Studying in U.S. -- Overseas Students

If getting an online degree from an U.S. university is not an option for you, and you are thinking of attend a univeristy in the U.S., the following information might be useful for you.

 
Below are some commonly asked questions international students have about student visas. Read on to find out how and when to apply and what required documents you need to submit.

How do I apply for a student visa?
Once you are admitted, your university will send you a SEVIS I-20 or SEVIS DS-2019. For guidelines on how to complete the form, contact the consulate or go to travel.state.gov/visa/questions_embassy.html to see if the consulate has written information. Many consulates require fee payments to local banks that will give you a receipt for fee payment. Interviews are required, so check to find out if you need to make an appointment.

What documents are required for the visa?

  • SEVIS I-20 or SEVIS DS-2019, issued by a U.S. college, school, or university
  • An application Form DS-156, available from the consulate or at travel.state.gov
  • Form DS-158, available from the consulate or at travel.state.gov
  • Males between the ages of 16 and 45 must complete Form DS-157, available from the consulate or at travel.state.gov
  • A passport valid for at least six months after entry into the United States
  • One photograph travel.state.gov has current photo requirements
  • A receipt for visa processing fee, information available from the consulate or at the specific consulate Web site
  • Financial documentation supporting study in the United States, as indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019
  • Letter of admission, evidence of applicant's TOEFL score, diplomas or transcripts from previous study—may not be required but a consular officer may request this information

When should I apply?
Because a personal interview will be required of most visa applicants, you should learn about the process at the particular post where you'll apply and make an appointment in advance. The appointment date should be at a time when the documents listed above will be in hand. Security measures are in place, so the earlier you go the better. Also, you want to make sure you'll have the visa before the semester of admission.



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