After you receive your original I-20 or DS-2019 and pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, you can apply for a visa at the nearest U.S. embassy using original documents (not photocopies).
Schedule Visa Interview
To make an appointment at your local embassy, you must first complete the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application online. You will need your SEVIS number and The New School's school code, which
you can find on your I-20 or DS-2019 and on the iGlobal log-in page.
Processing time for visa applications can vary, and some U.S. embassies require security checks that take many weeks. We therefore recommend that you do not delay in making your visa appointment.
What to Prepare and to Expect
You will need to bring certain documents with you to the visa interview.
Refer to the Department of State website for required and additional documents for F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors.
It is important to understand what the interviewer is looking for during the interview. Ultimately, he or she wants to ensure that you have been accepted into a legitimate institution, have the necessary qualifications (including English language proficiency) for the program, and have adequate funds to cover tuition and living expenses. It is also vital that the interviewer feel confident that you have full intentions of returning home after the completion of your program of study. Here are a few tips for interviewing:
- Documentation is extremely important, so be sure to have all of your papers organized and ready to be presented.
- Be prepared to be interviewed in English and not your native language.
- Emphasize and speak about your educational goals.
- Provide evidence of strong ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your studies (e.g., family, career opportunities, previous travel to and departure from the United States).
Do not mention any type of employment, as the purpose of your visit to the United States is to study and not to work.
If you are denied a visa, contact ISSS right away.
When a visa denial occurs, you will receive a visa denial notice from the Department of State. Once ISSS can assess the situation, the office can advise you on gathering new documentation to re-apply for the visa.
An application may be denied because the consular officer does not have all of the information required to determine whether the applicant is eligible to receive a visa, the applicant does not qualify for the visa category for which he or she applied, or the information reviewed indicates that the applicant meets the criteria for inadmissibility or ineligibility under the law. An applicant's current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, may make him or her ineligible for a visa.
The following categories of students are exempt from applying for the F-1 or J-1 visa according to U.S. federal regulations:
- Canadian passport holders
- Citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda
- Bahamian nationals and British subjects resident in the Bahamas
- British subjects resident in the Cayman Islands or the Turks and Caicos Islands (as long as they travel directly from the island)
- Natives and residents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands