Applying for a Student Visa

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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. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy
2. Schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa
3. Complete the following forms
4. Pay the visa application Fee
5. Pay the SEVIS fee
6. What to bring to your visa interview

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: http://usembassy.state.gov/.

2. 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.

3. Complete the following forms*:

  • DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application

Check the requirements of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.

4. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate’s website.

5. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee 

To Pay Online

  • Find the Form I-901 at www.fmjfee.com.
  • Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. *Be sure to write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20 form. Depending on your country, you may be required to pay this fee in person.
  • Print a copy of the online receipt.
  • Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents.

You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the interview. If you have lost the receipt, the Visa Officer may be able to view your payment history in his or her database.

If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.


6. Prepare and bring to your visa interview the following:

  • A passport valid for at least six months
  • Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11)
  • School admission letter
  • Completed visa applications (DS-160)
  • Two 2”x2” photographs in the prescribed format
  • A receipt for the visa application fee
  • A receipt for the SEVIS fee. If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview. www.fmjfee.com
  • 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 more than 30 days before the program start date listed on #5 of your SEVIS I-20 form.