F-1 & J-1 Students - Visa Application
All F-1 and J-1 students who are currently abroad** will need to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in their passports before coming to the U.S. (Citizens of Canada are not required to obtain a visa stamp, but must present their valid passport, valid I-20 or DS-2019 and receipt for payment of the SEVIS fee when applying for admission to the U.S.).
- The U.S. Department of State offers a list of embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions and their visa application procedures.
- Information about visa wait times is available here. Note that the visa wait time is an estimate and subject to change without notice.
- Plan to schedule your visa application appointment at least one month in advance, and in many cases, applications must be scheduled many months in advance.
- Some students may be subjected to a security check, which may delay visa issuance, sometimes considerably.
Preparing for Your Visit to the Consulate for F-1 or J-1 Visa
- Watch Student to Student: Studying in the States
- F-1 and J-1 applicants must demonstrate to the U.S. consulate that they do not plan to reside in the U.S. permanently.
- Review 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa.
- Be prepared to provide the consulate with ample documentation that you plan to return to your home country.
- F-1 and J-1 applicants must also pay the SEVIS fee prior to their visa applications.
- Once you pay the fee, print out the receipt to take to your visa interview.
Your F-1 or J-1 visa application must include:
- Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by U.Va.
- Forms DS-160 (You should complete this form electronically and printed.) Review the U.S. Department of State’s Electronic Visa Application Forms Instructions Page.
- Passport valid for at least six months beyond your planned arrival in the U.S.
- Any previous passports with U.S. visas or entry stamps
- Passport style photograph attached to Form DS-160
- Evidence of payment of the SEVIS fee
- Evidence of payment of the visa application fee and any visa issuance fees
- Evidence of financial capability
- Evidence that you do not plan to immigrate to the U.S.
- Note: Do not assume that this list is comprehensive. Some consulates may require additional documentation.