Apply for a visa to study in the US

Students studying together outside on campus

Apply for a student visa in 4 steps:

  1. Apply to FLC. Before you can apply for a student visa, you’ll need to be accepted to FLC. We will issue you an I-20 form when you've been accepted, and you’ll be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
  2. Select the appropriate visa. Apply for an F-1 visa if you plan to graduate from FLC. Apply for a J-1 visa if you plan to spend a semester or two at FLC as an exchange student.
  3. Fill out the online application forms provided by your U.S. embassy or consulate office and schedule an interview with that office.
  4. Attend your embassy interview, present your I-20, and pay your fees.

When to apply

Be sure to apply for your visa early so that you’re sure to have it before it’s time to begin your studies. You may be issued a visa as much as 120 days before the start of the semester. You will not be allowed to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the beginning of the semester.

The U.S. F-1 student visa is one of the fastest visas to process. It is often processed directly before your interview at the embassy, and usually, the application is approved by the end of the interview. (Some F-1 visa applications take several days to process, though.)

The interview

At your embassy interview, you’ll be asked to verify that you meet the criteria to receive the visa you’ve applied for. Additionally, you’ll present your I-20 form, issued by FLC.


  • SEVIS I-901 fee: $350 U.S.
  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) fee: $160 U.S.