The Student Visa (F1, J1) Interview

The Student Visa (F1, J1) Interview

Be sure to bring these items with you to the interview:

•   Your official Form I-20 or DS-2019, signed by you and your school;

•   A printed copy of your online Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160;

•   A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date through the intended period of study and previous passports issued in the past ten years;

•   One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the required photo format here;

•   The fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee;

•   The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt

You may also be asked to bring a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope for the return of your passport and visa. 

NOTE:   Procedures and required documentation vary from country to country, and even post to post within the same country. Be sure to check the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply for specific instructions on what to bring to your interview.

You may also be asked for these items so be prepared to provide:

•   The letter of acceptance from your school;

•   Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;

•   Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.;

•   Financial documentation that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

If you are bringing a spouse and/or children with you, you must also provide proof of your relationship to your spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.)   It is usually recommended that families apply at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

Helpful Websites

SEVIS Program Information-Students:

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program:

Online DS-160 application:

Online I-901 SEVIS fee application:

List of all U.S. Embassies and Consulates:


DOS: Department of State

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

ICE:  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

USCIS: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.   SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains information on non-immigrant students and their dependents. SEVIS enables schools and sponsors to transmit mandatory information to the DHS and DOS throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the U.S.

** Please note that this information is subject to change and that you should always check your Embassy or Consulate website for the latest information and requirements. **















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