The F1 Visa authorizes international students to enter the United States and pursue higher studies from the educational institutes in the US. Once accepted, the candidate is recommended to carry the below mentioned necessary documents for visa stamping:
Original Passport (along with old and expired passports, if any) and a copy of front and back page.
Passport size photograph, compliant with the format outlined in the Photograph Requirements.
Form DS-160 with CEAC barcode.
Receipt of Visa fee payment.
Interview Appointment letter and a copy of it.
SEVIS generated Form I-20 and a copy. If the student is accompanied, the accompanying persons should have separate I-20 form through the university though they need not get registered in SEVIS.
SEVIS payment receipt I-901 and a copy.
Financial resources evidence for the proof of funds available for fee payment throughout the education.
The documents for financial evidence include 3 years tax return statements, 3 years bank statements, loan approval if loan is taken, pay slips and employment letter, chartered accountant statement.
The scholarship received by the candidate is mentioned in the Form I-20.
Educational documents include highest qualified degree certificates (substituted by a Bonafide certificate if degree has not yet been received) and marksheets, Test scores of GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GMAT or LSAT depending on the university requirements for the course.
It is also recommended to carry all acceptance and rejection letters issued by various universities during the application process.
The candidate should also carry a copy of documents that were submitted to the university like Application Form, SOP, Recommendation Letters, Resume, etc.
The F1 Visa can be issued no earlier than 120 days before the starting date of the course.
The F1 Visa enables the candidate to enter the US no earlier than 30 days before the starting date of the course.
The validity of F-1 Visa is for as long as stated on the I-20 Form along with extension for Optional Practical Training and is usually capped to five years.
If the F1 Visa does not cover the whole duration of study, the candidate would have to return to the home country and apply for renewal or extension (interview may be omitted though citing that the process has been done earlier already and the intent is to return back to home country upon completion of studies).