List of Documents Required for USA Visa Application for Indian Students


Subhashri Roy
Updated on May 11, 2023 03:24 PM IST

Looking for documents required for a USA student visa from India? If yes, then consider this article as your one-stop destination and look no further. Scroll down to know the types of US student visas and their requirements along with a thorough list of documents required for a US student visa for Indians.

List of Documents Required for USA Visa Application for Indian Students

Documents required for US student visa: The #1 destination for Indian students looking to study abroad is undoubtedly the United States. So, when you plan to study in the USA, a visa serves as a lawful document that is mandatory for every international student entering the country. If you are one of those lucky aspirants who have qualified and have already been accepted into your desired US university, the next essential step in accomplishing your desire of studying in the USA is applying for a US student visa. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that 1,99,812 Indian students migrated to the US in 2022 to pursue higher education. Compared to 2021, the sheer number of Indian students studying in the US rose by more than 19% in the year 2022.

There are three main categories of US study visas: F, J, and M; which serve the purpose of studying at a college or university such as participating in an exchange programme or attending a vocational school. Whether you require an F1 visa or an M1 visa will depend on your intended academic degree course and the choice of the educational institution you intend to attend. You can apply for an F or M student visa at the US Consulate or Embassy, according to your educational requirements. However, you must first receive the I-20 form from an accredited US institution proving that you have been admitted to an academic course of study before submitting an application to the US embassy.

To book your US student visa interview slot, you can submit an online application by visiting the official website of the administering body. The most commonly used nonimmigrant US visa types have an application fee of USD 160. The US Embassy will provide a date to attend your interview after receiving your visa application. The first common question that Indian students have is 'Is it easy to obtain a US study visa?' The satisfactory response to this question is 'Yes!', as long as all of their documents and application materials are accurate and they ace their US visa interview. Additionally, the processing times of all of these US study visas vary depending upon the requirement of the student.

Furthermore, you must show up for your fixed personal visa interview on the specified day. Your US student visa application will be denied if you do not perform satisfactorily in the interview process and failed to submit all the required documents. Let this not be your case, go through this article thoroughly and take note of all the necessary documents required for US student visa from India.

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Types of US Student Visas

As an international student, you can apply for three types of US student visas. The time period on these visas is extendable for post-work study visas. However, the stay-back period may differ according to the course and education level. Given below are the three types of visas that an Indian student can apply for when going to the US for higher education:

F1 Visa for Academic Studies

An F-1 visa, the most common visa type among Indian students in the US, is granted to applicants who are attending an academic or English Language programme. Those holding an F-1 visa must maintain a full-time student status with a minimum course load. Students are expected to graduate from the programme by the expiration date, as mentioned in the I-20 form.

Further, the F1 student visa allows international students to look for part-time job opportunities in USA to support their additional expenses by working up to 20 hours during the academic session. With this, students can opt for either on-campus part-time jobs or off-campus part-time jobs and also opt for optional practical training (OPT) after completion of the academic programme for up to 12 months.

J1 Visa for Practical Training

A J-1 visa is for those applicants who wish to obtain practical training in the US in order to complete their academic programme. They must be approved to participate in a work-and study-based exchange visitor programme, sponsored by an organiser.

Students with a J-1 visa can seek employment opportunities in the US with restrictions such as that of an F-1 visa, as long as the sponsor allows the student for the same.

M1 Visa for Non-academic or Vocational Studies

An M-1 visa is granted to a student who wants to attend a non-academic or vocational school and is not permitted to engage in any part-time job during the course of their studies. The M-1 visa applicants must produce evidence they have enough sufficient funds to cover all living and tuition costs during their entire period of stay in the US.

List of Mandatory Documents Required for US Student Visa From India

It goes without saying that you must carry far more paper records than you would need for a tourist visa if you were visiting the US as a tourist. In addition to the required documents, you also need supporting evidence from your educational background and financial standing. An Indian student applying for a US student visa should gather and keep the following required documents ready before their visa interview:

  • A valid passport for travel to the US It shall be valid for at least six months post the duration of stay in the US.

  • A separate application should be submitted for each family member listed in their passport.

  • The Nonimmigrant visa application and the confirmation page for form DS-160.

  • The payment receipt for the SEVIS fee.

  • Photographs - Although one must upload their photograph while submitting the online form DS-160, a photocopy might be required at the interview if the photo upload fails.

