How to Prepare Your F1 Visa Application Before the Interview

Preparing documents for an F1 visa application to study in the US can be a complicated process. This easy-to-follow guide outlines what you need to do in order to legally study in America.


  1. Image titled Prepare Your F1 Visa Application Before the Interview Step 1
    Fill out the online visa application form (DS-160).
    • Put "Does Not Apply" for any information pertaining to American residents and citizens, such as Social Security Number and Taxpayer Identification Number.
  2. Image titled Prepare Your F1 Visa Application Before the Interview Step 2
    Pay your SEVIS fee (US $200) online through the Form I-901 application. Here you need to fill out the I-901 form (important information includes the school code, your SEVIS number both printed on the I-20 form) and pay the fee using a credit card. Print the receipt for your records. You may also pay this fee such by mailing a money order to the Department of Homeland Security or using Western Union's Quick Pay Service.
  3. 3
    Arrange an interview appointment and pay US $160 visa application fee.
  4. Image titled Prepare Your F1 Visa Application Before the Interview Step 4
    Bring the following documents to the interview:
    • Your valid passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of interview)
    • Form I-20
    • SEVIS fee paid receipt
    • Visa application fee receipt
    • Interview appointment letter
    • Application confirmation page (with bar code)
    • Financial supporting documents
    • Qualifications - Degree/Diploma certificates
    • Transcripts
    • Proof of English proficiency if applicable(TOEFL)
    • Standardized test scores if applicable (SAT, ATC, GRE, GMAT).
    • A standard passport photograph


  • Consider having a cover page listing the documents you have or organising them in separate files.
  • Make sure your documents are complete and gathered together in a folder. Being organized makes things easier for the consular officer.


  • This is only a rough guide. Each individual country might have extra requirements as to what documents to bring. Contact the US embassy or consulate in your country to request a checklist.

Things You'll Need

  • A Passport
  • A Passport Photo
  • A completed DS-160 form (online)
  • An address for where you will stay in America
  • Application fees
  • An appointment to interview for your F1 Visa
  • Test Scores
  • Admittance into an American college or university

Article Info

Categories: Interview Skills