This information is for people who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study.


1. Upon receiving your initial Form I-20 from SOU, locate the US Consulate/Embassy nearest you and schedule an F-1 visa interview. Appointments can generally be made no more than 120 days before the program start date listed on your I-20 document.

2. Pay the following fees online:

- Nonimmigrant Visa Application Processing Fee

- Visa Issuance Fee (varies by country)

- SEVIS I-901 Fee

3. Follow all instructions, completing any required forms:

- Passport valid for at least six months after program end date

- Initial Form I-20 issued by SOU

- Original letter of acceptance issued by SOU

- Completed visa forms (DS-156, DS-158 and DS-157 if applicable)

- One passport-sized photo. (Standards available on the Department of State website.)

- Receipt for Nonimmigrant Visa Application Processing Fee

- Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 Fee

- Receipt for the Visa Issuance Fee (if applicable)

- Original financial certification documents

Be on time for your interview! Dress respectably, remain calm and answer all the visa officer’s questions openly and honestly. It is most important that you show that you have enough money to study in the US, and that you fully intend to return to your home country upon completing your studies in the US.

For more information, please visit the US Department of State website.