Applying for an F-1 Visa

As soon as you receive your Form I-20, you should begin the visa application process. It is best to apply for your student visa as early as possible. The instructions on this page are for students who will apply for their F-1 visa while outside of the U.S. When completing any forms or applications, be sure to enter your name exactly as it appears in your passport.

NOTE: If you are looking to change to F-1 status from another visa while in the United States, please visit our Change of Status page.

 Step 1: Pay the SEVIS Fee

  • All F-1 visa applicants are required to pay the one-time SEVIS I-901 fee.
    • The purpose of the fee is to help cover the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
  • You can find your SEVIS ID on the top left corner of your I-20.
  • Marymount SEVIS School Code is WAS 214F00223000

Step 2: Submit Your Visa Application

Each applicant for an F-1 student visa must submit the following and complete these steps:

  • A Form 1-20
  • A completed nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160
  • Review it and print it immediately with the specific bar code.
  • Pay the Visa Fee.
  • Have ready your passport that is valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date extending at least six months beyond the applicant’s planned start of program.
  • Passport photographs.
  • Keep your SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt.

Step 3: Schedule Your Visa Interview

As part of the F-1 visa application process, an interview at your local U.S. embassy or consular section is required. The waiting time for an interview appointment can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged.

Step 4: Prepare For and Attend Your Visa Interview

  • Your visa interview will be brief and probably less than three minutes! At this time, the consular official will determine if you will be issued a student visa.
  • The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should answer all of the officer’s questions openly and honestly.
  • We recommend you review these helpful visa interview tips before your appointment:
    • Show strong ties to your home country.  Show that you plan to return after your studies.
    • Be positive and be brief.
    • Be able to talk about your program of study and your career goals.
    • Practice being able to answer questions in English.
  • In addition to your passport and I-20, all applicants should be prepared to provide the following documents at their Visa interview:
    • A Marymount University letter of admission
    • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
    • Scores from standardized tests such as the TOEFL, SAT, etc.
    • Financial evidence that demonstrates that you and/or your sponsor(s) have sufficient funds to provide for tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study (These should be the same financial documents you provided to Marymount to obtain the I-20)
    • Evidence to prove your intent to return to your home country upon completion of studies