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What to Expect at the U.S. Embassy

The following information is provided to benefit you in preparation only. The procedures are subject to change without warning and do not guarantee that you will be issued a Visa. Do not make travel plans unless you secure your Visa.

Prepare: Your Visa Application*

  • Once you receive your I-20 and pay the SEVIS fee, you must contact your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to set-up a visa appointment. It is recommended that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel.
  • Apply online for a non-immigrant visa, form DS-160. Print the confirmation page to show at your interview. Upload a photo of yourself for the visa at the time of application. For photo requirements, please visit the U.S. Visa website.
  • Pay the visa application fee by following the instructions on your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website. Some countries may also have a visa issuance fee.
  • Reminder - every dependent person listed on your I-20 will also need a visa.

*Citizens of Canada and Mexico:  Visa application procedures may be different for Canadian and Mexican students who will be applying at a border.

Organize: Gather your Documents to bring to the embassy

  • Signed I-20
  • Passport
  • Paid SEVIS receipt (I-901)
  • Confirmation of visa application page (DS-160)
  • Paid DS-160 receipt (if you are required to pay online before your interview)

*Additional documentation may be required at the interview. Please review the U.S. Department of State’s guidance.