Congratulations on your admission to Saint Michael’s College! Please read this important immigration-related information carefully as it will help you prepare for your arrival in the United States. Once you receive your I-20, you will need to make arrangements to apply for your Student Visa (F-1).
How to Apply for an F-1 Visa to Study in the US
* Be sure to check with the US Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your visa for any variations to these instructions. *
Country-specific information about applying for a visa can be found at US Travel Docs.
- Your passport
- Your Immigration Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) issued by Saint Michael’s College
- A credit or debit card
Once you have paid the fee, print a copy of the receipt. You will need this when you make and attend your visa interview appointment.
NOTE: You also may pay the fee with a check or money order, as well as through Western Union. Information on payment options can be found at the Department of Homeland Security.
Step 2: Complete Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application online and upload your photograph. After completing the online form, print the confirmation page. You will need this during the visa application process.
Step 3: Schedule your visa interview. Current wait times for an interview appointment are posted by the US Department of State.
Step 4: Pay your visa application fee. Contact the US Consulate or Embassy where you will attend your visa interview for payment instructions.
Step 5: Attend your interview. Bring the following documents to the nearest US Consulate or Embassy for your visa interview:
- Your Form I-20
- Your passport
- Supporting financial documentation
- The receipt from your SEVIS fee payment
- The From DS-160 confirmation
Preparing for Your Visa Interview
Complete information about applying for a student visa is provided by the US Department of State.
This video explains what happens at the interview.
If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not have to apply for a student visa. You will present your Canadian passport, the Form I-20, the receipt from your SEVIS Fee payment, and other supporting financial documents to the immigration officer at the US point of entry. You will receive a student permit (Form I-94).
Visa Waiver Program
There are several countries from which visitors come to the United States on a WT Visa (Visa Waiver Program). This travel visa does not permit you to study in the United States. If you enter the US on this visa (WT), you will not be permitted to study at Saint Michael’s College.
Tips for Entering the US
Be sure you have the following items on your person:
- Passport with envelope of immigration documents and nonimmigrant visa
- SEVIS Form I-20 AB or DS-2019
- A copy of the financial certification (i.e., bank statement) you submitted with your application to Saint Michael’s College
- Evidence of student status (i.e., your acceptance letter)
- Name and contact information for Designated School Official (DSO) or Responsible Officer (RO) at Saint Michael’s College
Additional information about preparing for your entry into the US, as well as what to expect at a port of entry is available from US Customs and Border Protection.
In Country Advice
For free advice and guidance, visit your local Education USA Advising Center. Education USA staff will help you to prepare for your visa interview. There is no cost for their services.
Education USA also provides free pre-departure orientations as well as general advice about living and studying in the USA.
Saint Michael’s strongly recommends that you visit your local center as soon as possible.
Resources for Immigration and Visa Information
- SEVIS fee payment
- SEVIS payment options: SEVIS I-901 Fee, see Questions about payments
- US Travel Docs: country-specific information about obtaining and applying for a US visa
- Form DS-160: Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Form DS-160: Frequently Asked Questions
- US Department of State: Student (F-1) Visa Information
- US Embassy and Consulate
- US Customs and Border Protection (preparation for travel, arrival procedures)