The U.S. Student Visa Process

Don’t know where to start to get a U.S. student visa? Follow these step-by-step instructions:

    1. Obtain passport from your government. (Your passport must be valid at least six months prior to your intended visa application).

    2. Complete the instructions in your letter of offer:

      • Pay initial deposit

      • Complete and sign your acceptance form

      • Send in any outstanding documents as instructed in your letter

    3. After your offer acceptance has been processed, you will receive the SEVIS Form I-20. This is the form you take with you to the U.S. embassy for your interview. Carefully read all the information, paying particular attention to page 2.

    4. Pay the one-time SEVIS fee. Visit for guidance on this transaction.

    5. Make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country to apply for an F-1 visa and schedule an interview that will allow you enough time to comfortably arrive in the U.S for check-in.

    6. Schedule a visa interview preparation Skype call with the UI GSSP staff: email to request a call. We are happy to schedule a Skype call to give you tips for your interview and help you feel more comfortable with the process.

    7. Attend the interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to remember to bring the following documents:

      • A current passport (valid for at least six months)

      • Your original letter of offer from UI 

      • A valid SEVIS I-20 form issued by UI

      • Original copies of all financial documents (such as a bank statement, loan, scholarship, or affidavit of support) showing enough funding for one academic year

      • Proof of ties to your home country (such as a job, ownership of a property, or family business)

      • Copies of all academic transcripts and certificates

      • Copies of TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Versant English Placement Test or GMAT or GRE results (if any)

      • A copy of the SEVIS fee payment receipt

      • Photos as required (specifications will be explained on the relevant US Embassy or Consulate website)

Did You Know?

    • The student F-1 visa you will receive will be for your entire university program duration (this is inclusive of students taking ESL).

    • After completing your studies, you are eligible to undertake OPT (Optional Practical Training). This allows you to work in the U.S. for either one or three years after graduating depending on your major.

    • As per the recommendation of NAFSA (Association of International Educators), there are 10 Points to remember when applying for an F-1 or a J-1 visa:

      10 points to remember when applying for a F1 Student visa