How to Apply for an F-1 student visa
There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.
1- Pay the SEVIS fee
A United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule requires F-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $200 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The following information specifically addresses fee issues for F-1 students.
The fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to applying for your visa, The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail, online, or through Western Union and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the US.
To Pay By Mail
1. Obtain a Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.” Download the form from www.FMJfee.com Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the US)
2. Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
3. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only1) in the amount of $200, made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security”.
To Pay Online
1. Find the Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com
2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. *Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
3. Print a copy of the online receipt.
4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.
To Pay at Western Union
1. Go to a local participating Western Union Agent location. To find the nearest Western Union Agent location go to http://www.payment-solutions.com/agent.asp and select a country or call the telephone number of the Western Union Commercial Services Network Agent in your country as listed in your phone book.
2. Request and fill out the blue form. You must request a Blue Form at the participating local Western Union Agent location. This form may show words such as “Payment Services” or “Quick Pay” printed in the applicable local language. However, please note that all Quick Pay forms will be blue. Once you have obtained the Blue Form from the Western Union Agent location, you must fill out all appropriate information.
Fee payments should be entered into your permanent immigration (SEVIS) record but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of your fee receipt (form I-797) to use as needed.
If you have been accepted to more than one institution and paid the fee using the SEVIS ID number of an institution you will not be attending, you will not have to pay the fee again. Bring the I-20s of both the school for which you paid the fee and the school you will be attending, as well as your SEVIS fee payment receipt, to the consulate or port-of-entry (if you are applying for a visa, you should bring both of the I-20s back to the consulate)
If your F-1 visa application is denied the SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.
2- Apply for a visa from your local embassy:
- Passport, valid for at least six months;
- Your I-20 issued by Franklin University
- Your admission letter from Franklin University
- 2 recent passport-size photos, 2 by 2 inches (5 cm by 5 cm), color on a light background with head centered in the frame;
- Supporting documents showing evidence of strong ties to one’s home country.
- Your receipt of payment for the SEVIS fee.
- Financial documents to prove you can support your self in the USA.
*See our suggested tips for having a successful U.S. Consular Interview, by clicking here
- We cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
- Students who are outside the United States, and who have not been attending classes for five (5) months or more, should apply for a new student visa to reenter the United States.
- Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
Spouse and children
- Your spouse and unmarried, minor children who intend to reside with you during your study may apply for an F-2 visa.Franklin University must issue them an individual Form I-20, which is required to apply for their visas. You must provide proof of relationship.
- Your minor children are permitted to attend school in the United States while accompanying you.