STUDENT PROCESS AND STEPS TO OBTAIN AN F-1 VISA
Congratulations on your decision to study in the United States and at Millikin University! A very rewarding and life changing experience awaits you!
If you are receiving this document, then you have already been accepted to Millikin University and have received your Form I-20. The Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in our database called SEVIS.
STEP 1 : PAYING THE SEVIS I-901 FEE
· Pay your SEVIS I-901 fee ($200 USD). The SEVIS I-901 Fee MUST BE PAID ONLINE AND WITH A VALID CREDIT CARD. THIS IS THE ONLY OPTION TO PAY THE FEE.
· The fee is required for all F students. Paying this fee is very important. Without this fee, you will not be eligible to apply for a visa.
· Please go to: www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.jsp and click the “Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment”
· Follow all instructions clearly
· DO NOT FORGET TO PRINT YOUR RECEIPT OF PAYMENT, AS THIS MUST BE TAKEN WITH YOU TO YOUR VISA APPOINTMENT.
STEP 2: HOW DO I GET A VISA TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES?
· After paying the SEVIS I-901 fee and printing a receipt, you can apply for a visa at any American embassy or consulate before you leave for the United States.
· Apply for a visa using an online application for FORM DS-160
o HOW TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION?
o You must complete the online visa application
o YOU MUST PRINT THE VISA APPLICATION FORM CONFIRMATION PAGE AND BRING TO YOUR INTERVIEW.
o PHOTO – you will upload your photo while completing the online FORM DS-160 (Please take note of the photograph requirements)
STEP 3: SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW
· You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live.
· Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Check wait times: here
· New Students – F-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States in F-1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.
STEP 4: PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW (VERY IMPORTANT)
· Gather Required Documentation
· Passport valid for travel to the United States - Your 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, if you are required to pay before your interview.
· Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the photograph requirements.
· A signed FORM I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students
· Additional Documentation May Be Required
o Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish that you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:
o Your academic preparation, such as:
§ Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended; and
o Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
o How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.
STEP 5: ATTEND YOUR VISA INTERVIEW
· During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
· Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
· After your visa interview, your application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application.
· When the visa is approved, you may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you.
· Review the visa processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.
If you have any further questions about your F-1 student visa, please contact:
Coordinator for International Student Services