F-1 Visa Application in Home Country
F-1 Entry Visa Stamp
U.S. entry visa stamps are issued by a United States embassy or consulate and must be valid for reentry from overseas. Students intending to enter the U.S. as an F-1 visa holder must have a valid F-1 entry visa stamp in their passport. It is not possible to renew an F-1 entry visa stamp in the United States.
Application for an Entry Visa Stamp
There may be significant delays before a visa application is approved. Applications should be submitted to the U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as possible. Many U.S. embassies/consulates require pre-arranged appointments. Students are advised to check the embassy/consulate web site or contact the post directly for information on scheduling.
Security Clearance screening is triggered by nationality, country of citizenship, countries visited in the past and the field of study or expertise. The Security Clearance will minimally take 20 days and may take as long as 6 months. An expedite request is not possible in implementing Security Clearances. A record created in SEVIS will not preclude the possibility of a Security Clearance.
Supplemental Form Now Required for NIV Applications
The DOS has created a supplemental form (DS-157) to accompany the Non-Immigrant Visa Application form (DS-156). DS-157 must be completed by all male NIV applicants between the ages of 16 and 45 regardless of nationality and regardless of the country where the application is submitted. For more information and to view DS-157 see: http://travel.state.gov/new157.html
The embassy/consulate will minimally require:
For an F non-immigrant visa application, the embassy/consulate will minimally require:
- a SEVIS-generated I-20 that accurately reflects the degree program, major, and financial resources and contains a valid reentry signature on page 3
- documentary evidence of the financial resources
- a transcript from each school attended in the U.S.
- evidence of a student's intent to return home upon the completion of studies in the U.S.
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if authorized Optional Practical Training
- Student may also want to present a letter from his/her academic adviser that states s/he has maintained good progress in the program of study, etc.
- student has violated his/her F-1 legal status
- student has overstayed a visa
- student is authorized post-completion Optional Practical Training
- student is making a visa application in a country other than home country
- student is engaged to or married to a U.S. citizen
- student has a petition filed for permanent residence
- student has close family members (parents, siblings) who hold permanent residence
F-1 students who currently possess a SEVIS I-20 should insure that the document has a valid reentry signature on page 3. If the information on the document remains accurate, the student can use the document in the visa application process. F-1 students pursuing a program of study at Buffalo State who do not possess a SEVIS I-20 will need to request the document from the Office of International Student Affairs.
Submit to the Office of International Student Affairs
Financial Certification Statement (for Graduate School Students Only)
Transmittal Form Completed by the Graduate School (for Graduate School students who are changing degree programs - not required if student is continuing same program)
Financial Certification Statement (for Undergraduate, Non-Degree Seeking & Professional School Students)
International Student Payroll Verification Letter, if employed on campus (download required format)
Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if authorized Optional Practical Training
Exception from a Full Course of Study Form(s), if needed. Note: Undergraduate and first year graduate students must submit Exception forms to the Office of International Student Affairs before a request for an I-20 can be submitted.
It may take a week or more for the Office of International Student Affairs to process a SEVIS I-20 request.
Reentry into the U.S.
Present to U.S. Inspection the SEVIS I-20, documentary evidence of funding and your passport with your new entry visa stamp. The Office of International Student Affairs recommends that students carry all previously issued I-20's in the event they are asked to document their F-1 history in the U.S.