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Online Visa Application (Form DS-160)
Complete the online visa application (Form DS-160) at least 2 days before your embassy or consulate interview. Upon completing you application, contact the embassy or consulate to confirm whether you need to be interviewed. The application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a embassy or consulate officer. Be sure to complete the DS-160 on the website of the embassy or consulate at which you will be appearing in person, otherwise your submission will be sent to the wrong database. Upon completion of the application, ensure print and save a copy of the confirmation page for your records and to take to the interview.
Scheduling the Visa Interview
Information relevant to how to schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy nearest to you can be found at http://www.usembassy.gov. Ensure the embassy or consulate you choose is the one closest to your permanent residence. Please remember that scheduling an appointment and waiting for your visa application may take weeks so advanced travel planning and early visa application is important. You can also check waiting times for visa interviews at your embassy or consulate online.
The SEVIS fee and other fees
Once you receive the DS-2019, you must pay the SEVIS fee and obtain the payment receipt (which must be purchased 3 days before the interview). Online payment is the best option, as the receipt can be printed off immediately.
In addition to the SEVIS fee, the regular application fee (MRV fee) will be due. Information about how to pay this fee can be found at the appropriate embassy or consulate website.
Documents Needed for the Interview
- Form DS-2019 or I-20
- Letter of Acceptance or Invitation
- Proof of having paid the SEVIS fee (Form I-797) completed at least 3 days before the interview
- Documentation evidencing financial ability to meet expenses (bank statements, etc)
- Evidence of residence abroad (address in your home country)
- Passport valid at least 6 months into the future
- Form DS-160 confirmation page (completed at least 2 days before the interview)
- Photographs meeting the specified criteria (color, position of the face, recent image, 5 centimeters wide and 5 centimeters long, etc)
- Proof of having paid the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee (completed at least 2 days before the interview)
- Visa reciprocity fee (if applicable)
This list is not all inclusive. Other documents may be required by your consulate so be sure to check the embassy or consulate website for specifics. It is recommended that you also justify your intention to return to your home country after you complete your degree. This can be return airfare, or simply your well thought-out plans for your future when you return to your home country.