F-1 Visa Process

This information is for persons who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State website.

F-1 Visa Filing Process

Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 student visa.

  • After you receive your I-20/DS-2019 form from Bradley University, follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible.
    • Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.
  • Complete DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate’s web site.

To pay SEVIS fee online:

  • Find the Form I-901
  • Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information.
    • The SEVIS fee for F-1 applicants is US $200.
  • Be sure to write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20/DS-2019 form.
    • Print a copy of the online receipt.
    • Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents
    • You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the visa interview.
    • If you have lost the receipt, the consular officer should be able to view your payment history in his or her database.
    • If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

Day of F-1 Visa Interview

Prepare and bring the following documents to your visa interview:

  • Visa interview appointment letter (printed)
  • A passport valid for at least six months
  • Original Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11) or DS-2019 (scanned or photocopies are not allowed)
  • School admission letter
  • Completed visa application (DS-160) (Visa application is completed online, please keep a printed copy)
  • Two 2”x 2” photographs in the prescribed format (no more than six months old)
  • A receipt for the visa application fee
  • A receipt for the SEVIS fee.
    • If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.
  • Original financial evidence (original bank statement etc.) that shows you have sufficient funds to cover yourtuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
  • Qualifications - Degree/Diploma certificates
  • Transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency if applicable (TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Standardized test scores if applicable (SAT, ATC, GRE, GMAT)
  • Resume or CV and list of publications (if any)
  • Any information that proves that you intend to return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, job, family, or other ties to your community.

Remain calm and answer all the consular officer’s questions openly and honestly in a disciplined & organized manner. If you have any questions, please contact the Bradley University Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

F1 Visa Interview Questions

All the Q&A is for reference only, gathered using social media, blogs and student feedback.

Visa Officer/Consular (VO) would like to know the following during the visa interview:

  • Student’s academics & interest in US education
  • Future intentions & ties to home country
  • Financial support for education and living (during their stay in USA)
  • Past education details (course details, GRE, TOEFL, GMAT etc.)
  • Work experience

Most common questions include:

  • How did you come to know about these schools?
  • Have you contacted any of your faculty?
  • Is it worth spending money on your master’s degree?
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters? Details about your sibling(s)?
  • If you have a brother/sister, what about their education and funding?
  • What will do after your MS?
  • What is the proof/guarantee that you will return to your home country?
  • What are your future plans?
  • Why do you think that you are eligible for F1 visa?
  • If you do not receive your F1 visa, what is your next step or plan?
  • Do you know anybody in this university?
  • Where exactly are you going in the USA?
  • Which Consultancy helped with F1 Visa documentation?