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What to Expect at the U.S. Embassy

The following information is provided to help you prepare for your appointment.  The procedures, however, 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 an appointment for review of your visa application. It is recommended that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel. 
  • Apply online for a nonimmigrant 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 non-refundable, $160.00 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--do not show the inspector the following unless asked:

  • Proof of financial support—copy of your I-134, bank statements or copy of certified bank letter
  • Macomb Community College admission letter
  • Copies of diplomas, degrees or certificates from previous schools
  • Documentation that proves you will return to your home country after graduation—property ownership, job offers or letter from employer, ties to your family and community

Process: Questions you may be asked during your interview

  • Depending on the location of your interview, you may be asked for digital fingerprints.
  • You may be asked several questions concerning your studies, such as:
--How did you find out about Macomb and why did you choose this school?
--What is your major and why did you choose it?
--How will this major relate to your future plans?
--Why do you want to study in the U.S.?
  • You may be asked several questions concerning your financial status, such as:
--Who is your sponsor?
--What is your sponsor’s occupation and what is their income?
--May I see your I-134 and bank statements?
--How much will your education cost?
  • You may be asked several questions concerning your post-graduate plans, such as:
--Are you returning home after you graduate? 
--When you return home, what are the employment prospects or job market for your degree in your country?
--Do you have friends or relatives in the U.S.?
--Will you work for your old employer when you return home or have a job secured already?
  • Be honest!

For additional information and an overview of U.S. Department of State policy for issuing student visas, please visit the U.S. Visa website.