Basic requirements for a Student Visa
Congratulations on your admission to Irvine Valley
College! Now that you have been admitted
to IVC, you will need to apply for the F-1 visa at the US Embassy/Consulate in
your home country. Please review the
information below as it will assist you in this process.
Contact EducationUSA to Attend a Pre-Departure Orientation:
US government hosts education centers around the world that provide helpful
information to international students.
Pre-Departure Orientations provide helpful information about the visa
process, life in America and how to prepare for your departure. Although not required prior to your arrival
in the USA, a pre-departure orientation can be very helpful to answer your
questions! To find your local EducationUSA
advising center, please visit: http://www.educationusa.info/.
SEVIS Fee Payment:
Before you apply for the F-1 visa, you must first pay the $200 SEVIS
fee. SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor
Information System) is the internet based program that is used by the
U.S. government and all certified US colleges/universities to monitor F-1
visa students in the United States.
fee must be paid by all F-1 visa applicants prior to the visa appointment at
the US Embassy. This fee is not an IVC
fee, but a fee required by the US government. The SEVIS fee is currently
$200 for F-1 visa students. The fee can be paid on-line, by mail or at
Western Union offices that offer the Quick Pay service.
Pay the SEVIS Fee:
http://www.fmjfee.com/ and complete the
required information. The school code
for IVC is LOS 214F01465000. Your SEVIS
ID can be found at the top left of your I-20 and begins with the letter “N”.
may pay the $200 SEVIS fee on-line by using a Visa, MasterCard or American
a copy of the online receipt. You will
need to bring this with you to your F-1 visa appointment.
The above information is for use when paying on-line using
a credit card; this is the recommended method of payment. If you will pay the SEVIS fee by mail or by
Western Union, please see https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu-instructions
for more information.
F-1 Visa Application Appointment:
To find your nearest US Embassy/Consulate: www.usembassy.gov
NOTE: Canadian citizens do not need to apply for
the F-1 visa to enter the U.S. but
must still pay the SEVIS FEE and present their I-20 at the U.S. port of Entry.
After you visa is approved you may only enter the U.S. 30 days before
the Program Start Date listed on your I-20.
Steps to Apply for the F-1 Visa:
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 www.usembassy.gov.
2. After you receive an I-20 form from the school, 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
from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for
3. Complete the required application form. Most U.S. Embassies/Consulates
now require that you complete and submit your visa application form (DS-160)
and photos on-line. Please consult the US Embassy/Consulate in your
country for specific instructions.
4. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on
your local U.S. embassy or consulate's web site.
5. Pay the required SEVIS fee of $200.00. See above to find instructions on the
ways that you can pay the
SEVIS fee. You must bring the SEVIS fee
payment receipt with you to the interview.
Please visit www.fmjfee.com for more
information about the SEVIS fee.
6. Prepare and bring all items as indicated on the U.S.
Embassy website to your visa interview, including:
- Passport valid
for travel to the U. S. - Your passport must be valid for at least six
months beyond your period of stay in the U. S. (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more
than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa
must submit a separate application.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page Application fee payment
receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
- Photo – You
will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one
printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
- Form I-20 –
Your school will send you a SEVIS-generated Form I-20 once they have entered
your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must
sign the Form I-20. All students, their spouse and minor children if they
intend to reside in the United States with the student, must be registered
in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Each person receives
an individual Form I-20.
Additional Documentation May Be Required. Review the
instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or
consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be
requested to establish that you are qualified. For example, additional
requested documents may include evidence of:
- Your academic
preparation, such as: transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from
schools you attended
- Scores from tests that
your U.S. school required, such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- Your intent to depart
the U.S. upon completion of the course of study
documentation verifying how you will pay all educational, living and travel
7. Remain calm and answer all the
Visa Officer's questions to you openly and honestly.
Printed from NAFSA: Association of International
Educators; Department of State website and www.ice.gov.
Visa Wait Times:
The visa application processing time is different
at each Consulate; please apply early in order to ensure that you have enough
time to obtain your F-1 visa and arrive in time for our mandatory orientation
program. The summer months and winter
holiday are busy, but you can request a priority appointment to apply for the
F-1 visa in some locations.
Some consulates may require a security clearance on
your visa application. This means that
your visa may be approved but can’t be issued until the security clearance is
finalized. This usually takes two weeks
to two months so plan accordingly.
Visa Approved or Denied:
If your F-1 visa request was approved, a stamp will be
placed in your passport and you will be notified how to pick-up your
passport. The name of your school (IVC)
will be written on your visa. You must
attend the school indicated on your initial F-1 visa; if you decide to attend a
different school, you must re-apply for a new visa.
If your application is denied, you should ask the visa
officer for the specific reason why you were denied. You may apply again only
if you have new evidence to support your application.