Applying for Your F-1 Visa Stamp

Newly Admitted F-1 Students

Once you have received your Form I-20, you will need to make an appointment for an interview with a Consular Officer at an American Embassy or Consulate local to the city where you reside. Please refer to the checklist below for documents that you will need to prepare before going for your interview.

What to Bring to Your Visa Appointment

Please review the list below and make sure you have these items with you when you go to your visa appointment. Keep in mind that your local Consulate or Embassy may require additional documents beyond what is listed below, so it is a good idea to call ahead of time and check. It is your responsibility to make sure you bring the necessary documentation to your visa appointment.

  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student
  • Proof of Payment of SEVIS I-901 Fee
  • Documentation of your financial ability to meet the estimated expenses for the first year of your program. This should include the documentation you submitted via iTorero (updated bank statements are recommended), as well as sponsor letter, and any scholarship letters
  • Evidence of English proficiency (for example, your TOEFL scores)
  • Your Passport, valid for at least 6 months into the future and with available empty pages
  • Confirmation page of Application Form DS-160 (to complete the Form DS-160)
  • Proof of payment of the non-refundable application fee
  • Visa Reciprocity Fee (if applicable)
  • Your official school transcripts, if you are a transfer student applying for a new visa
  • Color photographs that meet passport requirements

FAQ: "When should I schedule my visa appointment?"

Table exemplifying visa appointment questions.

You should apply for your F-1 visa appointment as soon as you receive your Form I-20. The Consulate or Embassy may take longer than you had planned to issue your visa, or may require you to obtain additional documents--so plan ahead! You may want to contact the Consulate or Embassy ahead of time to inquire about the details of their visa application procedure, for example:

  • what is the current waiting time to get an appointment?
  • what documents are required?
  • how long will it take to receive my visa?
  • is there a processing fee?