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F-1 Students

International students need the F-1Visa to legally enter the United States for the purpose of studying at a U.S. institution.
An international student’s spouse and/or children need the F-2 Visa to legally enter the United States.

F Visas are U.S. State Department documents that can be obtained only at the U.S. Consulate in the student’s home country.

Steps for Obtaining the F-1 or F-2 Visa:

  1. Submit college admissions application.
  2. Receive notification of college admissions.
  3. Submit completed Pre-I-20 application to ISSO.
  4. ISSO reviews Affidavit of Support and determines financial eligibility for issuance of the I-20.
    See Pre I-20 Package.
  5. ISSO mails I-20 document(s) to student (and dependents).
  6. Upon receiving the I-20, you and/or your dependents need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and make an appointment at the U.S. Consulate to apply for the appropriate F Visas.
  7. Bring a valid passport, I-20, Financial Documents and the SEVIS I-901 payment receipt to the U.S. Consulate to apply for the F Visa.
  8. After receiving the F-1 Visa, a student is ready to enter the United States.
  9. At the U.S. Port of Entry, present a valid passport with the F-1 Visa and I-20 to the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service (USCIS) officer.
  10. Report to ISSO within 2 to 3 days of your arrival in the United States. Bring your passport, I-94, F-1 Visa and I-20 with you. The I-94 (Electronic arrival/departure record) can be obtained via
  11. Once you report to ISSO, the USCIS designated school official (DSO) will notify SEVIS (Students Exchange Visitor Information System) of your arrival at the college and provide you with a visa/immigration and college orientation.

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