Obtaining a Visa for International Students
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.
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.
Student Visa Frequently Asked Questions
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
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
For courier deliver (e.g. DHL, Fed-Ex)
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.