The visa is a permit stamped inside your passport by an official of another country's consulate or embassy that enables you to enter that country. You must have a valid visa in your passport to enter the United States. A visa to enter the U.S. is only issued at a U.S. consulate outside of the United States. The most common type of visa issued for study in the U.S. is the F-1 visa.
New Student - What is needed to apply for an F-1 visa?
SEVIS I-20 issued by the University for attendance
Admission letter for acceptance to an academic or language program
Valid passport that does not expire for at least six months
Proof of financial support
Proof of ties to your home country - you’ll need to show you intend to go back to your home country upon completion of studies
Proof of visa application fee
Proof of SEVIS fee payment
Passport size photo