Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Preparing For Your F-1 Visa Interview

This information is for nonimmigrants who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State website, at:

 

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

 

STEPS

  1. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 international student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov.
     
  2. After you receive a Form I-20 from the school that you want to attend, follow the U.S. Embassy/ Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days before the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.
     
  3. Complete the following forms:
    1. DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form
    2. DS-158 Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant
    3. DS-157 Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (required only for males between the ages of 16 and 45; not required for females)

  4. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate web site.
     
  5. If your Form I-20 was issued on or after September 1, 2004, and is marked for “initial” attendance (see #3 on your Form I-20), pay the $200 SEVIS fee.
     

    To Pay By Mail

    • Obtain a Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.”
    • Download the form (go to http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm and follow the links for the Paper Form or fill out the form online at www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/. You may also request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the U.S.)
    • Complete the Form I-901
      • Write your name and date of birth exactly as it appears on your Form I-20.
      • Enter SEVIS ID Number correctly from Form I-20.
      • Provide accurate address where you want the receipt mailed.
      • If you have chosen expedited delivery, your address must be a street address, not a post office box.
    • Prepare a check, international money order, or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only*) in the amount of $200 USD, made payable to “I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee.” If you have selected expedited delivery of the receipt, include an additional $35 USD and a contact phone number for courier delivery.
    • Mail the completed I-901 and accurate payment to the following address:
      • By Mail:
        I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
        P.O. Box 970020
        St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
        USA
      • By Courier (expedite delivery):
        I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
        1005 Convention Plaza
        St. Louis, MO 63101
        USA
        Phone: 314-418-4393 (USA Country Code 011)
    • A Form I-797 receipt notice will be mailed within 3 days of processing the fee. In most cases, you will receive an expedited delivery within 3-5 days. However, the time varies by country and how far you live from a major transportation center. Currently, DHL is the SEVP Courier. The DHL web site can provide the estimated delivery time for your country.
    • Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your important immigration documents.
      *Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank. You may obtain a check from: a) a bank chartered or operated in the United States; b) a foreign subsidiary of a U.S. bank; or c) a foreign bank that has an arrangement with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a U.S. bank
     

    To Pay Online

    • Fill out Form I-901 at www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/.
    • Complete the form online and provide the necessary Visa, MasterCard, or American Express information.
      • Enter your name and date of birth exactly as it appears on your Form I-20.
      • Enter SEVIS ID Number correctly from Form I-20.
      • Provide accurate address where you want the receipt mailed.
    • Print a copy of the online receipt. This receipt will be shown as proof of payment to the visa-issuing officer at the US Embassy or Consulate.
    • Form I-797 receipt will be mailed to the address you provide.
    • Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your important immigration documents.
      If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the $200 USD SEVIS fee.
     

    To Pay by Western Union Quick Pay Service

    • Western Union collects the SEVIS I-901 fee, in local currency, along with the needed Form I-901 data and transmits the payment directly to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The properly completed Western Union receipt serves as immediate proof-of-payment for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate and for admission at a U.S. port of entry. This option is available in any country where Western Union offers its Quick Pay™ service.
    • Follow the instructions provided at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu_instr.htm
    • Step One: Print out and bring a copy of these instructions along with a copy of the sample form to a local participating Western Union Agent location.
    • Step Two: Go to a local participating Western Union Agent location.
      To find the nearest Western Union Agent location go to http://www.payment-solutions.com/agent.asp and select a country or call the telephone number of the Western Union Commercial Services Network Agent in your country as listed in your phone book.
    • Step Three: Request and fill out the blue form.
      You must request a Blue Form at the participating Western Union Agent location. This form may show words such as “Payment Services” or “Quick Pay” printed in the applicable local language. However, please note that all Quick Pay forms will be blue. Fill out all appropriate information. Go to http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu_fm_inter.htm for sample forms for F visas as well as instructions and sample forms for Western Union Agent locations in the United States.

  6. Prepare and bring the following to your visa interview:
    • A passport valid for at least six monthss
    • Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11)
    • School admission letter
    • Completed visa applications (DS-156, DS-158, and, if applicable, DS-157)
    • Two 2”x 2” photographs in the prescribed format (see the travel.state.gov website)
    • A receipt for the visa application fee
    • A receipt for the SEVIS fee - If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.
    • Financial evidence showing you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
    • Provide any information proving that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.

  7. Remain calm and answer all questions asked to you openly and honestly.
 

If you have any questions, please contact OSU-OKC International Admissions at melissa.garner@osuokc.edu or phone 405-945-3315 or fax 405-945-9120.