Students studying outside on campus in the US.

Student visas in the US 

With hundreds of international students studying in the US with INTO  every year, we’ve got plenty of support to offer when it comes to applying  for a visa. With our help, we’re confident you’ll have an excellent likelihood  of being accepted. 

Interested in studying with INTO? Find out more about our study  programs.

What type of visa do I need to study in the US? 

In order to study in the US, you’ll need to apply for an F-1 student visa. An  F-1 student visa is issued to international students who are studying an academic or English language program at a college or university in the US.

How do I apply for an F-1 student visa? 

Step 1: Receive your I-20 from your chosen university 

With your confirmation package, you should have received an I-20  Certificate of Eligibility. Carefully read the instructions included with the  I-20 before visiting the US Embassy or Consulate for your F-1 student visa. Keep this document in a safe place because you will need to bring the original signed form for your visa interview.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee 

At least three business days before you schedule your visa interview, you  will need to pay the SEVIS 1-901 fee. You can pay the SEVIS I-901 fee by  going to the ​SEVIS I-901 fee website​. You must follow the instructions to  pay the SEVIS Fee and print the receipt. This fee is required in addition to  the visa application fee. You will need your SEVIS ID number when you pay  the fee. It can be found on the top right-hand side of your I-20. 

Step 3: Make an appointment for your visa interview 

In order to obtain a visa, your passport must not expire within six months  of your expected entry date into the US. If it will expire sooner than six months, you should renew your passport prior to pursuing your visa  application. You must schedule an appointment to apply for an F-1 student visa at a US  Embassy or Consulate. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible, as  wait times may vary depending on the region and the date you apply.

For  more information and to find your nearest US Consulate, visit the ​US  embassy website. You can check the latest wait and processing times here

Wait until you’ve received your visa to arrange travel to university. 

What documents do I need to apply for my visa? 

You’ll need to take a selection of documents to your visa interview. Make  sure you have the following: 

  • your passport, which must be valid for travel to the US for at least six months beyond your period of stay (unless exempt by country-specific agreements)
  • your Nonimmigrant Visa Application form (DS-160) confirmation page
  • the payment receipt for your application fee, if you are required to pay before your interview
  • a passport-style photograph, if you were unable to upload one to your DS-160 form
  • SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt
  • the original signed form I-20 for your program
  • documentation of finances for your first year of studies

This list is subject to change, please always verify the final list of  documents needed listed on the embassy website. 

Where can I get help with my visa application? 

We understand that applying for a student visa can be a bit confusing at  times. That’s why we offer guidance and advice on visa applications, no  matter where you’re applying from. Our unique support includes: 

  • our friendly team of US Pre-Arrival Support Service (PASS) advisors, who can answer any questions you have about the US visa process
  • a detailed application section on our Frequently Asked Questions page
  • a dedicated email address for any questions about English language tests:

All the information we provide is based on the latest information available,  but please note that it can be updated frequently without notice. You  should always check the US State Department website to be sure.