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Applying for a Study & Exchange Visa
12 MINUTE READ

Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements (PDF, 57 KB). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.

Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160

  • Completed Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
  • Completed DS-157 and DS-158 forms

Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.

Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.

Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation

All Student Visa (F-1/M-1) and Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1) applicants should collect the following:

  • A valid passport
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • A 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background
  • The forms listed in Step 2
  • Student (F-1/M-1) visa applicants should also bring their Form I-20.
  • Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa applicants should also bring Form DS-2019, and Form DS-7002 if participating in the J-1 Trainee and Intern categories.

Additional Documents – Student Visa Applicants:
Additional documents may be requested to establish if 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; and
    • Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school;
    • Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
    • How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.
      Additional Documents – Exchange Visitor Visa Applicants:

Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip;
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

 

Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment

To schedule an appointment for an interview please call 680-587-2920 ext.2900

New Students – F-1 and M-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States in F-1 or M-1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.

Continuing Students – May renew their visas at any time, as long as they have maintained student status and their SEVIS records are current. Continuing students may enter the United States at any time before their classes start.

Exchange Visitors – Exchange visitors beginning new programs may not enter the United States more than 30 days before their program start date.

Step 5. Submit Your Passport and Visa Application Forms

Bring the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet, forms listed in Step 2, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, and a valid passport, to the Consular Section on your scheduled interview date. Click for more details on photo requirements.

Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee

On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $ 160 for Student (F-1 /M-1) and Exchange Visitor (J-1) visas.

NOTE: U.S. government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are not required to pay application processing fees if participating in a Department of State, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), or a Federally funded educational and cultural exchange program which has a program serial number beginning with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 printed on Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. U.S. government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are also not required to pay applicable issuance fees.

Step 7. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

Step 8. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee

In some cases, when a visa is approved, the consular officer will advise you that additional fees may apply, depending on the category of visa and/or the nationality of the applicant. Click for more information.

Step 9. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa

If you are issued the visa, you will be informed when to collect your passport and visa.  Embassy Hours are 7:30 – 4:30, Monday through Thursday and 7:30-2:00pm on Friday.