A student visa, as well as a US student visa appointment, US F1 visa appointment (US visa F1 appointment), is mandatory for any student who is accepted to a US university for further studies and is planning to fly abroad. There are three categories of student visas in the US F1, J1, and M1.
To apply for an F (for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees), M (for technical or vocational programs) US Embassy student visa appointment, one needs a document called Form I-20.
To apply for a J class student visa (for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs), one needs Form DS-2019.
The college to which you are admitted will send you the I-20 or DS-2019 form, depending upon the type of visa you are supposed to apply.
US Visa Application Process
- Get an acceptance letter from a Student and Exchange Visitor Program certified college in the US.
- Pay the required Student and Exchange Visitor Information System or I-901 SEVIS fee online at the fmjfee website.
- Get the I-20 Form from the college you are admitted to.
- Apply for a US student visa using the DS-160 application.
- Pay Student Visa USA Fees.
- Schedule OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) and US student visa appointment.
- Attend the OFC appointment.
- Attend the Visa interview.
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Changing University Before or After Booking The Interview
When you fill the DS-160 form, you will need to give details such as the SEVIS number. Now here emerges a common scenario – students realize that they need to change the university mentioned in their US embassy student visa appointment application.
Scenarios To Change The University After Booking a US Student Visa Appointment
Suppose if you are done with your US student visa slot booking and you have chosen a comfortable date out of all the available US student visa appointment dates. The next morning, there is an acceptance email in your inbox from your dream college. Now, if you want to attend that university, you need to change the university in the VISA application.
Another reason for switching universities after scheduling a visa appointment, US F1 visa appointment can be financial aid. For instance, you get Form I-20 from University A. You apply for a student visa and are done with US student visa slot booking. After two days, you get an offer from University B along with financial aid. Since studying in the US is not a cheap affair, you are likely to pick University B over University A as long as the ranking is not too far below.
The Process To Change Universities After Visa Appointment Booking
Either of the above two scenarios requires a change of the university in your US embassy student visa appointment and application. The process of doing it depends upon your situation, which can be anyone out of the below three:
1. The SEVIS fee is Paid, DS-160 is Submitted, But Visa Payment is not Made
This will be the simplest procedure, all you need to do is transfer the SEVIS fee from college A to College B. You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again for the new college.
The fmjfee website is used to pay the I-901 fee. To transfer the fee to another college, go onto the website and fill in the required details for payment status.
If there is a valid record of your 1-901 fee, you will see the transfer button. You just need to click on it.
The website will prompt you to fill the SEVIS ID and school code of the new university. Enter the correct details and submit.
You will receive an email for the transfer request. The second email which you will receive will either confirm your transfer or deny it. If the transfer is approved, print the new details for later use. In case the request is rejected, the email will have an explanation.
2. The DS- 160 is Submitted, Visa Payment is Made, and the Interview Date is Booked
In the second situation, you need to complete the steps we’ve explained in the above scenario. Create a new DS-160, fill it with the SEVIS number of the second university, and submit it. Since you have already paid for the visa and scheduled the interview, the only extra steps to take are:
Log on to your account on the CGI Federal website. Update the information on it by changing the DS -160 confirmation number and SEVIS ID.
There is no need to pay the visa fee again as you have not attended the interview.
If for some reason you are not able to update the SEVIS ID or DS-160 confirmation on CGI federal, carry both old and new DS confirmation pages to your OFC interview. Tell the officials about the university change, and they will update the details before the interview.
3. You’ve Appeared for the Visa Interview
Changing universities in this situation can get a little complex. If you’ve appeared for the interview, and your F1 visa gets approved. After that, a top university in the US accepts you. To change your university, these are the steps to follow:
- Get the I-20 form from the new university.
- Transfer the SEVIS fee as explained in steps in the first scenario.
- Fill and submit a new DS-160 with the details of the second university.
- Pay the visa fees once again.
- Schedule and attend the OFC and US Student visa appointment, US F1 visa appointment a second time.
If you’ve not booked the appointment, the steps for changing your university are not so difficult. But if you’ve booked and attended the interview, then the process can be a bit cumbersome.
The best course of action is to take a step after your final decision rather than applying for a visa right after receiving the first college acceptance letter. Never rush into booking your visa interview and choosing US student visa appointment dates. If you feel the chances of another university accepting your application are high, then wait for their letter.
Simply, after you have received an answer from all your preferred US universities, you should go with booking the student visa interview.