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 NOTE: This page has information only applicable to Graduate Students. Undergraduate students please click here.

Tips to Remember When Applying for a student Visa.

All OSU International Students should enter the United States on F-1 or J-1 visa. B-2 visas are no longer considered acceptable for studying at OSU. B-2 visas with a "Prospective Student" stamp may be considered as the only exception to this rule. F-2 visa holders may only pursue a part-time course of study of a recreational or vocational nature.

It is entirely your responsibility to obtain the correct visa and maintain your immigration status while you are in the United States. Read the conditions of your visa on page 2 of form I-20 or form DS-2019 before you sign it.


How do I obtain a VISA?

This information is for a nonimmigrant that plans to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the US, returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the SEVIS Website


  • Step 1: Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy 

    Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 International student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found HERE.

  • Step 2: Schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa
    • After you receive a Form I-20 from Oklahoma State University, follow the US 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.
    • It is important for you to plan to start the process well in advance in case of delays while obtaining your visa. More information on visa wait times.
  • Step 3: Complete forms

    Complete the following forms:

  • Step 4: Pay the VISA application fee

    Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local US embassy or consulate’s web site.

  • Step 5: Pay SEVIS fee

    If your Form I-20 is marked for "initial" attendance (see #3 on your Form I-20), you will need to pay the $350 SEVIS fee.

  • Step 6: Participate in a visa interview
    • You should schedule your visa interview as soon as possible after you receive your I-20/DS-2019, but no more than 120 days prior to the start of your academic semester. Give yourself as much time as possible to get your visa and make your travel arrangements.
    • These are the documents you will need for your interview!
      1. Valid passport
      2. I-20 or DS-2019
      3. Evidence of acceptance at OSU (Certificate of Admission)
      4. Evidence of your financial ability to pay for your education (bank statement)
      5. SEVIS fee receipt ($350 for F-1, $220 for J-1)
      6. Other documents that can show that you are NOT planning to immigrate to the U.S. An F-1 and J-1 visa are non-immigrant visas, so it is important to show that you have connections in your home country and that you intend to return upon completion of your studies. Bring any evidence that you think shows that you plan to return to your country. This kind of evidence includes:
          1. Family photos
          2. Degree certificates
          3. Documents showing ownership of property
          4. Photos of your home
          5. Letters of reference (from an employer, for example)  
      7. Any other documentation your embassy/consulate requires—check their website before you go. THESE DOCUMENTS PLUS THE VISA ARE THE DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO BRING WITH YOU FOR ENTRY TO THE U.S.  
    • You may not have time or be required to show everything that you bring, but it is better to bring everything that might be useful rather than being sorry you forgot an item. Be prepared to present your information quickly. In a busy embassy, the visa officer may have only a few minutes for each interview. Present your most important documents first and have the other things ready to show if you are given enough time. 


What is the SEVIS fee?

SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is an internet-based system that maintains data on foreign students and exchange visitors before and during their stay in the United States. It is administered by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The SEVIS fee is a one-time fee that MUST be paid by all new students entering the country on an F-1 or J-1 visa. The revenue from the fee is used to support the SEVIS program. More information on SEVIS and the SEVIS fee


Click here  to view frequently asked questions about SEVIS.


Who has to pay the SEVIS fee?

Who Amount
For spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2, or J-2) of students or exchange visitors None
For students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) $350
For exchange visitors (J-1) unless participating in $220
Federally sponsored exchange visitor program (program codes starts with G-1, G-2, or G-3) None

You do not need to pay the $200 SEVIS fee 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.


How to pay the SEVIS fee?


You must have a complete and accurate Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 to complete the Form I-901 online and to pay the SEVIS Fee. If you choose to pay by check or money order, you must be able to print the Form I-901 payment coupon when you complete the form online. Ensure a printer is connected and working before continuing. Students from Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Gambia will not be allowed to pay by credit card online.  Students from these countries must pay by Western Union. 


SEVIS Fee Payment Options:

  • Electronically, by completing Form I-901, Fee Remittance for Certain F, M, and J Non-immigrants, through the Internet ( using a credit card.
  • Through the mail, by submitting Form I-901, together with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency. 
  • School/Sponsors/Third party payments are allowed.

Effective July 31st, 2013, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will no longer mail I-797C receipts. The payment confirmation that can be printed from the FMJFEE website will replace the I-797C mailed receipt.  The payment confirmation can be printed anytime by clicking on the “Check I-901 Status/Print Payment Confirmation” button.


Immigration documents

International students and scholars should be aware of the immigration documents that may apply to their legal status to live or study in the U.S.

Click here for a list of terminology


Don't hesitate to contact ISS if you have any question. Do NOT risk your immigration status. ISS has professionals to answer your question and assist you with immigration issues. 

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