Congratulations – you’ve been accepted into a U.S. college, university, or language school! The next step is to obtain your F-1 visa. This process includes many steps and ends in the visa interview. Learn how to get ready for this short but critical meeting by visiting these resources.

I-901 Fee Payment Tutorial

fee tutorial
image via DHS

Once you are accepted into a program of study, you will receive your Form I-20 from your U.S. school. This form proves that you are eligible to receive a student visa. The next step is to pay your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee, also called the I-901 fee. This fee is US$200. You must do this before you apply for your student visa.

This slideshow from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will take you step-by-step through the process of paying the fee online. To read the information in your native language, visit Paying your I-901 SEVIS Fee and choose your language from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

Don’t forget to print and keep your payment receipt; you’ll need it for your visa interview.


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Next, you must schedule your visa interview. This central website will take you to the website for your local U.S. embassy or consulate (often available in English or your native language.) Here you’ll pay your visa fee, complete your visa application (DS-160), and schedule your interview.

How to Prepare for Your Visa Appointment


image via DHS


This and the next two resources offer general advice for the visa interview. The Department of Homeland Security article gives an overview of the entire application process and some reminders of possible problems to avoid.

Tips for a Successful Visa Interview


The international student and scholar office at American University gives some excellent tips about what you should plan to talk about in your visa interview.


This article from legal advice website Nolo describes what will happen at the interview, including paperwork review and taking an oath, and what types of questions you can expect.