It is very important to enter the United States (U.S) with the proper visa. You must apply for an entry visa stamp in your passport so that you can enter the U.S. in student status. F and M Entry visas can only be obtained outside of the U.S. at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Do not make flight reservations until you receive your visa.
To apply for an entry visa, follow these steps:
Receive your I-20 Form
Pay the SEVIS Fee
New students must pay the SEVIS fee before applying for an entry visa or entering the U.S. This fee is assessed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is not administered by Lake Superior College. This is a separate fee from the Education USA fee. Read more about the SEVIS Fee.
SEVIS ID: N
School code: SPM214F00962000
Locate the Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
•Must be completed in your home country
Schedule an Appointment for Visa Interview
Your local embassy or consulate has specific instructions for scheduling an appointment. Wait times can be several weeks or longer, especially during summer months. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your I-20. See approximate visa wait times at consular locations.
All visa applicants must provide the following documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of the interview:
•Documented proof of financial support for at least one year
•Proof of SEVIS Fee payment (receipt)
•Visa application forms (available from U.S. embassy/consulate)
•Any other documents requested by your embassy/consulate
Practice for Your Visa Interview
When applying for a non-immigrant visa, the U.S. Consular Officer interviewing you will assume that you plan to immigrate to the U.S. permanently unless you prove otherwise. During the interview you will need to prove that you will only study temporarily in the U.S. and plan to return home after your studies are completed. Answer all questions truthfully but only provided information related to the question asked.
Be prepared to answer confidently and clearly in English:
•Your area of study
•Your reason for wanting to study in the U.S.
•Proof of sufficient funds and how your funds are able to cover all of your expenses for a minimum of one year.
•Your good reasons for returning home after you complete your studies. You must provide evidence where possible of the strong ties you have to your country. It could include having all of your family in your country, having a job offer awaiting you when you return or proof of property ownership. Emphasize specific future educational, employment or career goals that will be carried out in your home country. We recommend practicing your visa interview with family and friends.
Importance of Name Consistency
To avoid problems or delays in obtaining your visa and entering the U.S., ensure that all immigration documents reflect the same name, exactly as it appears in your passport. Do not use “nicknames” or shortened names on any of your documents, including your passport, I-20, entry visa stamp, I-94 card (completed in the airplane before your arrival) and any additional documents that you acquire after your arrival in the U.S.
If your visa is denied, ask the consular affairs officials to provide you with a written explanation of the denial, then contact Lake Superior College through email. Address the email to Victoria Shaw Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Visa Denial” in the subject line. Include your Lake Superior College student ID number and your full name in the email message.
Please review tips on your interview with SEVP and make sure that you have all of your documents in order including your financial documents. You will need to bring these with you to the interview. Have everything organized and be able to talk about your program of study and what skills you will learn and bring back to your home country (this is the purpose of the student exchange and visitor program). If, during the interview, you express interest in immigrating to the US your student visa will likely be denied. While SEVP recognizes that international students may change their mind while they are studying in the US, the intention of the program is for students to return to their home country to use the skills that they have obtained while in the US.
Review tips for applying for a non-immigrant visa
Other Visa Resources:
US Student Visa page