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An interview at the embassy or consulate is required for almost all visa applicants.

All applicants for an F student visa must provide:

  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160. Form DS-160 must be completed online. Print application form confirmation page.
  • A passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.
  • A receipt to show payment of the visa application fee, a visa issuance fee if applicable (Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Table) and a separate SEVIS I-901 fee receipt. While all F visa applicants must pay the visa application (MRV) fee, including dependents, only the F-1 principal applicants must pay the SEVIS fee.

Because each student's personal and academic situation is different, two students applying for the same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. For that reason, the guidelines that follow are general and can be changed by consular officers overseas, depending on each student's situation.

All applicants should be prepared to provide:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, ACT or placement test
  • Financial evidence that shows that the student or sponsor have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study. For example, if the student or sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If the student or sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

Applicants with dependents must also provide:

  • Proof of the student's relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates).
  • It is preferred that families apply for F-1 and F-2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder's passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. embassy or consulate worldwide is available on the Department of State (DOS) website at Visa Wait Times, and on most embassy websites.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, a quick ink-free fingerprint scan will be taken. Some applicants will need additional screening, and will be notified when they apply.

Please review important information pertaining to proving your non-immigrant intent.

For additional information, see the DOS website.