Step 4: Obtain your F-1 Visa

Now that you have been admitted to FSU, obtained your I-20 and paid your SEVIS fee, you are ready to apply for your F-1 visa, if you need one.* This page provides directs you the F-1 visa application instructions and provides some tips for the visa interview.

Apply for your F-1 Visa

Review and follow the F-1 visa application instructions on the Department of State’s Student Visa pageand the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will attend apply for your visa.

Attend your visa appointment and interview

Bring to your interview all of the documents specified on the embassy or consulate’s website. Most interviews take less than five minutes, so be prepared and organized. When preparing for your interview, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Answer all questions truthfully. Permanent resident relatives and previous arrest records will not necessarily lead to a denial, but misrepresentation of any facts can lead to a permanent bar from the U.S.
  • Bring translated copies of your academic records and be prepared to talk about your academic plans and aspirations in detail.
  • Be knowledgeable about Florida State University, about your academic department, and about your chosen field of study.
  • Be prepared to speak about your future career goals and how a U.S. degree is important in meeting those goals. Keep in mind that these should be consistent with ties to your home country and with your intent to return home.
  • Take any documentation that may help you provide evidence of ties to your home country.
  • Have all documents in order and well organized. You have a very short time to make the best possible impression on the consular officer.
  • Before you leave the interview, make sure you receive all of your original academic and funding documents back from the consular officer.

Check your visa for accuracy

When you receive your passport and visa stamp back from the embassy or consulate, make sure was printed with accurate biographical information and the correct visa type (F-1, F-2 for dependents). Be sure you also have received your I-20 form back from the consulate.

 *If you transferred your SEVIS record from another school or changed to a new degree program at FSU, you do not need to obtain a new visa unless you are traveling abroad and your current F-1 visa has expired.

*If you are a citizen of Canada, you do not need an F-1 visa; you must present your valid Canadian passport, I-20 and I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt in order to obtain F-1 status when entering the U.S.