U.S. Student Visa Application Process (F-1 Visa)

After you have received your admissions letter and have accepted the admission offer, the next step is F-1 visa process.

How to Apply

You must fill and submit the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form, DS-160 which can be found on the consular electronic application center page (https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/)

Before you begin, have your passport photo which is 2inches x 2inches on a white or off-white background ready. You can check here to see if your photo meets the digital photo requirement.

You must first select the U.S. Embassy location where you would like to apply for the visa at? This location will serve as where your interview will be conducted.

After choosing the U.S. embassy location, you will type the captcha code and click START APPLICATION.

Please do not forget to write down the application ID. This will be needed to retrieve your application in case you are unable to finish submission in one sitting.

Fill the application completely, submit and print your confirmation page.

You must pay your visa fees of  $160 in the local currency equivalent to designated bank account by the U.S. Embassy of that jurisdiction. You must find out which bank to make the payment at.

Check  the ustraveldocs.com page  or ais.usvisa-info.com to see where your local embassy has information on visa fees for nonimmigrant visa application.

Note: You will be creating a profile after payment on either one of these pages.

To make the payment, you must bring your passport, the fees and the application confirmation page. Pleases keep the receipt for this transaction safe (you will bring this to the interview)


You will create a nonimmigrant visa profile on ustraveldocs.com or ais.usvisa-info.com  (whichever you locate your country’s name on, serves as your local embassy webpage).

You will select Nonimmigrant visa and create a user profile or login if you are an existing user.

You will complete your prrofile and select the type of visa you are applying for.

If there are interview availability slots, you should be able to see it right away. You select the time slot and follow the prompt to schedule your interview appointment and confirm.

You should receive an email notification after you have scheduled and confirmed your appointment.

You must bring documentations 

Passport – You must have a valid and unexpired passport.

Photo – You must bring (TWO) 2inches x 2inches passport photos

DS-160 Confirmation page – You must bring your nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page.

Visa Fee Receipt – You must bring the visa fee payment receipt as proof of payment.

Form I-20 – this is a form to be sent to you by the school. It must be signed by you and your school official. Don’t go to an interview without this.

Admission Letter – You must bring your admission letter

     Other documents that might be necessary:

School Transcript (s) – You might need to bring your school transcripts to show your ability to 

Financial Statement – You may need to bring financial documentations such as bank statement if your education is not fully sponsored.

If the school has special requirements such as medical exams, complete it before your interview.

Note: not all F-1 visa applicants need to conduct a medical exams. You only do it if requested by the school.

On the day of your interview, please report at the embassy at least 2 hours before your appointment time to avoid unnecessary rush.

Bring all the needed documentations.

Dress decently or tastefully.

Be confident. Look in the eyes of the consular officer and answer questions as truthful as you can.

Make sure you understand a question before you answer.

Ask for clarification, if needed, before you answer a question.

At the conclusion of the interview, you will be told the decision on your case. 

Approved – If you are approved, your passport will be taken from you and instructed on how to pick up your passport.

administrative processing (Temporary refused) for an approved applicant. This is for the embassy to take time to approve your visa.

Administrative Processing – Your case could be placed in administrative processing for further review. The consular officer will inform you about this decision.

Refused – You could be refused visa if you are unable to satisfactorily convince the consular officer about you meeting the requirements and being eligible for the visa.

A “rule of thumb” is to rely on what the consular officer tells you.


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