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Applying for a Visa
Applicants for student visas usually apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country of his or her permanent residence. Please click here for the list of websites for U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.
You will need to submit the following documents/evidence with your visa application:
- I-20 or DS-2019
- SEVIS Fee payment proof – Current SEVIS Fee Information
- Evidence of financial ability to meet expenses
- Evidence of English ability sufficient for course of study
- Evidence of intent to depart the U.S. after completion of program
- Passport valid for at least 6 months
- Photograph (check with embassy for specific dimensions)
- Tips to remember when applying for a nonimmigrant visa
- Canadian citizens do not need to obtain a visa before entering the U.S. A Canadian citizen simply shows his or her I-20 or DS-2019 at the U.S. border, along with proof of Canadian citizenship. Upon entrance into the U.S., a Canadian student should make sure to have his or her I-20 or DS-2019 properly processed and to receive an I-94 card. Without the I-94 card, students may not be able to fully check-in at WVU.
- The J-1 visa sometimes carries a two-year home residency requirement. The visa holder with the home residency requirement must return to his or her home country for two years after completing the student or scholar program.
- Plan to enter the U.S. on the F-1 or J-1 visa. Changing from B-2 (visitor) to F-1 or J-1 status in the U.S. can take several months. You may not work or be paid while waiting for the change in status. Sometimes this change of status request is denied. Those entering the U.S. on a visa waiver program cannot change status in the U.S.
- Helpful Information When Entering a U.S. Border