Applying for Your Visa

You may apply for an F-1 student visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence after you receive your Form I-20 and pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. 

Applying for an F-1 visa may take several weeks. Please consider the time it will take to process your visa and return your passport to you. Check the visa appointment wait times for each U.S. embassy/consulate.

Canadian and Bermudian citizens: you are not required to apply for an F-1 visa. However, you will need to present your Canadian or Bermudian passport, I-20, I-901 SEVIS fee receipt, and supporting financial documentation at the U.S. port of entry in order to be admitted to the U.S. in F-1 status.

If you currently have a valid F-1 visa in your passport, you do not need to apply for a new F-1 visa if you used it to enter the U.S. in F-1 status in the past, even if you have been outside the U.S. for more than five months and/or if it shows a different school name or SEVIS ID number. Make sure the visa expiration date is after the date you plan to enter the U.S.

If you were issued an F1 visa and you never used it to enter the U.S. the SEVIS ID number printed on the visa and I-20 must match. 

F-1 Visa Application Steps

  1. Visit US to locate the U.S. consulate or embassy that serves the area where you live. Typically, visa applications are done through
  2. Complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application Form DS-160 and pay the visa application fee. Make sure that you print your payment receipt and DS-160 confirmation page.
    • You must enter the name of the contact person or organization in the U.S. in the "U.S. Point of Contact Information" section of the DS-160. Enter the person's name shown under "School Official to Contact Upon Arrival" in the "School Information" section on page 1 of your I-20. Enter the "School Address" shown in the "School Information" section.
    • Phone number: 617-266-1400