MBA in the United States of America

In recent years, an MBA degree has become an extremely popular study option among the youth. This may be because the options which are offered to an MBA graduate, in terms of career, are very diverse and the earning potential increases several manifolds as compared to graduates from other disciplines. A majority of the students of our nation both from technical and non-technical backgrounds opt for an MBA as their first choice when it comes to higher studies. This even includes students from top ranking technical institutes of the nation such as IITs and NITs.

The United States of America has been the most popular destination for international MBA aspirants as the US houses some of the top B-schools in the world. Getting admission to such prestigious institutes is a gigantic task in itself but admissions is not the only requirement that the international aspirants have to fulfill. Another major necessity to study in the United States is a proper F 1 student visa. An F1 student visa allows international students to pursue full time education in the United States. This visa gives a student the provision to study in a University, College, Private elementary school, Seminary, conservatory or in a Language Training Program.

For any full time student pursuing an MBA in the US, the F1 visa is compulsory as it is required for any student who needs to stay in the US for more than 90 days to complete his or her academic program. The F1 visa also allows a student to participate in the Optimal Training Program (OPT) which helps a graduate gain experience in his or her field after the completion of the academic course. OPT allows a student to work in the US for a total period of 12 months during and after graduation. An extension of another 24 months is allowed in case of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students.

An international student can apply for an F 1 student visa once he or she gets admission in SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) certified institute in the US. The institute will provide an I-20 form once the admission offer is accepted and the name of the student will be entered in SEVIS (Students and Exchange Visitor Information System). The student has to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of US$ 200 and fill the non-immigrant visa application form DS-160. An additional payment of US$ 160 has to be made as the F1 Visa fee. Once the printed copy of the DS-160 along with the barcode is available, the student can proceed to schedule an appointment at the local US embassy or consulate. Once the appointment is made, the student can proceed for the visa interview on the date of appointment with the following documents:-

  1. A valid passport
  2. Form DS-160 confirmation page
  3. Application fee payment receipt
  4. Form I-20 issued by the school
  5. Academic transcripts and standardized test scores
  6. Proof of health insurance
  7. Financial documents as prove of having enough money to cover living expenses
  8. Proof of intend to return to one’s home country after graduating


  1. Can my husband/wife & children travel with me on an F 1 visa?

An F1 visa only allows travelling of the concerned student in the United States. However in case of married students, their spouses and children can travel on an F2 visa.


  1. Can my husband/ wife work on an F 2 Visa?

An F2 visa does not allow the spouses to work in the US but it gives the provision of getting the children enrolled in primary or secondary school programs.


  1. Can I transfer to another business school or program?

In case a student wants to get transferred to a different school or program, the SEVIS record of the student needs to be transferred to the new school and the student needs to get a fresh I-20 form from the new school within 15 days of the transfer.


  1. Can I travel outside the USA during my academic program?

Any travelling done by the student outside the US within the tenure covered by his or her F1 Visa should not exceed a period of 5 months. This includes travelling to his or her home country.


  1. Can I stay back in the USA after my academic program finishes?

If a student decides to stay in US after the expiration of F1 visa, then it can be done transferring the F1 visa to an H1-B visa or a green card. An H1-B visa allows a person to work for up to a period of 6 years in the US. However, a sponsor is required to get an H1-B visa.

With globalization and privatization dominating the present world economic scenario, Business management has become a necessity rather than an option. Getting enrolled in an MBA program in some of the leading B-schools in the world is going to be a tough competition for all the aspirants across the globe. That said the task is not an impossible one. People have done it in the past and anyone with the right mindset and determination can do it!