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Applying for F-1 Visa

Applying for F1 Visa:

The following instructions and suggestions for applying for the F-1 visa are of a general nature, and may apply to consular visa processing anywhere.

When Should I Apply for My Visa?
You are permitted to apply for the F-1 visa up to 4 months before the start date of your program. You should not delay applying for your visa. A visa application form and detailed instructions will be available from the consular office or their web site.

First Steps

  1. Upon receiving the I-20, read the detailed instructions in your packet about paying the SEVIS fee. Additional information is available on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website:
  2. You are required to pay the $200 SEVIS fee to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) prior to applying for the F-1 visa. (This is not a school fee or your visa application fee). You must have a paper receipt showing payment of this fee when applying for the visa. Take your receipt to the visa interview. The SEVIS fee cannot be paid at the consulate.
  3. When you have your SEVIS fee receipt, make an appointment to apply for your visa at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.

 Applying for the F-1 Visa at the Visa Office

  1. You must apply in person at the visa office.
  2. Apply for the correct visa. Do not plan to enter the United States on a B-2, Tourist visa or by way of the visa waiver program (WT). If you do, you will be misrepresenting your intentions in the U.S. and will jeopardize your opportunity to come here and stay here for the length of your studies.
  3. To obtain an F-1 visa, please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.