Have you been planning to study in the USA? Know which US student visa is suitable for you. You can apply either for an F Student Visa or M Student Visa depending on your selected course and the education institute you attend.
You will need the F Student Visa if you want to study in a:
- High School
- Private Elementary School
- Academic Institution (language training program)
You will need a J Exchange Visa if you will be participating in an exchange program in high school or university study.
You will need the M Student Visa if you want to study in a vocational or recognised non-academic institution.
At Expert Education Nepal, we offer students consultancy services in Nepal for their education and visa requirements. We’ve helped 100K+ international students achieve their study abroad dreams. Partnered with 400+ education institutions in the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK, we aim to journey with every student on their way to the college or university best suited to them.
Steps to applying for a USA Student Visa from Nepal
The steps involved in completing your student visa application involve:
- Completing your visa application online
- Scheduling an interview
- Preparing for your interview
- Gathering required and requested documents
- Submission of additional documents if requested
- Attending your scheduled visa interview
- Entering the USA if your visa is approved
You must complete Form DS-160, which is the online non-immigrant visa application. Upload your photo based on the photograph requirements mentioned. Once you’ve completed filling out this form, print it and submit it on the day of your scheduled visa interview.
Applicants who are 13 years or younger and 80 years or older may not be required to attend the visa interview. Applicants who fall within the age bracket of 14 to 79 will be required to take the interview.
Scheduling your interview
Scheduling an appointment time for your interview can take time so make sure you apply for it at the earliest. The appointment time for a USA student visa from Nepal stakes at least 157 Calendar Days. Applicants who are new students applying for the F or M student visa can be issued a visa up to 365 days in advance of the start date of the study program. The applicant will not be allowed to enter the United States more than 30 days before the start date.
At the same time, applicants who are continuing student (F and M) visa holders may receive their visa at any time. They can also enter the United States any time before their classes begin. They should be enrolled in an SEVP-approved education institute and in SEVIS.
The application fee costs US $185 and is to be paid before the interview. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, an issuance fee may have to be paid. However, applicants (Student visas F, M, or J) from Nepal are not required to pay an issuance fee. You are allowed multiple entries into the United States with your visa. Your visa validity period is 60 months which means that you can use this visa for travel from the date it is issued till its expiry.
- Valid Passport – Must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of your stay in the United States.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Application fee payment receipt
- Applicant’s Photo
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20
Help us understand your circumstances and requirements while applying for a US Student Visa from Nepal
Additional documents that may be required
A Consular Officer may request additional documents from you, including:
- Your academic preparation
- Transcripts, degrees, diplomas, or certificates from schools you attended in Nepal
- Standardized test scores required by the US educational institute
- Your intent to leave the United States after completing your study program
- Financial proof for your educational, living provisions and travel costs
Attending your scheduled visa interview
You will be interviewed by a Consular Officer who will assess whether or not you are qualified to obtain a US Student Visa.
Digital scans will be taken during the interview.
Once you complete the interview, the officer may determine whether you need further administrative review. If your visa is approved, you can make arrangements to have your passport returned to you.
Entering the United States after visa approval
Your student visa approval only means you can travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port of entry will permit or deny your entry.
You must present your passport, Form I-20, and student Visa at the port entry to the CBP official who will make the decision. Once you are permitted, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record for you to officially enter the United States.
Your Student Journey from Nepal to the US
Before you apply for a USA student visa from Nepal, you must be sure of the type of application you must make.
The types of US Student Visas include:
- Student Visa F / M: Visa category F is required to enter the US to study at a university or college, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or any other academic institution. Visa category M is required for a vocational or a recognized non-academic institution.
- Exchange Visitor Visa J: A nonimmigrant visa for exchange visitor programs in the US. The categories include summer work travel, internships, physician, trainee, teacher, student of a college or university, specialist, etc.
Visitor Visa B: This visitor visa is applied for visiting schools before or during the application process.
Let’s look at the steps involved in applying for a USA student visa.
Step 1: Research and find a school, college, or university that matches you, your priorities and long-term goals.
Consider these four factors while making a decision:
- Place in the USA where you will fit and wish to study
- Undergraduate, Graduate, Short-Term, Community College, English Language
- Financial support and assistance you may need
- Knowing the application and financial aid timelines
Step 2: Plan and prepare for your finances. The application for financial aid should be alongside your application for admission. Evaluate your finances based on your educational and career goals, and how much you are willing to spend.
Wherever you plan to study will depend on the place you choose to live in the US. This includes the cost of housing, food, etc.
Step 3: Once you’ve chosen the college or university where you wish to study, move on to the next step of completing the admissions application. The application for each education institute may entail different requirements. Some of these requirements may include writing essays, collecting recommendations, and assessing the results of standard examinations.
Step 4: Apply for your student visa based on the type that suits your study level and program. An Undergraduate or Graduate may apply for an F or M Student Visa, or a J Exchange Visa.
You must apply and be accepted by an institution certified by SEVP or the Student Exchange and Visitor Program. Make sure to check the institutions are accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
If you are applying for the J Exchange Visa, you must apply to institutions designated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Once you are accepted by an SEVP-certified education institute, you will receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from their international student office. You have to fill up and present this form for your student visa application and visit the:
- U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs (Student Visas)
- U.S. Department of State – U.S. Embassies and Consulates
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Study in the States
It is important to note that the State Department oversees the visa application process and its issuing. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the entry of the student into the US, issuing and enforcing regulations.
Step 5: Plan and prepare for your departure to the US as this includes:
- Making travel arrangements
- Attending pre-departure orientation
- Collecting pre-departure documents and materials for arrival
- Reporting to the chosen education institute and attending orientation
Your pre-departure orientation will be held online or at your local EducationUSA centre. This orientation is meant to prepare you for your departure to the USA. EducationUSA advisers and U.S. alumni will provide resources and information to help prepare for your stay in the country. You will be briefed about the skills you need to develop to adjust to the new environment and possible challenges while living in the US. You will get information about cultural settings, lifestyle differences, motivations, coping in a new environment, housing, etc.
Need assistance and guidance to apply for a UK student visa from Nepal?
For a short-term course, you can apply for a Visitor (B) Visa. This visa is typically applicable to students who wish to visit schools before or during the application process, and/or also if they want to participate in short recreational, non-credit courses.
It’s important to know how to settle in the US as an international student, including your understanding of the cultural and lifestyle differences. Many practices you may have in Nepal may not be a habit in the US. So, we recommend you attend the pre-departure program where you will receive all the information you need.
Yes, you may re-apply in the future by submitting a new visa application and paying the fees again. If you were refused or found ineligible under section 214(b) of the INA then you have to present evidence of the major changes in your circumstances since you last applied.
Yes, as an international student from Nepal, you would have to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. IELTS is a commonly accepted test for the same.