All international students must have a valid entry visa before entering the U.S. You cannot apply for a student visa until you have received your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019). Please note that the following steps may differ from those of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your visa. Please consult your local embassy or consulate for exact instructions and guidelines.
Be sure to pay and process the SEVIS fee before appearing at the U.S. Port of Entry; you will not be able to pay this fee at the Port of Entry.
- If you are beginning a new F-1 or J-1 visa status, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee. You must bring the receipt of SEVIS fee payment with you to the visa interview.
- Make an appointment with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for your visa.
- Prepare and bring to your visa interview the following:
- A passport valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S.
- Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11) or DS-2019
- School admission letter
- Transcripts from previous schools attended and scores of standardized tests (TOEFL/GRE, etc)
- Completed visa application
- Two 2 inch x 2 inch (or 51 mm x 51 mm) photographs in the prescribed format.
- Receipt for the visa application fee
- Receipt for the SEVIS fee
- Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
- Any other information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.
Students wanting to enter the U.S. on another visa status should confirm that they can legally study on that visa type before entering the United States. If you enter the U.S. on a B visa or an F-2 visa, you will NOT be able to pursue a course of study. Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org