The United States is one of the most popular higher education destinations for international students. Individuals aspiring to study in US universities or educational institutions are required to obtain a visa before travelling. There are two types of visas you can apply for if you wish to study in USA – ‘F’ and ‘M’. International students cannot enter the US on a visitor visa (‘B’), or on the visa waiver program, except to undertake recreational study as a part of a tourist visit. ‘J’ is another type of visa which is issued to exchange visitors who are approved to participate in an exchange visitor program in the US. Generally, this does not apply to Indian citizens.

Prepare a file with all the required documents:

Prepare a file with all the relevant documents related to your travel to the US. It is important to keep them handy on the day of the interview so that you can provide them if asked. The list of documents you will need are – passport, Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee, visa interview appointment letter, DS 160 confirmation slip, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee receipt, passport size photograph, academic mark sheets & certificates, competitive exam scorecards, work related documents (if applicable), financial documents like education loan approval letter (if applicable), savings account statement, fixed deposit certificates, tax returns, property documents, etc.

Information to remember thoroughly before entering the consulate:

You need to remember things like the complete list of colleges/universities you have applied to, the SOP that you submitted, course details that you have enrolled for, its tenure, faculty, credit system, some information about the state you will be visiting and the nearby location. Also, it is important to have clarity on how you plan to pay for your education in the US as the interviewer might ask such questions during the process.

When you reach the consulate:

When you reach the consulate, you may have to wait in a queue prior to entering the office. Keep your original passport, appointment letter and receipt of the US visa fee handy as you may need to show it to the security at the gate. There is no facility to store prohibited items at the consulate entrance, hence, do not carry any unnecessary items. Also, mobile phones, electronic devices, perfumes, liquids, bottles, food, etc. are not allowed inside the office.

Strict security regulations at the consulate:

Before entering the consulate, you will have to go through a full body metal detector scan. As per security norms, you have to carry all your documents in an unsealed simple bag which will also be scanned at the entrance. Do not carry anything extra apart from your documents as there is no facility of storing them outside the office.

Interview waiting room:

After the security check process, you will receive a token for the interview and you will be directed to the waiting area. You have to maintain silence in the seating area. You will be called when your turn comes. When you are called, walk confidently towards your designated window and greet the interviewer with a smile.


The interviewer will be behind a glass window. You have to speak to him/her with the help of a microphone. There will be an open space for you to share the required documents during the interview. Provide the documents which the interviewer asks for. Do not give any extra documents. When the interviewer asks questions, answer confidently and share the exact information that he/she asks for. Do not provide any unnecessary or extra information during the interview.

Your attire for the interview should be formal. Smile occasionally during the interview and do not be nervous at all. Communicate in English throughout as it is one of the primary requirements for pursuing education in the US.

If your application is approved, you usually get to know as soon as the interview gets over. The interviewer might say that “your visa is approved” or something like “documents will be delivered to you mailing address”. You are also allowed to pick up your passport in person.

Pick-up/delivery of your passport and student visa:

The wait time for an appointment and the processing time at US consulate differs with location. The consulate will deliver your passport to the collection location by courier. To know the pick-up locations in India, please click here.

For Mumbai, the wait time for an appointment at US Consulate is 3 days while the processing time for a student visa is 2 working days. However, in some cases, additional time may be required to process the Study loan visa application.

You need to collect your passport from the pick-up location you selected while scheduling your interview appointment. You will receive an email when your passport is ready to be picked-up from your selected location. The passport must be collected within 14 days otherwise it is sent back to the US consulate. There is a premium home delivery option as well which comes at an additional cost of INR 500 per applicant. If you pay this amount and select this option, the documents will be couriered to your home directly.

Hope this article helps you to remember some of the important facts for the US visa process. You can reach out to us for assistance in terms of your financing options. Our study loans provide 100% coverage for studies in USA, including the proof of funds required to get a visa. With us, you can aspire without boundaries!

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