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Application Processes for Studying in the United States

Students looking to further their education by attending a University in the United States may be required to follow a different application process than in their home country. From selecting a certified school to applying for a student visa, there are several steps students must closely follow in order to apply and study in the United States. The more information you have before applying, the better you will be able to properly complete all the required application materials. Kazmi & Sakata, a San Diego Immigration Law firm, outlines the application process for international students in three easy steps:

  1. Select your school. When selecting your school, it is important that you conduct the proper research to ensure the university of your choice accepts international students. Certified universities will require their students apply under the F or M visa categories. The F-1 Visa category includes academic students in colleges, universities, seminaries, conservatories, academic high schools, and in language training. The M-1 category includes vocational students. International students have choice of more than 10,000 Student and Exchange Visitor Program certified schools in the United States.
  2. Acceptance and Filing an I-20 Form. After you have chosen a school, apply as an international student. If possible, contact the university directly or use their online resources to find out if there is any specific or required application materials that must be submitted. Once you receive acceptance, the school will issue you an I-20 Form, a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students.
  3. Completing Payment of I-901 SEVIS Fee. In order to obtain your student visa, you are required to pay a non-refundable, SEVIS fee. Without the payment the Department of State will not be able to issue your student visa. In addition, you will need to show proof of payment or a receipt at your visa interview.

The above steps outline finding and applying for universities in the United States. Following this, students will be required to take all of their acceptance and payment documents and apply for a student visa to enter the United States. Gaining a student visa can be a lengthy and complex process that requires close consultation with an immigration attorney. To help students with the process, contact our premier immigration law office at 858-874-0711 for a free consultation or visit our website at

April 2024