Once your visa application form is completed, you should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live. Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States : Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport. Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Application fee payment receipt : if you are required to pay before your interview.
- Photo: You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160.
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20 : Your school will send you a Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20. All students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend live in the United States with you, will each receive an individual Form I-20.
All students are encouraged to register with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before entering the country so as you save time and start your training sooner. You can file the TSA form online. There is a $130.00 fee for TSA. Students must pay this fee for each course as they go. e.g. Private, Instrument, and Multi-Engine Commercial.
Student (F and M) visas for new students can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the start date for a course of study. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on your student visa more than 30 days before the start date.