As an International Student, you will need to obtain a J-1 or F-1 visa in order to study at Washington College. Please feel free to contact the Global Education Office with any additional questions, but the following steps should help you complete all of your Visa application needs.
Locate the Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Review the requirements to apply for the visa you need. Requirements may vary slightly in different locations. Information can be found on the U.S. Embassy website.
Find Out What Fees Are Required
The current fee for the visa is approximately $180, but there may be additional interview or service fees, including the $200 SEVIS fee for J-1 Visas or $350 for F-1 Visas (one-time fee paid by new students and scholars). Use only official U.S. Department of State sources for fee information to avoid scam artists.
Acquire and Complete the Necessary Forms
From Washington College:
- Letters of admission and invitation
- I-20 (for F visa) or DS-2019 (for J visa)
From U.S. Department of State:
- Nonimmigrant visa application (Form DS-160)
- Consult U.S. Embassy or Consulate for additional forms
Make Sure Your Passport Is Valid
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled date of arrival in the United States. Check that the data on the I-20 or DS-2019 (e.g., spelling of name, birth date) matches with your passport, and notify Washington College immediately of any mistakes.
NOTE: Washington College will use only your first given name and your family name on visa forms. Middle names are not required. Also, the Department of State has advised schools to omit (leave out) dashes “-” in names.
The U.S. Department of State specifies that the photo be “1 and ½ inches square (37x37mm), showing full face with a neutral expression, without head covering, against a light background.” You can have your head covered if it is for religious purposes and wear glasses that do not have tinted lenses.
Gather Financial Information
You will need to provide financial evidence that shows sufficient funds to cover tuition (if applicable) and living expenses during the period of stay. These would include income tax records, bankbooks and/or statements. If your sponsor owns a business, additional business documents will be required (e.g., registrations, licenses, etc.). The amount of funds you are responsible for appear on your I-20 or DS-2019.
Prepare for Your Interview
The Washington College Global Education Office has provided you with a great guide for preparing for your Visa Interview.
You must schedule an appointment for an in-person interview with a consular officer. Most consular offices require use of an online scheduling system that you can access from their websites. Consult the Visa Appointment Wait Times page of the U.S. Department of State website to help you determine your best target date. The site shows average wait times. Do not procrastinate in making your appointment in case a problem arises with your application.
Maintain Your Visa Status
Once you have obtained your Visa, please make sure you are aware of any special steps you will have to take to ensure that you can maintaining your status. Requirements for keeping your status vary for F-1 and J-1 students, please use the links below to follow the steps for your specific visa.
Travel Abroad and Re-entry
If you will be traveling back to your country of citizenship you will only need a valid passport or travel document. If however, you wish to travel to another country you may be required to present your Visa for travel. You should always check with the destination country’s embassy to be sure. When you return to the U.S., you will need the following items.
Valid passport (unless exempt from passport and visa requirements)
A valid visa
A valid I-20 or DS-2019 signed for re-entry
If you are leaving the country for the break, remember to have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed before you leave!