Step 1: Issuance of I-20
After a student has been accepted to The Academy, an enrollment contract must be signed and submitted to the The Academy’s Office of Admission. When the contract and all required deposits/payments have been received, the Office of Admission will then register the student with SEVIS and issue an official I-20 in accordance with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services “BCIS” (formerly the INS) procedures. The I-20 visa form will then be sent via express mail to the student.
Step 2: Documentation & Consular Interview
Following is a list of documents you should take with you to the U.S. consulate or embassy. However, always confirm with the U.S. consulate or embassy which documents are necessary.
- Completed Nonimmigrant Visa Application, (Form OF-156), which can be obtained from the U.S. consulate or embassy, with photo and receipt for the visa processing fee.
- Completed I-20 from The Academy. Do not bring I-20’s issued from other schools you do not plan to attend.
- Passport, which must be valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the U.S.
- Letter of admission from the school.
- Financial documentation that shows sufficient funds to cover the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and other related expenses.
Occasionally students will be asked to provide additional information. In order to avoid multiple trips, you should be prepared to show other information such as official school transcripts and standardized test scores.
The purpose of the consular interview is to enable the consular officer to determine the student’s academic interests and English language proficiency. It is also to ensure that the applicant is a legitimate candidate for a student visa. Although there is not a set list of questions, applicants should be prepared to answer a variety of questions related to why you wish to study in the U.S., why you are interested in a particular school and the documentation you have provided.
Step 3: Visa Approval
If the student visa application is approved, you will be given an F-1 visa stamp in your passport. The stamp will indicate when the visa will expire, the number of entries permitted into the U.S., the type of visa and other important information. You will also be given a sealed envelope containing the two-page I-20. When you travel to the U.S. you will bring with you the sealed envelope, your passport, visa and any other important documents. This documentation will be collected by the Director of International Student Affairs and stored in a safe on campus.
Please reference the following websites for further information:
For general information regarding visas or the visa application process:
For specific information regarding consulates and embassies worldwide (i.e. addresses & hours of operation) go to the following link and choose your country of origin:
For specific information about how to become an academic student in the U.S.:
Students and Employment | USCIS