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Applying For a Visa

What to Bring to an Appointment

United States embassies and consulates may have different procedures and required documents. Be sure to consult your specific embassy or consulate location for details.

Generally, international students applying for an F-1 or J-1 student visa at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate will need to present the following:

  • I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility Form provided by Marian University
  • Letter of admission to Marian University
  • Financial support documents; current proof of support that would meet expenses for program duration as indicated on Form I-20 or DS-2019 (i.e. bank statements, scholarship letter)
  • Passport valid for a minimum of six months into the future at the time of entry
  • Form DS-160 “Nonimmigrant Visa Application” available on your local embassy or consulate's website
  • Two photos
  •  Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee
  • Receipt for payment of SEVIS $200 fee (F-1) or $180 fee(J-1); please note that SEVIS fees increase to $350 (F-1) and $220 (J-1) on June 24, 2019
  • Visa reciprocity fee may be required by home country

Please see the Study in the States website for general information about applying for visas.

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Establishing Nonimmigrant Intent

During the visa interview, you must present evidence that you do not intend to abandon your home country. You must demonstrate that you have significant economic, professional, and personal ties or reasons to return home once your degree program is done. Strong ties are not strictly defined and can vary by country, region, and individual. Consular officers have discretion to decide whether the applicant has demonstrated sufficient nonimmigrant intent. It may be helpful to collect supporting documentation, which can include property ownership, investments, family and other social relationships, or offer of future employment. These items are not mandatory, nor do they guarantee that your visa will be approved. Instead, it is important to understand that each applicant is evaluated individually during their interview. 

Visa officers understand that younger applicants, such as undergraduate students, may not have the same opportunities to establish formal ties. However, you should be prepared to speak about your intentions and goals, long-term plans, and reasons to return back to your home country. Unfortunately, there is no standard combination of documents or circumstances that will automatically satisfy nonimmigrant intent. 

Tips for a Successful Visa Interview

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