USA allows F-1 visa applicants to apply for a visa one year prior

According to the new rule, applicants of F-1 and M visas are allowed to apply for a visa 365 days in advance before the I-20 program started.

The United States has passed a new rule in favor of international students aspiring to study in the country. Prospective F-1 visa applicants are allowed to apply for a visa up to 365 days in advance. Through the Twitter account, Travel – State Dept. confirms the news of the visa application. As per the tweet, F and M students aspiring to study in the United States of America can lodge their visa files, a year before the start of the I-20 program.  However, students are not allowed to enter the country before 30 days of the commencement of the program. The validity of an F-1 Visa is 60 months for Indian students.

Earlier, the visa interviews were scheduled 120 days before the commencement of the I-20 forms term start. Even, applicants have to wait for years to get their visa appointments. 

The US Citizenships and Immigration Services (USCIS), has been trying for the past few months to cut down the time for the processing time of visas. The department has simplified the process by interview waivers, making interview slots, and even starting the plan for domestic stamping of H-1B renewals.

There is a slight difference between F and M visas, depending on the course type. University, college, high school, seminary, and language training program comes under the F visa. Similarly, an M visa consists of a vocational or non-academic institution program. To apply for an F-1 visa you can simply follow the steps below:

  • Get SEVP approval before applying for an F-1 visa.
  • Now pay the SEVIS fee to get hold of the I-20 form
  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee and attend the interview
  • Get your visa approved

Students might also have to prove the authority their intent to depart from the country after completion of their program.

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