Obtaining a VISA

How do I get an F-1 or J-1 visa?
You apply at a U.S. consulate for the visa. Be sure that you check the website for the consulate nearest you to learn their procedures, and what you must submit for the application.

What do I take with me when I apply for a visa?

  • Endorsed I-20 or DS-2019, or Initial Attendance I-20 or DS-2019,
  • Valid passport,
  • Financial documentation you showed for your I-20 to be issued, or financial documentation given to your J program coordinator for your DS-2019 to be issued,
  • Transcripts if you are a student.
  • Consult your consulate's web page for a list of other items needed at that consulate.

Can I apply for a visa in Canada or Mexico?
There are limited situations when this is possible. There are situations where we definitely do not recommend it, because the risk is too high. Please talk to an international advisor about your situation.

I will be coming to the U.S. to start school.  It is taking a long time to get an F-1 visa. Can I just come on my B-2 visitor's visa?
We strongly recommend that you come to the U.S. on the proper visa for what you intend to do here. If you are in the U.S. on a visitor's visa (other than visa waiver), and then decide to attend school, it may be possible to apply to USCIS for a change of status. You may not begin classes until the change of status to F-1 has been approved. There is no guarantee that it will be approved. 

Can I get a visa here in the U.S.?
No.