Applying for an F-1 Visa
Before applying for an F-1 visa, you must remit a $200 SEVIS fee, required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Then follow these steps:
- Bring the following documents to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy that has jurisdiction over your place of residence: SEVIS fee receipt, I-20 (sent by Pfeiffer), passport, all proof of financial support. During your required interview, you must demonstrate:
- You are a lawful student. The officer will review your educational background and plans to assess the likelihood that you will enroll and persist in school through graduation. Be prepared to discuss the reasons you chose a particular college, your anticipated major and career plans. Bring school transcripts, national examination results, and SAT or TOEFEL scores.
- You have sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the U.S. to indicate that you will not leave school early or work illegally. Provide evidence of your sponsor’s sources and amounts of income.
- You have a residence in your home country to which you intend to return. Consular officers are required by the U.S. State Department to assume applicants for visas intend to remain in the U.S. unless they are otherwise convinced. They must be confident that your stay in the U.S. will be temporary. Examples of information that lets them know you intend to return to your home country include details about your family’s economic position, property you own or will inherit or your own economic potential when you return after completing your education.
- If the consular officer approves your application, “F-1 Visa” will be stamped on a page of your passport.
- Apply at a port of entry for admission to the U.S. by:
- Presenting a passport (valid for at least 6 months)
- Presenting an F-1 visa that has Pfeiffer University listed in the annotation
- Producing the I-20 issued by Pfeiffer and with your signature
- Showing evidence of financial support and supporting documentation
- Indicating to the immigration inspector that you are qualified in every way to be admitted as an F-1 student
- If the immigration inspector approves your entry into the U.S., you will receive an I-94 form, which indicates:
- The date and place of entry
- Your status (should be F-1)
- A unique 11-digit identification number
- D/S (duration of status), which means you are admitted to the U.S. for the length of time required to complete a specific program. This date is indicated on the I-20. If your I-94 does not have D/S, contact Pfeiffer’s International Center immediately.
- The inspector will stamp the top page of your I-20. (Note: You will need your I-20 any time you travel outside the U.S. Page 3 must be signed by a DSO from Pfeiffer’s International Center at least every 12 months (preferably every 6 months), particularly if you will be traveling outside the U.S.
- When you arrive on campus, bring your passport, I-94, I-20, and SEVIS fee receipt to the International Center so a copy can be entered in your student file.