arrivinginusaOnce you are accepted to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, you need to do the following before coming to the USA:

Obtain a Form I-20 from your school.
In order to get the I-20 “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status” you need:
a) An acceptance to an SEVP-certified school
b) Provide evidence of financial support. Note that financial support can come from you, your family outside the United States or within the United States from relatives or a friend.
c) You will also need other supporting documents as requested by the designated school official (DSO).
Once you meet the necessary requirements, your school will actually send you a form I-20.

You need to Pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee
All international students must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
You can pay your fee at

Once you get the above then you apply for a visa to travel to the United States.
You can apply for a visa to travel to the United States at your designated U.S. embassy or consulate. Make sure you bring all required documents with you. Note that just because you have all the required documents, it does not mean that the US embassy will actually approve your visa. One of the reasons of denial is the immigrant intent INA 214(b). As such be ready to explain that you are planning to return back to your home country once you complete your education.

Tips for students at the US embassy

Obtaining a Student Visa at the US embassy is not a guarantee of entrance in the United States.

You cannot arrive more than 30 days before your program start date. When traveling, always hand-carry all of your documents (such as your passport, Form I-20 and Form I-94). Do not pack any documents in your checked baggage. Make sure that you do not lie to the Custom Border Patrol (CBP) at the port of entry. Once you arrive, remember to contact your designated school official as soon as possible.

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