Applying for an F-1 Visa

Applying for an F-1 Visa

How to Apply for an F-1 Student Visa

After placing the deposit to secure your seat, you will need to upload the following documents to your application portal:

  • Passport
  • Completed and signed Certificate of Finances Form (located further down this page)
  • Financial documents like bank statements, letters from the bank, or educational loan documents 

A copy of your I-20 will be emailed to you.  Review all information carefully and sign it.

Consult the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to interview for more information

Check visa wait times now

Bring the following documents:

  • Passport with at least 3-4 blank pages
  • I-20 - be sure to sign it!
  • SEVIS Fee (I-901 Fee) receipt
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Saint Mary's acceptance letter
  • Proof of funding
    • The same financial documents that you submitted with the Certificate of Finances
  • U.S. passport-sized photos (if applicable)
  • Passports and I-20's for dependent applications (if applicable)

Prepare for your interview by reading through the Visa Interview Tips

Pack the following documents in your carry-on luggage:

  • Passport
  • F-1 visa
  • I-20
  • SEVIS Fee receipt
  • Financial documents
  • Saint Mary's acceptance letter

Getting an I-20 from Saint Mary's

In order to apply for an F-1 student visa, you will need to first get a Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20.  The I-20 proves that you have been fully admitted to the College and demonstrates your financial ability to cover the cost of attendance for the first academic year of your program.  Saint Mary's cannot issue I-20s for students who have been conditionally admitted to their academic program.  You must have an I-20 in order to apply for the F-1 visa.

After you have been fully admitted to the College and placed the deposit, you will be able to upload all of the required documents for the I-20 to your applicant portal.  Students will receive a detailed email from the Center for International Programs with instructions on how to complete this process.

Required Documents for an I-20

  • Copy of current, valid passport
  • Completed and signed Certificate of Finances
  • Financial documents
    • Bank statement or letter from the bank
    • Scholarship information, if applicable
    • Educational loan information, if applicable

International Transfer Students

If you're currently studying in the U.S. on an F-1 visa at another institution, you can transfer your SEVIS record to Saint Mary's.  Speak with the international student advisor or the international student office on your campus about transferring your SEVIS record to Saint Mary's.  Detailed instructions on how to transfer your SEVIS record, including our SEVP school codes, can be found in the Resources section below.

Deferring your Admission

If you defer your admission for one term, the Center for International Programs will also defer the Program Start Date on your SEVIS record and send you an updated I-20 that reflects your deferral.  You will not be required to submit updated financial documentation unless the cost of attendance changes between the term that you were admitted for and the term that you are deferring to.  

If you continue to defer your admission for an additional term, you will be required to submit an updated Certificate of Finances form and recent financial documents to demonstrate that you are still eligible for an I-20.  You may also be required to submit a new admissions application depending on your academic program.