Immigration, I-20, & Visa Information
All international students are required to obtain a Form 1-20 to receive a F-1 student visa.
If you are a student with an active F-1 student visa and you currently hold a Form I-20 from another U.S. institution, you must arrange for the transfer of your SEVIS record to Marymount and obtain a Form I-20 from Marymount.
For pre-arrival and orientation information, please visit the New International Students page.
How To obtain a Form I-20
Before students can apply for an F-1 visa or can complete transferring their SEVIS record from another university, students need to obtain an I-20 certificate of eligibility for an F-1 visa. Three to five days after students confirm they will be attending Marymount and pay the deposit, they will receive an email with a link to access the ISSS portal, where they will be able to initiate the I-20 request. Students should generate their MU account prior to logging into this portal. Students will be prompted with a series of questions, and will be asked to upload the following documents:
- Copy of passport
- Declaration of Finances
- An official copy of a bank statement showing:
- $57,081 (U.S. dollars) for undergraduate students
- $44,811 (U.S. dollars) for graduate students
- $44,991 (U.S. dollars) for graduate business students
- $63,700 (U.S. dollars) for Doctor of Physical Therapy Students
- $40,671 (U.S. dollars) for Master of Education Students
- If you have been awarded a scholarship from Marymount, you may deduct the scholarship amount and demonstrate the remaining funds in a bank statement.
- Students sponsored by their government or other institutions will provide a financial guarantee from their sponsor that should be valid within the next year.
Students transferring from another US school should also provide:
- Copy of previous visas
- Previous I-20 (Applicable for current F-1 at another US institution)
- In the ISSS portal, students will complete, at the last step, an electronic request to the current school to transfer their current active SEVIS record to MU.
Students who are bringing dependents
F-1 students can only bring a spouse and /or their own children as dependents. If you have dependents accompanying you, please have their passports and official translations of marriage and /or birth certificates for each member, to be uploaded in the ISSS portal at the time you are completing the I-20 request.
In addition to the amounts above, students with dependents should demonstrate additional funding of $9,375 to support a spouse and $ 6,250 per child.
I-20 Processing Time
Upon receiving all completed documents, the processing time for an I-20 typically takes 5 to 10 business days. If your documentation is incomplete, you will be contacted by a staff member.
If you have further questions or need assistance using the portal, please contact International Student and Scholar Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 703-526-6922.
Apply for an F-1 Student Visa
As soon as you receive your form I-20, you should begin the visa application process. Keep in mind that it is best to apply for your student visa as early as possible (up to 120 days before the first day of classes).
NOTE: When completing any forms or applications, be sure to enter your name exactly as it appears in your passport.
Pay the SEVIS Fee
- All F-1 visa applicants are required to pay the one-time SEVIS I-901 fee of $350.
- The purpose of the fee is to help cover the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Submit Your Visa Application
Each applicant for a student visa must submit the following forms and documentation:
- 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 ($160) at the designated bank in your country
- A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date extending at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
- One passport photograph measuring 2″ x 2″ (about 5 cm x 5 cm)
- A SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt
Schedule Your Visa Interview
- As part of the 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.
Prepare for and Attend Your Visa Interview
- Your visa interview will be brief and probably less than three minutes!
- In 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 all questions in clear 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
- Evidence to prove your intent to return to your home country upon completion of studies