U.S. Entry Visa
U.S. Entry Visas are issued by the U.S. Department of State and are obtained at U.S. Embassies or Consulates abroad. The visa application must be presented during a scheduled interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- If you are entering the U.S. for the first time, you will need to apply for a U.S. Entry Visa.
- If you are a continuing student and your U.S. Entry Visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new one in order to return to the U.S. from abroad.
Where To Apply
- A student applying for a visa should consult the documentary requirements of the individual embassy or consulate at which they will be applying.
- Dependents will need to show proof of the relationship to the primary visa holder, e.g. marriage and/or birth certificates.
- See the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application for instructions on completing the form.
- It is recommended that a student apply for a U.S. Entry Visa in their home country.
The U.S. Entry Visa is a stamp placed in your passport.
- Once your visa application is approved, the consular officer will issue a stamp in your passport.
- The purpose of the U.S. Entry Visa is to gain entry into the U.S.
- The expiration date on your F-1 visa stamp has no bearing on your immigration status and permission to remain in the U.S.
- If you maintain your status, you may stay in the U.S. and travel domestically with an expired visa.
- You must obtain a new U.S. Entry Visa in order to return to the U.S. after traveling abroad.
You must establish non-immigrant intent, i.e., prove that you have ties to your home country such as family, property, or employment, and plan to return after your program ends.
An F-1 student must:
- Pay the SEVIS fee.
- Bring the SEVIS fee payment confirmation (that can be printed from the fee website) to the interview.
- Be prepared to show that they have adequate funding.
F-2 dependents are not required to pay the SEVIS fee.
An F-1 students with the same SEVIS ID is not required to pay the SEVIS fee again.
Your U.S. Entry Visa (F-1) may be issued no earlier than 120 days before the program start date on the I-20.
New F-1 students and their dependents may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the program start date on the I-20.