Students and exchange visitors should plan early for your visa and complete the following steps. Once you have secured your visa, prepare your travel to arrive prior to your program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.

Non-U.S. citizens seeking to enter the United States for study or exchange must generally first obtain an accurate U.S. visa issued by the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs to enter the United States. Individual applicants should refer to your local U.S. Embassy / Consulate for instructions and plan early to avoid study or exchange interruptions resulting from delays.

Visa Types

Before you can apply for your visa, you must first apply and be accepted by Adelphi and have received your I-20 or DS-2019 from International Services. International students have the following visa types:

  • F Student Visa: most common visa status used for fully study
  • J Exchange Visa: for participation in an exchange program

Visa Application Steps

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions from your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate

New F or J visa applicants must pay the required I-901 fee prior to your visa interview.

You can pay your I-901 fee online. Find more information about this fee and who must pay it via the SEVIS Fee FAQs.

Submit the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay the required fee Fees for Visa Services. Get specific information regarding your visa photo and access the online DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center.

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply.

Prepare the following documents for your visa interview. Valid Passport, Visa Photo, Form I-20 or DS-2019, DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application confirmation page, Application fee payment receipt, and Financial Documents. Additional information may be requested by the Consular Officer.

A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a student visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.

Preparing for Your Visa Interview

Knowing what to expect during your interview and preparing in advance are the best chances for being successful. During the interview, you will be asked questions to determine if you are a bonafide (legitimate) student, how you will finance your program, and what you will do after your program ends to determine your eligibility for a visa. To help you for your visa interview, refer to the following tips.

  • Anticipate the interview will be conducted in English and will be quick.
  • Be prepared to explain why you chose Adelphi, about your field of study, and what your plans are once you complete your program.
  • Be prepared to show how you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.
  • Be prepared to show that you have compelling ties to your home country and plan to return home after your program ends.
  • Practice potential questions you may be asked in advance.
  • Have your academic transcripts and official test scores for the student visa or your professional background and experience for the exchange visitor visa available to provide the consular officer.
  • Familiarize yourself with the details listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

New F or J visa applicants must pay the required I-901 fee prior to your visa interview.
  • If you are applying for your visa within 12 months of the date of your SEVIS I-901 fee payment using the same SEVIS ID or are a continuing student using the same SEVIS ID, you do not need to pay the fee.
  • If you have paid this fee under a previously issued SEVIS Number must transfer the fee to your currently issued SEVIS number prior to your visa appointment.
  • If you are renewing your visa, you do not need to repay this fee but will need confirmation this fee has been paid.
  • If you have questions about the SEVIS fee, refer to this website: I-901 Frequently Asked Questions

Student visas can be issued up to 365 days in advance of the program start date, allowing more time for students to apply for a visa. Although, students cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days before program start date, and for first time students, the nae on the visa must match the name on the immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019).

Find the nearest US embassy or consulate and schedule your visa interview. Wait times will vary by location and can take months, so it is essential not to delay in scheduling your appointment.

Embassy and consulates are prioritizing student visa appointments now and utilizing expanded interview waiver authorities.

Appointment wait times will vary depending on location. To check the estimated wait time for a nonimmigrant visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, visit this link: Visa Appointment Wait Times
You are required to have the following documents with you during your visa interview.
  • Passport
  • Visa Photo
  • I-20 (F visas) or DS-2019 (J visas)
  •  DS-160 Confirmation Page
  • Receipts for the visa application and SEVIS fee
During your interview, the consular officer may ask you specific questions and/or request additional documents. To prepare, it is also recommended to bring the following documents:
  • Academic records such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
  • Evidence of your intent to depart the United States following your program completion
  • Standardized test scores required by your US institution
  • Financial documentation proving you have enough funds to cover all expenses associated with your program.
The U.S. Embassy reviews expedited requests for F and J visas on a case-by-case basis. Applicants requesting an expedited appointment must provide an I-20
or DS-2019 showing that they would miss the beginning of your courses/programs if not granted an expedited appointment.
If your visa has been denied, you will receive a piece of paper explaining the reason for the visa refusal and will be provided with specifics on what action, if any, the applicant can take.
  • If you have received a visa rejection, please review this helpful resource on your options: Visa Denials
U.S. law sets the standards under which a visa application may be denied. An application may be denied because the consular officer does not have all of the information required to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa, because the applicant does not qualify for the visa category for which they applied, or because the information reviewed indicates the applicant falls within the scope of one of the inadmissibility or ineligibility grounds of the law. The most common reasons for a visa denial include 221(g) or 214(b).
  1. INA section 221(g) – Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation. This means the application is incomplete and/or further documentation is required, or further administrative processing of your application is required.
  2. INA section 214(b) – Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent. This means the applicant did not sufficiently demonstrate that they qualify for the visa; and/or did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, by sufficiently demonstrating strong ties to their home country that will compel the applicant to leave the United States at the end of their program.
  3. If you have received a visa rejection, please review this helpful resource on your options: Visa Denials
After being found ineligible for a visa, you may reapply in the future. If you reapply for a visa after being found ineligible, with the exception of 221(g) refusals, you must submit a new visa application and pay the visa application fee again. If you were found ineligible under section 214(b) of the INA, you should be able to present evidence of significant changes in circumstances since your last application.
  • If you have received a visa rejection, please review this helpful resource on your optionsVisa Denials

Applying for Your Visa

Plan early and apply for your visa with the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.
Phone Number
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Post Hall, 203
  • Regular Semester Hours Mon - Fri: 8:30 am–4:30 pm
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