  • Certificate of eligibility for the student visa- I-20 form which will be sent by the SEVP-approved school once they have input the applicants' information in the SEVIS database. The form i-20 must be signed by both the applicant and the school official.

  • Birth certificate and evidence to support one's intent to leave the US after completion of the academic programme.

  • Visa SOP

List of Additional Documents Required for US Visa From India

For the USA, students must provide records of the amount of money required to cover all first-year costs. It covers educational expenses, average living costs in the USA for Indian students, and additional costs such as books. In addition, students must provide evidence that they have the financial resources necessary to complete their degree programme. A consular officer will interview an applicant to determine their qualifications for a US student visa and may ask for additional documents, such as the following:

  • Financial Documents

  • Academic and Experience Documents

  • Applications made to US universities

Financial Documents

These are the documents which shall provide evidence of sufficient funds and source(s) to cover tuition fees, living and other expenses while in the USA. The immigration authorities require prospective students to prove that they can handle the financial burden which shall be exerted by education and living in the US. These confirmation documents may include the following, such and beyond:

  • Personal Savings if any.

  • Bank account details and type of account maintained.

  • Sources of funds which shall finance the education and living expenses.

  • Detail and capacity of each source and how these sources remain intact (how the sources get their money from).

  • Scholarships if any.

  • Any other source of funds which you may prefer to use, and its details.

Academic and Experience Documents

The immigration authorities might be interested in testing the authenticity of your claims and ask for academic, and in case of work experience stated, related documents to prove the statements as true. In this regard following may be asked for, such and beyond;

  • Academic Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools attended.

  • Standardised test scores are required by the US institution.

  • Other application documents such as Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letter of Recommendation (LOR), etc.

  • Experience letters from institutions where you have worked.

  • Salary slips and bank statements showing income.

  • Other documents as asked by the authorities to prove the cause and detail.

Other Applications made to US universities

You must provide evidence that you have been accepted to a US-based academic institution if you are seeking a US student and exchange visa. This academic institution must be recognised by the Student Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP). In addition to the standard visa fee, you will also need to pay the SEVIS I-901 surcharge along with providing proof of payment receipt at your US visa interview. To ensure that acceptance is authentic and on reasonable grounds the authorities may ask for:

  • Other applications are made to other universities in the US or other countries.

  • Application status currently or at the time of visa application.

  • If rejected then the grounds which led to rejection as stated by the university applied to.

  • The acceptance letters and grounds of acceptance.

  • A statement of explanation of choosing the university if multiple acceptance letters.

Note: Although mentioned here in detail, it is advisable that students go through the list of required documents before scheduling their visa interview.

US Student Visa Requirements for Indians

As discussed, a US study visa will serve as a legitimate official document permitting you to live and study in the USA. The following are the student visa for USA from India requirements that you will have to fulfil to be eligible to receive a US student visa:

  • There are no past or current criminal investigations involving the specific person.

  • To enter the USA, the student must have a legitimate purpose along with intentions to go back to their home countries after the completion of the degree programme. During the verification procedure, the relevant US embassy can investigate any issue they find doubtful and request legitimate papers.

  • The applicant must demonstrate that they have the resources to cover their expenses in the other country as well as those of any dependents.

  • To travel or reside in the country in question, the student must pass a medical examination and satisfy all healthcare requirements. In addition, the medical report must state that the individual is free of any contagious disorders.

  • A prospective student must possess a passport that is valid for at least six months after the completion of their course of study.

  • The prospective applicant's nation must be friendly towards the target nation.

Note: The applicant's US study visa application will be rejected by the appropriate government agency if they are unable to meet the eligibility requirements for Indian citizens seeking a US student visa.

So this was all about the documents required for a US visa from India. Keep in mind that you must demonstrate both your lack of intention to immigrate and your strong ties to India during the US student visa interview. You ought to be in a position to persuade the visa officer that you have sufficient funds available to pay for your educational expenses and living costs in the USA. You should be succinct and direct when responding to the visa officer's questions. You should use this brief period of time for convincing the officer by verbally outlining your circumstances and by diligently, promptly, and assuredly responding to any inquiries.

Still confused about the documents required for a US student visa from India? Do not fret, drop us a line at to address all your queries about studying in USA as an Indian student.

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