Getting a student visa takes about 3 to 5 days, and valid from the day it is stamped in your passport. You have no reason to worry at this stage.
Sure, it takes a relatively short time to have a student visa issued after submitting all the required documentation (a week or so I'm told), but there are numerous steps before that:
- Receive acceptance letter from school
- Send statement of financial responsibility to school
- School to issue I-20
- Schedule, and interview with US embassy / complete and submit required documentation
Considering that it took about a month to receive my I-20 from my second choice school (no delay on my part sending financial responsibility statement), I think 2 months in a realistic time frame, allowing for unforeseen delays as well (remember a lot of the above steps are beyond your control). In addition, I don't want to arrive in the US the day before orientation starts (a few weeks before would be ideal), plus it is a busy time for the US embassy issuing visas, with lots of summer students applying.
So I think I should be worrying at this stage.
«ě», NewHere, it turns out I was wrong in my earlier post, so here goes.
I had a visa approved based on my second-choice school's I-20. In the event I opt to go to another school, they said I only need to show that school's I-20 to the immigration officer upon arrival in the US. So the interviewing I said was required, is not. Sorry for the wrong info.
NewHere, like «ě», I told the interviewer that I intend to stay in the US after graduation. No problem at all. Although, I was asked where my family were. I told him (truthfully) that none of my family are in the US, or my home country (Japan). I cannot say for sure whether the latter was a factor in his reaction.
I'm still waiting to hear from my first choice, by the way.