How to Prepare for Your Visa Appointment

The Department of State issues visas at U.S.. embassies and consulates.  To identify the U.S. embassy or consulate that is most convenient for you to visit, go to the website of the embassy or consulate and follow the instruction on the site to the do the following:  Do NOT make travel arrangements before you receive the Visa. 

  • Pay your visa fee
  • Obtain acceptable photographs
  • Complete your on-line DS 160 visa application
  • Schedule an appointment for your visa interview


You should make your appointment for your visa interview as soon as possible after receiving your Form I-20 and paying the I-901 SEVIS fee.   You must bring the following documents to the interview:

  • Form I-20 issued by the school you wish to enroll.
  • Printed Form DS-160, "Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application," confirmation page
  • Passport valid for at least six month after you plan to enter the United States.
  • Two-inch by two-inch photo of yourself 
  • Receipt for your $160 visa applications fee payment.
  • Receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee payment.


SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, an Internet-based system that SEVP uses to maintain information on SEVP-certified schools, Department of State certified exchange visitor programs, F, M, and J nonimmigrants, and their dependents. 


For more information on submitting a student visa application, visit Travel.State.Gov, the official Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

For detailed information on becoming an international student in the United States, visit EducationUSA.