Immigration and visas
Your step-by-step guide to obtaining a US student visa
The INTO USF Immigration Team and USF International Student Services look forward to guiding you through this process and helping you maintain your F-1 visa status during your stay in the United States.
Applying for an F-1 student visa
Step 1: Receive your I-20 from University of South Florida.
All applicants to INTO USF must also submit a bank statement and/or Affidavit of Support along with their application. The bank statement and/or Affidavit of Support enables USF to generate an I-20, which the U.S. government requires in order to grant you an F-1 student visa.
Step 2: Pay the $200.00 SEVIS I-901 fee online
The SEVIS I-901 fee activates your I-20 in the SEVIS database. It must be paid prior to your visa interview. You will need to print your receipt and take it with you to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
You will need your SEVIS ID number from your I-20 form in order to complete the SEVIS Form I-901. You can find this number above the bar code on the top right-hand side of your I-20. Our SEVIS, INTO USF School code is: MIA214F00043000.
Step 3: Make a visa appointment with your local U.S. Embassy/ Consulate
It may take a few weeks or more to get an appointment at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate so make an appointment as soon as you have completed Steps 1 & 2. You should wait and make your travel arrangements after you have obtained your visa.
Step 4: Be prepared with the following documents for your visa interview
- Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students: You will need to submit a SEVIS generated Form I-20, which was provided to you by your school. You and your school official must sign the I-20 form
- Online Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions.
- If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.
- One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format »
- A MRV receipt to show payment of the visa application fee
- The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
All applicants should be prepared to provide:
- Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
- Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.
- Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
If you have any questions regarding this process please contact an INTO Immigration Specialist via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.