student Visa

    M1 visas are for international students who want to attend non-academic or vocational programs and courses that do not contribute to a degree-level qualification. Holders cannot work on or off campus during their studies, but you can apply for a driver’s license and a bank account, and you can access healthcare as standard.

    It may seem like there is a lot to consider, but the USA is a hugely popular destination for international students, meaning that immigration services need to be extra vigilant when accepting visa applications in order to keep everyone safe. Ensuring that you can provide all the above documents upon application will give you the best possible chance at being granted a USA Student Visa.

    Dreaming of studying in the United States? Contact our experts for help.

    How to Apply for a US Student Visa

    Application

    Below is a step-by-step guide to getting your US Student Visa application started. Please follow these instructions carefully in order to avoid disappointment:

    Step One: Complete the online DS-160 form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for the visa. Answers must be completed by the applicant as the US Embassy or any affiliated body cannot help you to fill out the form. You can find a presentation highlighting specifications on the US Embassy website under Student Visas.

    Step Two: Visit https://ais.usvisa-info.com and pay the application fee. You will also schedule your interview here as you cannot do this via email. From here, you will create an account. Follow the guided process for your application. Once this is done, you can begin to prepare for your interview.

    Attending an Interview

    The visa interview is generally considered to be the most important part of the US Student Visa application process. You will schedule your interview once your fees are paid. You must dress appropriately, bring all your documentation with you, and arrive at least 10 minutes in advance of your appointment in case of delays. Applicants also benefit from looking at commonly asked interview questions and preparing answers before attending.

    Nigerian students will need to schedule visa centre appointments at their nearest facility, which can be found in Abuja and Lagos.

    The interviewer is most likely to ask you basic questions first, covering areas such as:

    • Your study plans
    • Your academic record
    • Your chosen institution
    • Your finances
    • Your post-graduation plans

    They will then follow up with more specific questions, such as:

    • Why have you chosen to study in the US?
    • Have you been to the US before?
    • How much do you know about your chosen institution?
    • How often will you be returning home?

    Try to remain calm and answer the questions quickly as this demonstrates to the officer that you are well-informed and confident.

    What Documents Do I Require?

    Please follow these comprehensive lists detailing the documents you will need to provide during the application process. It is recommended that applicants ensure they have access to all documents before submitting their application in order to avoid delays in the processing period.

    F1 Student Visa

    F1 applicants will need to present:

    • A passport which will remain valid for at least six months beyond the period in which you will be in the United States
    • Recently taken passport-size photographs
    • A DS-160 confirmation page as issued upon application
    • A form I-20 as provided by your institution
    • A certificate of Eligibility
    • A full academic transcript
    • The payment receipt for a SEVIS I-901 form
    • A certificate of results following an approved English proficiency test such as TOEFL
    • Proof of funds in the form of a bank statement or other appropriate means to evidence your ability to pay for the costs of travel, accommodation and other expenses during your stay

    J1 Student Visa

    J1 applicants will need to present:

    • A passport which will remain valid for at least six months beyond the period in which you will be in the United States
    • Recently taken passport-size photographs
    • A DS-160 confirmation page as issued upon application
    • A form I-20 as provided by your institution
    • A full academic transcript
    • The payment receipt for a SEVIS I-901 form
    • A certificate of results following an approved English proficiency test such as TOEFL
    • Proof of funds in the form of a bank statement or other appropriate means to evidence your ability to pay for the costs of travel, accommodation and other expenses during your stay

    M1 Student Visa

    • A passport which will remain valid for at least six months beyond the period in which you will be in the United States
    • Recently taken passport-size photographs
    • A DS-160 confirmation page as issued upon application
    • Form I-20 as provided by your institution
    • A certificate of Eligibility
    • A full academic transcript
    • The payment receipt for a SEVIS I-901 form
    • A certificate of results following an approved English proficiency test such as TOEFL
    • Proof of funds in the form of a bank statement or other appropriate means to evidence your ability to pay for the costs of travel, accommodation and other expenses during your stay

    Contact us today to start your journey to studying in the United States with confidence and expertise by your side!

    What are the Student Visa USA Fees and Processing Times?

    Fees

    Application costs vary between types of visa, and applicants need to remember that they will also need to pay for their SEVIS form on top of their visa application. These fees are non-refundable, so ensure you have everything you need before making the payment. Currently:

    • An F1 visa costs $510
    • A J1 visa costs $160
    • An M1 visa costs $160

    The current cost of a SEVIS form stands at:

    • $350 for F1 visa and M1 visa applicants
    • $220 for exchange visitors on a J1 visa

    Processing Times

    The M1 and F1 visa processing time stands at 120 days before the start date of the course the applicant is expected to attend. For a J1 visa, the applicant can expect to receive news within 70 days, but this depends on the level of communication between national embassies when the institutional exchange is being arranged.

    What next?

    In order to continue to stay in the United States, Student Visa holders need to get a Post Study Work Permit which allows international students to take up work legally during a 2-year stay (or 1 year if OPT is undertaken). F1 and M1 USA Student Visas cannot be extended if the holder is no longer in education or taking on Optional Practical Training, and J1 Student Visas only allow for visits through an institutional exchange, so there is no option for an extension.

    If you wish to settle in the USA permanently after you have finished your studies, you can apply for a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). For further information about the Green Card, visit the United States Immigration Services website.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Here at IAS, we know how to confidently deliver high-quality immigration support to Nigerian clients. Our team of experienced legal experts can provide unique advice regarding the application process, details about important dates, and vital information to help you find your feet once you arrive in your destination country.

    No matter how complex your circumstances may seem, we are dedicated to helping our Nigerian clients find success in their immigration plans. For more information about what we can offer, call us today on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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