F-1 Student Visa

NOTE: Follow the steps below ONLY when you have received your admission package.

Now that you have your acceptance letter and I-20, you need to apply for an F-1 student visa at the nearest U.S. consulate.

Immediately

SEVIS Fee Not Paid:

  1. Apply for a passport, if you don't have one.
  2. Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee at http://www.fmjfee.com/. The fee is $200. Be sure to print a receipt and take it with you to your visa interview.If you would like to pay via Western Union, please click here for detailed payment instructions.
  3. Apply for an F-1 student visa by either:
    • Going to http://evisaforms.state.gov/ to submit an e-application. Be sure to complete the DS-156, the application for a "non-immigrant" visa; or by
    • Contacting a local agent/service who is able to apply on your behalf.
    Allow yourself enough time to get the visa so you can arrive at FPU on time. For waiting and processing times, go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html.
  4. Make an appointment for a visa interview.
  5. Reserve (don't buy!) an airline ticket for the arrival date noted in your acceptance letter. Reserve a flight all the way to Fresno. We cannot pick you up in San Francisco or Los Angeles.

SEVIS Fee Paid:

  1. Find the receipt (Form I-901) included in your admissions packet.
  2. Apply for a passport, if you don't have one.
  3. Apply for an F-1 student visa by either:
    • Going to http://evisaforms.state.gov/ to submit an e-application. Be sure to complete the DS-156, the application for a "non-immigrant" visa.
    • Contacting a local agent/service who is able to apply on your behalf.
    Allow yourself enough time to get the visa so you can arrive at FPU on time. For waiting and processing times, go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html.
  4. Make an appointment for a visa interview.
  5. Reserve (don't buy!) an airline ticket for the arrival date noted in your acceptance letter. Reserve a flight all the way to Fresno. We cannot pick you up in San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Two Weeks Before Your Visa Interview

Collect all of the documents you need for your interview.

For specific consulate information, go to http://www.usembassy.gov/. Select the country and city where you will interview. Follow the links in relation to "non-immigrant F-1 student visas."

For general information, go to http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.

Read the information carefully. Take notes or print out the essential pages.

Interview Day

  1. Attend your visa interview.
  2. Email FPU with the result (approval or denial).
    • If approved, confirm/buy an airline ticket to Fresno and include your detailed flight information in the email.
    • If denied, give the reasons why (if known).

Before You Leave for the U.S.

Go to http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/arriving for information on what to expect when you first arrive in the U.S.