In order to apply for a visa at a United States Embassy or Consulate, you must have:
Once you have all the required documentation, it is best to apply for the visa as soon as possible to ensure that there is sufficient time for processing. You will need your SEVIS ID and ALI School Code, both of which are listed on the I-20, to make an appointment for your visa interview. Consult the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to you to find their current visa processing times.
Usually, the U.S. Embassy does not allow you to apply for the student visa earlier than 6 months before the program's start date listed on your I-20.
If you have specific questions about obtaining your student F-1 Visa, contact us for legal consultation. Director Shawn Leigh PDSO at ALI and Attorney at Law will assist you with further questions.
*SEVIS I-901 Fee Information
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security charges a non-refundable $200 SEVIS fee for those seeking an F-1 visa from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance at a school approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Fee payment is not required for F-2 dependents. This fee may be paid by submitting form I-901 online. You will need a credit card to complete the online form. Print a copy of the payment receipt which must be presented to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate before the F-1 visa will be issued. For more detailed information on the fee payment process, go to the SEVP website. The I-20 form is needed before you can fill out the I-901 form.
As a person applying for an F-1visa, you must prove that you do not intend to immigrate to the United States. Under US law, all student visa applicants are viewed by the US Consular Officer as "intending immigrants" until the officer is convinced otherwise. You will need to show strong ties to your home country or place of residence to secure a student visa. Proof of strong ties to your country may include family, property ownership, financial statements, employment, or letters from family or friends.
You should be able to verify the financial information shown on your Form I-20. This may be done with your personal bank statement or a statement of financial guarantee and letter of support from a sponsor confirming their willingness to support your education program. A sponsor may be your employer, a family member, or the government of your home country.
Our students have varying reasons for studying English; some students study English to prepare for undergraduate or graduate degrees in the US, others study for business or pleasure. During the visa interview, you should be able to explain confidently your purpose for studying English in the US.