Students accepted to Lindsey Wilson College
will be issued an I-20 form to apply for the F-1 student visa. You
should bring your I-20, acceptance letter, financial documentation,
and valid passport (at least 6 month) to the closest U.S. Embassy
or Consulate to apply for a visa.
** Due to U.S. visa processing
delays, we encourage all students to apply as soon as
How to Get Your F-1 Visa
- Verify I-20 Information. When you receive your
I-20 from Lindsey Wilson College, please check all information on
your I-20 for accuracy. If you find an error, please inform us
- Signature. If everything is correct, sign on
item 11 in the I-20 and date.
- Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee of $200: This fee must
be paid before you go to your F-1 visa interview. This SEVIS fee is
NOT a visa application fee, which is $140.
There are three ways to pay the fee:
- By Internet using a credit card,
- Western Union agencies,
- Postal mail to the SEVIS I-901 Fee Office. Instructions for completing the I-901
By Internet: This is the quickest
method: after paying the fee, be sure to print out the
receipt of payment, so that you can take it to the US
Consulate for a visa interview.A hard copy of the receipt will be
sent to you at a later time. For your visa interview, you can show
either the internet receipt or the hard copy.However, the hard copy
might not be delivered in time for the interview.
By Western Union agencies: Many students in African and
European countries may find this method easy since they can pay by
their own currencies and can get the receipt of payment
By postal mail
payment: Click the paper Form I-901 PDF and read the
instructions, fill out the form, and send the check by mail. It
will take a long time to get a receipt back.
- F-1 Visa Checklist: Visa requirements are
subject to change. Please contact your local U.S. Consulate for
visa application instruction for obtaining the F-1 visa. Locate a U.S. Embassy near
The following documents are needed for visa interviews.
- Passport valid for at least a six months time period
- SEVIS I-20 issued by Lindsey Wilson College
- Complete Online Nonimmigrant Visa
Application Form DS-160 "Consular Electronic Center Application
- Print out and bring your one-page DS-160
confermation (Most overseas US Embassies/Consulates do NOT
accept old From DS-156 any more. DS-160 replaces the forms DS
156, DS-157, and DS-158)
- Proof of having paid the SEVIS fee
- Evidence of financial ability to meet expenses
- Evidence of English ability sufficient for course of study
- Evidence of intent to depart the U.S. after completion of
- Machine readable Visa (MRV) surcharge fee (Visa Application
- Photograph (2x2)
- Visa reciprocity fee (if applicable)
U.S. Department of State's
Visa Service information
Understanding Your U.S. Entry
To be allowed into the U.S., all
nonimmigrant international visitors (except Canadians) are required
to have the proper visa stamp placed in their passports.
"Nonimmigrant" means there is no intention of staying in the U.S.
permanently. Visas are obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate
abroad. Visas cannot be obtained within the U.S., since it is an
"entry" document only.
People come to the U.S. for many different reasons, and the type
of visa you request should match the purpose for your visit. Visa
types are classified using an alpha-numeric system. For example, a
visitor coming to study in the U.S. may be given an "F-1" or "J-1"
student visa classification. A person coming to the U.S. for travel
may be given a "B-2" visa, otherwise known as a tourist visa.The
sample here shows what a tourist visa looks like:
What is the purpose of the visa?
The visa allows you to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (airport, for
example) and present yourself to a U.S. Immigration Inspector. The
Inspector will ask you some questions about your intentions for
coming to the U.S. and check to make sure you have the appropriate
visa. Once admitted, you will be given another document, called the
I-94 Arrival/Departure record, which indicates which nonimmigrant
status you are allowed to use and the amount of time you are
allowed to stay.
When you enter the country as a
nonimmigrant, a U.S. immigration inspector examines your passport
and visa and then gives you a small white card, the Form I-94
Arrival/Departure Record. This document, not your visa stamp,
indicates how long you are allowed to stay in the U.S. and proves
that you arrived in the country legally.
On the I-94, the inspector writes
either a date or "D/S" (duration of status). If you are a student,
"duration of status" means that you may remain in the U.S. as long
as you are enrolled full-time and your I-20 (F-1) or DS 2019 (J-1)
has not expired. You are required to keep the I-94 card for the
duration of your visit, so make sure to keep it in a safe place so
it doesn't get lost.
Each form I-94 has an eleven-digit admission number printed on the
upper left corner of the card. You may need to use this number for
social security and employment purposes, but it is not a number you
need to memorize. In fact, you will get a new I-94 number each time
you re-enter the U.S.
Departure from the
As you prepare to board your flight to depart the U.S., you will be
asked to surrender your I-94 to the airline representative who will
in turn deliver it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
(USCIS). The USCIS will record the date of your departure for
future reference. Any time you return to the U.S. you will receive
a new I-94 for that particular stay.
If you lose your
Contact your Adviser if you lose your I-94. The Adviser can give
you forms, instructions and advice about replacing the I-94.
Visa expiration and Your Length of Stay in the
Although a visa has an expiration date, it does not
determine how long you can remain in the U.S. (a visa is an ENTRY
document only). Once you are in the U.S., there are other factors
that determine your length of stay. International visitors coming
to the U.S. as F-1 students are generally allowed to remain for the
length of their academic programs.