Even after getting into a US university, there is still one more challenge left: getting your visa application approved. In this guide we will go over how you can apply for an US visa. If you haven’t been accepted in a university yet, it’s not yet time for you to be here. See our articles on the Study in the USA series here and here first.
If you have gotten in though, congratulations. You have almost made it. The US visa application process isn’t as simple as it could be. Due to very outdated sites, it can be nerve-wrecking to do things right. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step by step guide on applying for an US visa. This is just a guide on how to apply, we have a separate article on HOW TO ACE THE VISA INTERVIEW so be sure to check that out too after reading this.
GATHER YOUR DOCUMENTS
You will need a healthy set of documents to fill and to submit your visa application. Before starting, you should gather all the necessary documents. These are documents for filling the form, there are additional documents you will need with you during the interview. Here is a list of required documents
- I20 FORM
Your college should have sent you the I20 form after your acceptance. If you used a consultancy, they have probably withheld it. You need a hard copy, original version of your I20 with a signature. You will need the SEVIS ID given to you in order to apply.
- COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE AND FINANCIAL AID LETTER
These should have arrived in your I20 packet. If not, you can download it from your college portal after being accepted. They can come in handy when filling out school addresses and stuff. You will need to take these with you during your interview too.
- PASSPORT AND CITIZENSHIP
You will need to put in your passport and National ID number in your application and upload a copy of your passport. Be sure to keep this with you while filling the form
US consulates have a very strict guidelines for photos. Though most studios already know the guidelines, it can still come in handy sometimes. Find them here. You will need a soft copy of this photo while filling the form.
THE DS-160 FORM
efore you fill out the actual US visa application, you will need to fill out a DS-160 form. You don’t need to make an account for this. For the DS 160 forn, other than general info, you will need to know the following
- Two Nepali citizens other than your family that will vouch for the authenticity of you identity.
- A college personal or a US citizen who will vouch for the authenticity of your application. You can contact your school for someone’s information if you don’t have any relativves in the US.
- Your US Visa type is F-1. You will be asked this while filling the form, don’t get it wrong.
After filling out the DS 160 form, you can have it emailed to you. You will need the verification ID it will give you after filling it up, so save it. Find the DS-160 form here.
THE ACTUAL US VISA APPLICATION
After filling up the form, you should now head on to CGI federal’s website. Here is the link to the website. You will need to create an account here and verify your email address.
After doing that, head onto “New appointment” section, you will have to navigate on your own because I cannot provide pictures (due to security concerns). You will first be asked to fill in general information. Remember, your student visa type is F-1. Choose Kathmandu under visa centers and you will be prompted to pay the visa fee.
PAYING THE US VISA FEE
TO pay the MRV fee, you will need to either have Nepal Investment Bank e-banking service or visit an NIBL branch. Any branch will do. The US visa fee right now is Rs 20000. You will have to print and take a copy of the bank receipt the CGI’s site will provide. After paying, you will get an email with your receipt number. Put in the number into CGI’s site and your payment will be complete. MRV fee is valid for an entire year, so you can apply within that time frame from the given receipt number.
SETTING AN APPOINTMENT
After payment is done, you will be prompted to the appointment calendar. You can set an appointment date up to 120 days before your arrival date. If you set an appointment earlier than that, you will need to re-apply so be careful. Choose an appropriate date for your appointment and make sure to keep it free.
US visa appointment can be rescheduled twice in Nepal, after which you will have to pay the MRV fee (Rs20,000) again. You will need another receipt number to reapply after you’ve rescheduled twice (or cancelled thrice).
After you’ve set the appointment date, you’re all done. Filling forms can be complicated, especially because the US visa site provides very little information. Now the only thing left is your interview. The interview is a whole another headache. It’s the harder aspect of the visa application. But you’ve made it this far, what’s one more proceeding? Best of luck for your future