Required Documents



Updated June 8, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

Here are the documents needed throughout the process:*

  • current and old passports, if any

  • form DS-160 confirmation page

  • a copy of your visa appointment letter

  • at least one photograph conforming to the stated requirements*

  • payment receipt of the SEVIS I-901 fee

  • form I-20

  • letter of admission provided by your school

  • all of your academic documents

  • transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you have attended

  • standardized test scores required by your U.S. school

danger We specified the documents based on information available at the time of writing the book. We cannot stress this enough: please check the official website to get the most up-to-date, accurate list.

Along with the above, you are also required to take additional supporting documents. But, before we get into that, let’s first try to get into the minds of your interviewer.

Know Your Customer

There is an important term in banking called Know Your Customer (KYC). It refers to the steps taken by a financial entity to establish the identity of the customer, verify that their funds are legitimate, and assess them for risk of money-laundering in the future.* Without going through a thorough KYC process, the bank might expose itself to possible fines and reputational damage in the future.

Similarly, when it comes to visa interviews, the consulate goes through a KYC process where they screen you for a few things. Read what the USCIS has stated on its website under student visas:

You may enter in the F-1 or M-1 visa category provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be enrolled in an “academic” educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program

  • Your school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement

  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution

  • You must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency

  • You must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study

  • You must maintain a residence abroad which you have no intention of giving up

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