Applying for F-1 Visa

Applying for F-1 Visa

Applying for Your F-1 Visa

You must apply for your visa well in advance of your arrival as it can take several months to obtain the F-1 student visa. The U.S. Department of State states that F-1 student visas can be issued up to 365 days in advance of the program start date. Be sure to check the website of the consulate where you will apply for a visa for detailed instructions.

Pre Application Checklist

You will need the following documents in order to begin the F-1 visa application process: 

  1. I-20 Certificate of Eligibility: If you have been admitted to University of Dallas, and you have submitted all of your required immigration documents, your I-20 is available for download in your Student Status Portal. Your I-20 is required when applying for an F-1 student visa at an American embassy or consulate and for entry into the United States. This document is an acknowledgement that your record is in the SEVIS system. Thoroughly review your I-20 to make sure all of the information is correct. Be sure to sign the form at the bottom of page.
  2. SEVIS Payment Fee Receipt: All prospective F-1 students must pay a one-time SEVIS fee prior to applying for the visa. You will submit the SEVIS fee receipt as part of your application. SEVIS Fee payment instructions can be found here. If you are renewing your F-1 visa, it is recommended that you have proof of your previous SEVIS fee payment. You will not need to pay the SEVIS fee again. You can view and print your SEVIS Fee receipt by clicking “Check I-901 Status” at the top of this page. 

Visa Application Process

  1. Complete the online DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application. A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is available here for your review. 
  2. Schedule Your Visa Interview - After you have completed the DS-160, you will schedule your visa appointment at your closest U.S. embassy or consulate. It is generally recommended that you apply for a visa in your home country rather than a third country if possible.

    At this appointment you will need to present the following documents:

    • Your I-20 Certificate of Eligibility
    • The SEVIS fee receipt (I-901)
    • Your DS-160 confirmation page
    • A copy of your financial support documents (e.g. bank statements) as evidence that you have sufficient funds to meet the expenses of studying at University of Dallas
    • A valid passport
    • Passport-size photographs (that you uploaded in the DS-160 application)
    • Completed required visa application forms (available on the U.S. consular websites.)

    Check the website of the U.S. consulate/embassy where you are applying to see if there are other requirements.

    An application fee and an interview will also be required. 

    Find the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

    Find the visa appointment wait times at your local consulate.

  3. Attend Your Interview

Important Things to Remember

  • You may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the starting date noted on the I-20 form. If you try to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before this starting date, you may not be permitted to enter the U.S.

  • Pay particular attention to the starting date noted on your I-20 form, as you must enter the U.S. by this date. If you cannot enter the U.S. by this date, please get in touch with ISSO to discuss changing your start date. Late arrivals will not be permitted.

  • The expiration date on your visa may not match the end date of your degree program. If your visa expires before you complete your degree program, you will apply for a new visa on your first trip outside the U.S. after your current visa expires.