The United States is one of the most sort after countries for students who wish to obtain a degree from its universities. After an aspiring student gets admission into a university in the USA, the next big step is securing a Visa to enter into the country to start the program. This guide will give detailed step towards getting a F1 Student Visa and why sometimes the Visa application is rejected by the US Department of state. So if you wish to get a Student Visa to USA from any part of the world and Nigeria, then keep reading this post.
Student Visa to USA from Nigeria
Types of Visa Student Visa to USA
There are three types of student visas to the US:
1. F1 Student Visa
This is the most popular USA student Visa applied for by most foreigners. This Visa tye is for studies require over 18 hours of study in a week. For programs such as Bachelor’s degree, Master’s and related degree, then the F1 Student Visa is the right choice. This Visa also gives the opportunity to come along with Spouse or Children . But they will travel on an F2 Visa. Note that spouses are not allowed to work but they can apply for their own Visa to the USA to work or study.
2. J1 Exchange Visitor Visa
These type of Visa is given to people who are on an exchange program in the USA. This simly means that if you are visiting for the purpose of research work, visiting scholars or lecturers etc then the J1 Exchange Visitor Visa is what should be applied for. Furthermore, this also includes vocational training, workshops as well. Spouses or children accompanying J1 Visa holder will travel on a J2 Visa. Please note that spouses can work only when permission is obtained in advance.
3. M-1 Vocational/ Non-Academic Student Visa
The M1 Vocational/ Non academic Student Visa is specially for Vocational and technical schools. Although the process of obtaining this visa type is similar to the F1 visa, they are time stamped and the holders can not exceed their or overstay their visit.
Working on Student Visa
The beauty of the F-1 Visa is that the student can work. But for the first year of study, students are not allowed to work off-campus employment. Students are not also allowed to more than 20 hours per week. However, during the holidays or break, students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week. In addition, the students can work for a commercial firm the provides services to the campus.
Cost of Visa
There are two fees associated with for F1 student visa for the USA
- SEVIS fee which is at present at $350
- Visa Application Fee (MRV Fee) which is at present $160 (at the exchange rate of INR 70)
Here is the breakdown of different types of Student Visas
|Type of Visa|
|Type of Fee||F1||J1||M1|
|Accepted modes of Payment||Credit Card
Money Order/ Demand Draft
|Payable in||Dollars at the applicable exchange rate as determined by the bank|
|MRV Application Fee/ Visa Application Fee|
|Accepted modes of Payment||NEFT Online Transfer
Instant Money Transfer by Mobile – IMPS
By Cash at counters of Axis Bank/ Citibank
|Payable in||Payable in INR at the Exchange Rate Fixed by the Consular Office (At present the exchange rate is fixed at $1 = INR 70)|
*Spouses and dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if they are going to the U.S. on F-2 or J-2 visas. For more information about the SEVIS program, you can read SEVIS Fee & US Student Visa: What it is and how to pay it?.
Student Visa to USA from Nigeria
Documents Required for F1 Student Visa Application
Seeking students require a lot of documents to study in the USA when applying for the F1 Student visa when compared to a Tourist visa. These documents must all be complete to avoid rejection by consulate. Also it is mandatory you refer to the checklist before proceeding t the application. Below are the documents you need to obtain a Student Visa to USA from Nigeria
- A valid passport which must be at least 6 months beyond your period of stay.
- The Online Application Form: a printed copy of the DS-160 form
- Interview appointment letter (original and copy)
- Form I-20 sent by the college (where you are going to study)
- Visa Payment confirmation
- BAnk Stament: This should be of at least 3 years. It should proof that the expenses, living cost, tuition, books and other things can be funded. This can be provided by you, parent or guardian.
- All you work payslips (Where applicable)
- Original mark sheets/provisional certificates
- Score sheet of exams like TOEFL, GMAT, IELTS, etc
NOTE: Financial Documents required for F1 Visa
This is a very important aspect that may ensure that you get your F1 Visa. The you must provide this financial proof which should run across 3 years till date. The document should show proof of proper funding for living cost, tuition, books and every other thing. It is also highly recommended that this financial document should show a substantial amount of money that can fund the rest of the program.
Evidence of Financial Resources required for F1 Visa
- Tax payments for the last 3 years
- Bank statements/passbook for the past 3 years
- Original pay/salary slips and letters of employment (This can be provided by parents,sponsor or guardian)
- Scholarship letter (If the applicant has received it)
- The loan approval letter by the bank or the concerned authority (If applicable)
How to Apply for US Student Visa (F1 Visa)
There are several steps to apply for a student visa:
- Form I-20 from your college.
- Pay SEVIS fee and getting a receipt, you can apply for a DS-160 visa form. It is an online application form.
- Application form confirmation page: Print and bring along to your interview.
- Pay the visa fee through NEFT or at any authorized Nigeria bank.
- Schedule a Biometric appointment and Interview appointment.
- Biometrics: You have to appear in person get your finger prints and photo.
- At the Personal interview, the interviewer will ask you questions about your choice, of course, college, finances, and intent of coming back. If s/he is convinced, they will keep your passport with them to get the visa stamped. Here is a guide to help you prepare for your F1 Visa Interview.
Additional Note: The F1 Visa can be given 120 days before the start of your program but you are not allowed into USA 30 days before the program starts.
F1 visa holders are eligible for up to 12 months of OPT (optional practical training) on completion of graduation. That means you can work for a year after you finish your studies. It is a temporary employment permission allowing students the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study. After that, you’ll be required to apply for a work visa if you have to continue working in the US. You can remain in the US up to 60 days after the completion of your course even if you don’t have a job offer or haven’t applied for OPT.
Where to Apply
The process of getting an F1 visa is completely online. Below are the resources to fill out your forms –
USA Consulate office in Ngeria
Address: 2 Walter Carrington Cres, Victoria Island, Lagos
Other Study Destinations: