Citizens of all countries, except citizens of Canada and Bermuda, are required to have F-1/J-1 visas to enter the U.S. to study. You must contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to initiate your visa application. Most Consular Posts will process an application 90 days prior to the start date of the academic program listed on your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019.
To apply for a visa, you may need to submit the following documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
- Application for Nonimmigrant Visa (Form DS-156)
- Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-157), for all male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45.
- Contact Information and Work History For Nonimmigrant visa applicant (Form DS-158)
- Application fee (check with the Consulate for the fee amount and how it must be paid)
- Two 2"x 2" photographs in the prescribed format (see the State Department website)
- Passport valid for at least six months
- SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from East Stroudsburg University
- Receipt for the Visa Application Processing fee
- Form I-797 Receipt or online proof of SEVIS I-901 fee payment.
- Official admission letter from East Stroudsburg University
- Original financial documents proving the availability of sufficient funds as reflected on your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019
- Documents which demonstrate that you intend to return home after your studies/visit (see explanation below)
All visa applicants are now required to schedule an appointment for an interview. Please keep in mind that it may take a few weeks to schedule an appointment, so you should initiate your visa application as early as possible. Before your interview, practice answering questions in English about your visa application, your plans in the U.S., and your plans after you return home. If your spouse and children will remain in your country, be prepared to explain how they will support themselves without you sending them money from the U.S. Be positive and respond to questions with clear, concise answers during your interview.
You may not need to do anything special to prove that you intend to return home. It may be sufficient for you to explain, if asked, that you plan to return to your country to work, to continue your studies, or to do whatever you plan to do when you return home. However, you may be required to prove that you have such strong ties to your country that you will return there. If you would like more information, please refer to the U.S. Department of State.
After obtaining your student visa to enter the United States, the next step is to prepare yourself for traveling to ESU. It is very important that students bring all of the required documentation when traveling. What to expect on your trip to the U.S.