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Student Visas

Congratulations!  You've been accepted to attend school in the U.S., and whether you will pursue an undergraduate degree, graduate studies or you are going to a public or private high school, you should feel very proud of this accomplishment.

While getting into U.S. schools is tough, getting a visa to attend school shouldn't be. If you have all the proper documentation and have paid all fees, the U.S. Embassy can help facilitate your dream of studying in the U.S.  Nonetheless, all applicants for student visas must overcome the legal presumption that they intend to immigrate to the U.S.  During the visa interview, a prospective student visa holder must convince the consular officer that he or she fully intends to return to the home country upon completion of U.S. studies.

Forms and Documentation

All applicants must schedule an appointment and bring the standard visa application documentation to the Embassy.

Student visa applicants are also required to bring certain other forms of documentation to their visa interviews. These include:

1.The I-20 form issued by the applicant’s school.  Please note that if the entry date listed on the I-20 form has already passed, or will pass before the visa issuance process is complete, the applicant must obtain a new I-20 from his/her school or request a letter from the school indicating that the applicant has permission to arrive at school after the date on the I-20.

2.Proof of ability to pay for the program. Applicants should be prepared to present documentation relating to scholarships, grants, and loans, if applicable, as well as affidavits of support and bank statements from sponsors.

3.Receipt for payment of the SEVIS fee. This fee can be paid through Western Union, or online.  SEVIS is a program run by the Department of Homeland Security. The Embassy is not authorized to collect this fee on their behalf.

4.Recent transcripts, standardized test scores, and other evidence to prove that the applicant is a bona fide student whose main purpose of travel is to complete a course of study in the U.S.

Applicants must also demonstrate that they possess sufficient knowledge of English to pursue their intended course of study.

U.S. Entry Information

U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations state that holders of student or exchange visitor NIVs will not be admitted to the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the beginning of the program date, or start date, as stated on the Form I-20 student visas or DS-2019 (exchange visitor visas).  Applicants should consider that date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.

Useful Links

Detailed information on student visa requirements, regulations and guidelines