The United States of America welcomes foreign citizens who come to the U.S. to study or participate in an exchange program. Before applying for a visa, all student and exchange visitor applicants are required to be accepted and approved for their program. When accepted, educational institutions and program sponsors will provide each applicant the necessary approval documentation, to be submitted when applying for a visa.
SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
All international students must register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which monitors students' and schools' compliance with government requirements. Students will receive a unique SEVIS number from their school. All applicants must pay the SEVIS fee online or at Western Union before the interview. Anyone who has not paid the SEVIS fee will be sent to pay the fee before they will be interviewed.
All applicants for student visas should bring to the interview the following documents; failure to bring these documents may require the applicant to reschedule the appointment.
- Confirmation of appointment.
- Confirmation of payment receipt.
- An undamaged passport that is valid for at least 6 months after planned entry to the U.S. The U.S. Embassy recommends that applicants have the CARICOM machine-readable passport. Applicants without a machine-readable passport may be requested to obtain a new passport.
- One color passport-sized photographs 2" x 2", taken within the last six months. The new visa application form enables applicants to upload their own photos, but you should bring printed photos in case the online photo is not acceptable.
- For children under the age of 16, the applicant's original birth certificate or a certified replacement copy from the Department of Vital Statistics should be available as it may be requested by the adjudicating officer.
- Original I-20.
- Acceptance letter from the school they will attend.
- Degree/diplomas and/or transcripts from prior schools.
- Proof of ability to pay for the school. Applicants must be able to show current funds to pay for at least the first year. Applicants may show their ability to pay for school through personal funds, scholarships, family funds, or student loans.
Applicants should also be able to show that they are qualified to study for the program that they plan to attend. This may include the ability to speak and understand English.