After receiving your I-20 or DS-2019 from Stevens, the next step is to apply for an F-1/J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. In order to properly prepare for your visa interview, please follow these steps. For additional information, please read our Applying for an F-1 Visa & Reporting to Stevens Document Page.
1. Check Your Documents
After receiving your I-20/DS-2019, review your document to make sure that all the information is correct, and contact ISSS if there appear to be any errors. You should also do this for any dependent I-20s/DS-2019s you receive for your spouse and/or children accompanying you to the U.S. You should also make sure that you and any dependent(s) have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months into the future from the date you plan to arrive in the U.S.
2. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee
You will need your initial I-20/DS-2019 to pay the SEVIS fee. Print two copies of the payment confirmation—one for the visa appointment and one for your own records. Your payment confirmation can also be printed at any time from the same website by clicking the “Check I-901 Status” button.
3.Schedule Your Visa Interview
Check on current visa wait times, and schedule your visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please note that the processing wait times do not include any extra time that may be required for administrative processing of certain cases. The U.S. Embassy’s website will help you locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and instructions for applying for a visa (including links to required forms). The instructions should include a link to the DS-160 application. Everyone applying for a nonimmigrant visa must complete this form. You should complete this electronic form online and take a printed copy with you to the interview. Make a list of the documentation required for your interview. Note the procedures for paying the visa application fee and any visa issuance fees, if applicable. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s webpage for your country should also provide you with information on how to schedule your visa interview.
4. Prepare For Your Interview
Once you have scheduled your visa interview, make sure you take plenty of time to prepare yourself and get all necessary documents in order. Have both the originals and a set of photocopies of your documents. In addition to the items listed here, you may be required to submit additional documents listed on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s webpage for your country:
- A passport valid for at least six months
- Form I-20/DS-2019
- Acceptance letter from Stevens Institute of Technology
- Completed visa application (DS-160). Remember to complete the DS-160 electronically, and take a printed copy with you.
- A passport-sized photo less than six months old, that meet these specific guidelines for passport-sized photos.
- A receipt for the visa application fee
- Payment confirmation for the SEVIS fee
- Financial support documentation for you and any dependent(s) accompanying you or joining you at a later date; documentation must show that you have sufficient funds to cover both your study costs and living expenses for the period you intend to stay.
- Any information that demonstrates your intention to return to your home country after finishing your program in the U.S. This may include information/proof concerning your property, family, or other ties to your community.
5. Attend Your Interview
Attend your scheduled interview with all necessary documentation. For helpful tips, please read 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa.