Guide to Obtaining an F-1 Visa

Once you have been admitted to St. Lawrence University and have completed all the appropriate paperwork, you will be issued an I-20 by St. Lawrence University. When your I-20 arrives, please file your application with the appropriate US embassy or consulate as soon as you can gather all the necessary documents and materials. Once you have completed your application, you will be able to schedule you visa interview.  Below is a list of required documents and fees.

Required Documents:

  • Form I-20 issued by St. Lawrence University.
  • Completed Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) which must be completed by you online prior to scheduling your appointment. You will find instructions for using the form and a link to the form on your embassy’s website.
  • Receipt for your SEVIS I-901 fee. You can obtain your receipt by paying the fee using the following website: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html. In order to complete the on-line form and receive your receipt, you must have information from your I-20 and a credit card for payment. The SEVIS fee is US$200.00.
  • Nonimmigrant visa processing fee. The fee is US$140.00. Please visit your US embassy or consulate website for exact instructions on paying your fee and the required currency and amount. Some embassies/consulates require on-line payment of fees in advance of your interview. You can find the website for your appropriate US embassy or consulate at http://www.usembassy.gov/. If you pay your fee on-line, you will need to bring with you your MRV receipt.
    A passport valid for travel to the US and with a validity date at least six months beyond your period of study at St. Lawrence University. 
  • One 2”x2” (5cmx5cm) photograph. Information on nonimmigrant visa photograph requirements is included in this packet and may also be accessed at http://travel.state.gov/visa/visaphotoreq/visaphotoreq_5334.html.
  • Proof of ties to your country of residence and your intention to return to that country after completing your education.
  • Proof of funds to pay for your attendance/visit at St. Lawrence including bank or other financial statements.
  • Additional Documentation. IMPORTANT : Please review the documentation guidelines for your US embassy or consulate. Each embassy/consulate has unique requirements. In order to assure that you receive your visa in a timely manner, it is critical that you make sure you have all the documents and materials required by your US embassy or consulate at the time of your interview. When you are reviewing the embassy/consulate website, please make sure you look to see the documents required of ALL applicants as well as those for F visa applicants. You can find the website for your appropriate US embassy or consulate at http://www.usembassy.gov/.

EducationUSA Advising Centers
You are strongly encouraged to contact the closest EducationUSA Advising Center. These centers are located in 450 locations in almost every country around the world. Many offer a pre-departure orientation featuring current students from your country who are studying in the US. Many of the EducationUSA Advising Centers can also assist you with preparations for and the actual process of obtaining your visa at US embassies and consulates. To find your closest EducationUSA Advising Center, please visit http://educationusa.info/centers.php.

Instructions for Canadian International Students

Canadian Citizens do not need visas to study in the U.S. When you cross the border to study you will need to provide the Officer at the port of entry the following documents:

  • An original I-20 issued to you by St. Lawrence University. Once you have been admitted to St. Lawrence University and have completed all the appropriate paperwork, you will be eligible to be issued a I-20 by St. Lawrence University. Canadian students will typically be sent their I-20 documents sometime in June or July.
  • An unexpired Canadian passport.
  • Receipt for your SEVIS I-901 fee. You can obtain your receipt by paying the fee using the following website: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html.  In order to complete the on-line form and receive your receipt, you must have information from your I-20 and a credit card for payment.  The SEVIS fee is US$200.00.
  • Proof of funds to pay for your attendance at St. Lawrence including bank or other financial statements.
  • Proof of ties to Canada and your intention to return to Canada after completing your education.