Applying for a Visa
Overview of Visa Issuance Process
- Obtain a passport from your home country. The passport must be valid at least six (6) months into the future of your arrival date.
- Receive a visa eligibility form DS-2019 (for J-1 visa exchange visitors) or I-20 (for F-1 visa students) from the International Center.
- Review the DS-2019 or I-20 form for accuracy. If there are any errors, notify the International Center immediately. Do not pay the SEVIS fee if there is an error on your form.
- Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. See this tutorial on paying the fee.
Apply for a visa at a United States Embassy or Consulate.
- Special instructions for Canadian citizens: Do NOT apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa at a consulate. Pay the SEVIS Fee, then bring your I-20 or DS-2019, I-901 receipt, and proof of funds with you to the port of entry.
- If you have an I-20, prepare for your F-1 visa appointment. If you have a DS-2019, prepare for your J-1 visa appointment. Schedule and attend your visa interview. Bring your documents with you. You will be interviewed in English. Remain calm and answer questions honestly.
- Wait for the embassy or consular office to return your passport to you or inform you it is ready to pick up with your F-1 or J-1 visa in it. Be sure to get your I-20 or DS-2019 back. You will need this for entry to the USA.
- See instructions for Entering the USA.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.