Visa Application Process


  1. Once you have been accepted to the university, we will ask you to send us a copy of the biographical page of your passport, to prepare your I-20/ DS-2019.
    • You will receive either a form I-20 (for an F-1 visa) or a form DS-2019 (for a J-1 visa). This form is the one you used to obtain your F-1 or J-1 student visa, and it is a very important form.  If you have been accepted, and have not yet received your I-20 or DS-2019, contact Ms. Danielle Bacud (F-1) or Ms. Irina McClellan (J-1).
    • Besides regular mail, we have other International Mailing Options that would get your documents to you that are quicker and safer. 

      NOTE: In addition to meeting the regular admission requirements, international applicants needing a student visa (F-1/J-1) must show ability to meet financial obligations of tuition, fees, and living expenses while in the U.S..A. before an I-20 and an acceptance letter will be issued. You must complete the appropriate Certificate of Finances.

  2. When you receive your form I-20 or DS-2019, you should pay the $200 SEVIS I-901 Fee on-line with a credit card at FMJ Fee. You will need the SEVIS ID number in the top right corner of your I-20 or DS-2019 (N**********) and your passport to pay the fee. When you have paid the fee, print out the receipt so you can take it with you to the consulate. You must pay the fee at least three business days before your visa interview.
    • The SEVIS I-901 Fee is a non-refundable mandatory fee, meaning you must pay it before you can apply for the visa, but if you are denied a visa you will not receive the $200 back.
    • If you are denied a visa, you do not have to pay the fee again if you apply for an F-1 visa again in the next 12 months from when you paid the fee.
    • Continuing students or transfer students may not be subject to the SEVIS fee, unless they have had a break in their status.
    • Follow the Sevis Fee Payment Instructions for more information on the SEVIS Fee and study the links provided at the end of this section. We are also providing detailed instructions on SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment by Western Union Quick Pay.
    • Students who have an active SEVIS record, and are renewing their student visas do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again.
  3. To apply for a U.S. visa, go to the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
    • The visa application fee is a separate fee from the SEVIS I-901 fee. 
  4. After completing the online visa application and scheduling your visa interview at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to prepare your documents that you will need to take with you to your visa interview.
    • Examples of documents, but not limited to:
      • Form I-20 or DS-2019
      • SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt
      • Passport with validity of at least 6 months of your program start date
      • Letter of acceptance 
        • For students who are renewing their student visas (F-1): a verification of enrollment, transcripts, and/or future semester registration schedule might be additional documents they would take instead of a letter of acceptance, 
      • Evidence of Financial Support:
        • Check the information for your nearest embassy or consulate for more details on visas when traveling to the U.S.A. The U.S. consulate must be convinced that you have adequate financial resources to support your stay in the United States and that you do not intend to become a U.S. immigrant.
      • Proof of significant ties to your home country:
        • The intent to remain a non-immigrant is usually established by demonstrating that you have significant ties to your home country that would enhance the chances of your returning.

Please note that Valdosta State University has no influence on the visa-issuing decision at the U.S. embassy/consulate.

Useful Immigration Resources