Applying for a Student Visa


Once your application to CPCC is complete, we will issue your I-20. For students who will be entering the United States for the first time to study, the following information will be helpful. Visit Study in the States for helpful information about applying for a visa and maintaining your student status.

1. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee online

  • Be sure to print copies of your I-901 fee payment receipt for your records

2. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy

Information and instructions how to apply for a student visa can be found on the U.S. Embassy website where you will be applying. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at:

After you receive an I-20 form from CPCC, 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 from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.

IMPORTANT: Please note the earliest admission date on your I-20. This is the earliest date you may enter the U.S. once your visa is granted. You must be in the U.S. NO LATER THAN the PROGRAM START DATE on your I-20.

Prepare and bring to your visa interview the following items as well as others that are noted on the U.S. Embassy website.

  • A passport valid for at least six months
  • Form I-20 signed under the STUDENT ATTESTATION section
  • School admission letter (included with your I-20)
  • Completed visa applications (DS-160)
  • Two 2”x2” photographs in the prescribed format
  • A receipt for the visa application fee
  • A receipt for the I-901 SEVIS fee.
  • Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study. (The total amount from the I-20)
  • Any information that proves 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.

You may be refused entry into the United States if you attempt to arrive before the EARLIEST ADMISSION DATE listed on your SEVIS I-20 form.