Student Visa Process

After you have received your Form I-20, you must apply for your F-1 Student visa in your home country.

Below has information regarding the rules and process, but for complete information visit U.S. Homeland Security’s website.

First Steps

  1. Pay the U.S. SEVIS I-901 Fee of $200 and have the printed receipt that proves payment before your visa interview. You will not be able to do your visa interview unless you do this.

  2. Apply for your visa as soon as possible in your home country! There may be a considerable wait time for both the visa interview and visa processing. Check the wait time information for specific embassies and consulates.

  3. Gather all your documentation required by the U.S. embassy/consulate in your home country. U.S. Government officials require evidence to prove that you qualify for an F-1 visa. Here is the full list of documents required or check on your local embassy/consulate’s website.

    Please note: Canadian citizens are not required to apply for an F-1 visa but will need to show their I-20 at U.S. Customs and they must adhere to all F-1 visa regulations.

Important to Remember

  • You must have a valid F-1 visa to enter the United States.
  • The embassy/consulate will not issue your visa more than 4 months before your Form I-20’s program start date.

  • You must have a good educational objective for coming to the United States to study.

  • By law, you are seen as someone who plans to remain in the U.S. permanently. You need to prove to the Consular Officers that you will come back to your home country after your studies are over. Be prepared to explain your ties to your home country and keep a positive attitude.

  • Check over your visa before you leave the embassy/consulate to make sure everything is correct and your name matches your name on your passport.

Visa Denial?

Contact the ISS office immediately with complete details of what was said and what documents you presented with your application. It will be hard for us to give you advice or provide additional documents if we do not have the full details of what occurred. We will work together to see if we can provide anything further to change the embassy/consulate’s mind about your visa.