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Applying for a Visa

Procedure to apply for a student visa for the United States.

After being admitted to DePauw and confirming your attendance, as well as paying the I-901 SEVIS fee, students can apply for their visa at a US Embassy or Consulate in their home country. 

Students should refer to the US Department of State Study Visas page along with their home country's Embsassy or Consulate for full instructions tailored to applicants by home country.  

Step-by-Step Guidance for the Visa Application and Entering the US on a US Study Visa. 

  1. Refer to the Study in the States website. The US Government posts information for all international students studying in the US there. Students should refer to it for questions on everything from maintaining their immigration status to employment and more. Gaining and maintaining student status is the responsibility of the student though the Study-in-the-States an ISA staff will help.  
  2. Pay Your SEVIS I-901 Fee: Students must pay their SEVIS I-901 fee (cost varies by year and status) before scheduling a visa interview at a US Consulate or Embassy in their home country. Note: When entering the US, students are required to present payment receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee at immigration, in addition to their passport and I-20 Certificate of Eligibilty (F-1 students) or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility (Exchange students). Students should carry these documents in their carry-on luggage during travel to the US.
  3. Submit documentation for the I-20 or DS-2019: Incoming students should follow instructions from Admissions to secure their I-20 or DS-2019. On receipt of the I-20 or DS-2019, students will need to sign and date it to make it valid. By signing the I-20 or DS-2019, students agree to comply with all terms/conditions listed.
  4. Make an Appointment for a Visa Interview: Once you have paid the SEVIS I-901 fee, you should make an appointment for a visa interview as soon as possible at the US Embassy or Consulate nearest you. Visa processing times vary widely depending on the embassy or consulate. Refer to the US Department of State website as well as your local Embassy or Consulate guidelines for tailored instructions and more detail. 
  5. Prepare Your Documents for the Visa Interview: At minimum, students should bring the following documentation with them: passport (valid for at least six months past the interview); I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1/Exchange students); financial documentation (that demonstrate your/your family's ability to pay for your education expenses); letter of admission from DePauw university; SEVIS I-901 receipt; application fee; DS-160 Application form; all prior academic records and score reports; and evidence you have strong ties to your home country. Additional documentation may be required by your local US Embassy or Consulate so students should refer to their local US Embassy/Consulate page for up-to-date guidance and information regarding their application and interview.
  6. Check Your Visa: Once your visa has been issued, your visa will be affixed to a page in your passport and your passport returned to you. Make sure to check your visa to make sure that your name is spelled correctly and that all other information is correct. Email intlstudents@depauw.edu if any issues arise. In addition, know that your visa grants you the right to request entry to the US, but final determination once you arrive. 
  7. Arrival to the US: Once you arrive to your "Port of Entry" (the first airport you reach during your travel to the US), you must present: 1) a valid passport with a valid student visa; 2) your I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility; and 3) SEVIS I-901 fee receipt. In addition, immigration officers will often ask for a copy of your Admission Letter from DePauw and a copy of your Financial Documentation. You must carry these documents with you in your carry-on when traveling to/in the US.
  8. Receipt of Entry (I-94): The immigration officer will enter all relevant information into the SEVIS system and return your documents to you. In addition, once you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. 

Further Advice

Students should make scans and copies of all immigration documents and keep them in a safe place, as well as have the contact information for DePauw International Student Affairs (765-658-4368; intlstudents@depauw.edu) with them should any issues arise.