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Applying for a Visa

How To Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the embassy or consulate website
Complete the Online Visa Application 
  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 - Learn more about completing the DS-160
    • ​Make sure to complete the online visa application at least two days before the interview.
    • Print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview. 
  • Photo - You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements

Schedule an Interview 

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. Ensure the embassy or consulate you choose is the one closest to your permanent residence. 

  • Check Visa Appointment Wait Time
  • New Students - Student visas for new students can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the start date for a course of study. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on your student visa more than 30 days before the start date. 

Prepare for Your Interview
  • Fees
    • Application Fee - please make sure to pay the $160 Application Fee before your interview. Please review the instructions available on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, where you will apply to learn more about fee payment. 
    • SEVIS Fee - once you receive the DS-2019 or I-20, please make sure to pay the SEVIS fee and obtain the payment receipt online. 
  • Gather Required Documents 
    • Passport - must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States. 
    • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
    • Application fee payment receipt. 
    • Photo - you will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. 
    • Form I-20 or DS-2019
    • Proof of having paid the SEVIS fee - Form I-797. 
    • Documentation evidencing financial ability to meet expenses - Financial Certification Form, bank statement, etc. 
    • Letter of Acceptance or Invitation - sent along with your acceptance package. 
​        *** Other documents may be required by your consulate, so please make sure to check the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for specifics. ***