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International Student Center
Apply for an F-1 Student Visa

Below are the steps to follow for you to apply for an F-1 student visa:
  1. Visit https://ceac.state.gov/genniv to submit the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160).
    Print the DS-160 barcode page only and NOT the entire application.

  2. Schedule and pay for a visa appointment at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country at www.usembassy.gov. Please be aware that you may not apply for a visa until 120 days before the start date listed in item #5 of your I-20.

  3. Check the website of your local U.S. consulate or embassy regarding specific visa application procedures and required documentation. Typical documentation includes:

    • Original I-20 issued by College of San Mateo
    • Copy of SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment
    • Copy of online visa application (DS-160)
    • Copy of visa appointment payment
    • Original valid passport (passport must be valid for at least 6 months)
    • Original passport photo (color and 2x2 inches)
    • Academic documents including transcripts, TOEFL or IELTS scores
    • College of San Mateo’s acceptance letter
    • Original financial documents such as bank statements, showing sufficient funds
      to cover tuition and living expenses for one year

  4. Show up for your visa appointment on time. There is no need to be nervous.
    When you are being interviewed, answer the questions concisely and clearly.

  5. If you are granted a visa, it will be stamped in your passport. If you are denied, please ask for written notification and submit a copy to our office, so we can provide you with information on how to apply again.