USA Visa Process

When should apply??...

Students are encouraged to apply for their visa early to provide ample time for visa processing. Students may apply for their visa as soon as they are prepared to do so.

The first step toward studying in the United States is to get accepted into an American institution or exchange program. Once you are accepted, you will have to provide a financial guarantee showing that you have the funds to attend the school. The school will review and verify your financial information, and then will send you a Certificate of Eligibility (form I-20 for the F-1 Student Visa or DS-2019 for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa). You can schedule your visa interview once you have your Certificate of Eligibility; make sure to pay the SEVIS fee and the visa application fee before your interview date.

Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date. If you apply for your visa more than 120 days prior to your start date or registration date as provided on the Form I-20, the Embassy or Consulate will hold your application until it is able to issue the visa. Consular officials will use that extra time for application processing.

Students are advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which requires that all initial or beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.

see (travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html)