The U.S. State Department is the government agency that issues or denies your visa. Its agencies are commonly known as Embassies and Consulates.
Before traveling to the United States and in order to get an F-1 visa, you must:
1. Obtain the SEVIS I-20 form from HU. You will receive this form by mail from Huntington University once you have satisfied all requirements for eligibility.
2. You must pay the SEVIS Fee prior to the Visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. In order to do so, you must have your I-20 Form to complete Form I-901 here and obtain the receipt or Form I-797C. Please note that this process requires the use of a credit card.
3. Prepare the following for your interview:
- All appropriate forms as required by your country. Check here.
- Passport valid for at least six months into the future
- HU Signed I-20
- I-901 fee receipt of payment
- HU Acceptance letter
- Evidence of financial support
- Intent to return to your home country after your studies
4. You will be charged with a Machine Readable Visa fee, and current photographs will be requested in order to process the F1 visa.
Important: Students can apply for F-1 visas at any given time. However, the State Department will only start to issue visas 120 days prior to the first day of the beginning of the academic program. In addition, international students will be able to enter the United States as early as 30 days prior to the beginning of the program.
For additional information regarding this topic, you can visit Education USA or Travel.State.Gov.
Ten Tips for a Successful Visa Interview
- Prove Ties to and Reasons to Return to your Home Country
- Practice in English for the Interview
- Speak Confidently for Yourself
- Plan Ahead and Be Brief: You only have a short time to make a good impression
- Know Information About HU and Why You Want to Attend
- Prepare and Organize Your Documents
- Know Your Home Country Visa Regulations
- Have a Positive Attitude
- Answer Questions About Family and Dependents
- If You Are Denied: Do Not Argue, Ask What You Should Do Differently Next Time
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