Obtaining a Visa for International Students

If you plan to enroll as an International Student at Embry-Riddle, you also need to apply for your official Student Visa. To learn how, please read all the information below:
Embry-Riddle is authorized to enroll non-immigrant alien students — and to issue them an I-20 form — when students are accepted to a full-time program and show they have enough financial resources to cover the cost of their studies.

The I-20 form certifies a student is eligible to be an F-1 or M-1 non-immigrant student. An international applicant is defined as a non-resident, non-immigrant person entering the United States on F-1/M-1 or J-1 student visas. All I-20s are issued through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which is a governmental computerized system to maintain and manage data related to foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States.

International Students are required to comply with all SEVIS requirements. For more information about SEVIS, please refer to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

After you have applied and been accepted to Embry-Riddle, SEVIS authorizes the school to send your I-20 Form. You must follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate instructions for scheduling your F-1 Student Visa.

Apply for your Student Visa as far in advance as possible. Though many consulates suggest making your appointment no more than 90 days from your intended travel date, some consulates can make earlier arrangements for your interview. You will need to complete the following forms:

  • DS-160-Online Non-Immigrant Visa application
  • DS-158 Contact Information and Work History for Non-Immigrant Visa Applicant
  • DS-157 Supplemental Non-Immigrant Visa application (some applicants may be asked to complete this form)

To obtain the forms, visit the U.S. State Department website.

Preparing for an F-1 visa interview is vital if you plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. To learn about bringing dependents to the United States, returning to continue your studies, renewing your visa, or applying for your Student Visa, please visit the U.S. State Department website.

To pay the visa application fee, follow the instructions on your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate's website, or visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) website.

Keep a copy of the receipt, as this will be needed when you go for the visa.

Bring your receipt for fee payment to your interview. If you lose the receipt, the Visa Officer may be able to view your payment history on the database. If you are transferring from another school, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last 12 months, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

Student Visa Frequently Asked Questions

You will need the following documents before you can be interviewed at the U.S. Consulate for a student visa:
Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, which is issued by the academic institution in the United States to which you are accepted)
Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee (see FAQs #4 and 5 for more about SEVIS) --Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) --A valid passport with at least six months validity --Two 2x2 photographs
You should be prepared to provide transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended, standardized test scores, and financial evidence demonstrating you or your sponsor's ability to pay for tuition and living expenses.
*** You can enter the U.S. 30 days before the start of the term, which is 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20.
For more information about what you need to apply for a student visa, please visit the following two websites:



Please go to the US Travel Docs website at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ for complete instructions on the visa application process, including costs and required forms.
Please go to http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ and log in to the account you created when you made your original appointment. You may also contact the visa appointment call center by phone at (+234) 9460-1748.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) manages information about foreign students and exchange visitors in the United States. To support the system's continued operation, a fee of $200 must be paid by all F-1 or M-1 student visa applicants. The SEVIS fee for J-1 (exchange visitor applicants) is $180. The SEVIS fee is in addition to the visa application fee.

Student visa applicants must pay the SEVIS fee before being interviewed for a student visa. You must have a complete I-20 or:

DS-2019 (sent by your school or organization in the United States) before you can fill out Form I-901 and pay the SEVIS fee.

The SEVIS fee may be paid online or by check/money order:

To pay online with a credit card, visit www.fmjfee.com. Carefully follow the directions on the site to complete Form I-901 and make your payment. The credit card payment can be made by parents, other relatives, or friends. Please print your receipt of payment to bring to the Consulate for your interview.

If you are unable to pay online, you may pay with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency. After completing Form I-901 at www.fmjfee.com, choose the option to pay by check or money order, print a payment coupon, and then submit the form and payment to:

For regular mail

I-901 Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020 

For courier deliver (e.g. DHL, Fed-Ex)

I-901 Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101

Alternatively, you may download and print a paper copy of Form I-901 at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm Send your completed form and payment to the appropriate address above. If you would like expedited delivery of your receipt of payment, there is an additional fee of $35.

SEVIS phone number: 314-418-8833 (U.S. Country Code 011)

No. When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. This means that you may remain in the United States as long as you remain a full-time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires.

However, if you depart the United States for any reason after the visa expires, you will need to obtain a new visa before being able to return to resume your studies.

Student visas can only be renewed/reissued at an Embassy or Consulate abroad. They cannot be issued in the United States.

Optional practical training (OPT) is work experience related to a student's field of study. It allows undergraduate and graduate students in F-1 status who have completed (or have been pursuing their degrees for at least an academic year) to work for at most one year on a student visa without acquiring a work visa. However, certain students majoring in technical fields are eligible for a 17-month extension of OPT. OPT must be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For further information and a link to the form required to apply for OPT, visit www.ice.gov/sevis/students/opt.htm
No. If you have completed your studies and are beginning OPT directly without departing the United States, you do not need to return to have your visa renewed, even if the visa has expired. You will need to obtain a new visa if you leave the United States with an expired visa and want to return.
F-1 students are allowed to remain in the United States for a maximum of 60 days following the completion of their study program or OPT.
No. The U.S. Consulate no longer maintains the drop box facility, as all nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to schedule a visa interview appointment at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng. Appointments for those renewing two-year visas are readily available on the US Travel Docs website.
All visa applicants must make an appointment. If you cannot obtain an appointment before planned travel, please use the emergency appointment request function on the US Travel Docs Website. You should make an appointment visa at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng/ even if the appointment is too late. Once you make the appointment, you can request an emergency appointment through the same website. If the Consular section approves your request, you will be notified by email, and you can then log back into the system to re-schedule - when you log back in, you will have access to the schedule of emergency slots. Please note that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to honor your request, if you have an existing appointment, please do not cancel it until you have received an email reply from the Consular Section confirming your expedited appointment has been approved.

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