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Learn more about IELP ֱ Steps

Typical Steps for International Applicants

Most international students who wish to study full-time in the United States must apply for either an F-1 or J-1 (Student) visa through a U.S. Consulate.

Once you complete your application and get admitted to the IELP, we will issue you an I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status). We will email you your I-20.

Steps for Applicants who are outside of the United States

IELP Issues You an I-20

We will issue you an I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status). We will email you your I-20.

Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

Before you can schedule a visa interview, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Use the SEVIS ID# on the I-20 issued by the IELP to pay the fee.

SEVIS I-901 Fee Link: 

Submit Your Visa Application

Embassies and consulates will issue visas no more than 120 days before your program of study begins. You must submit the visa application (DS-160) and pay the fee before you can schedule your interview. If you have received an I-20 from the Intensive English Language Program, you will apply for an F-1 student visa for Academic or Language Students.

Visa Application Link: 

Schedule an Interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

In most countries, first-time student visa applicants are required to appear for an in-person interview. You should bring the following printed materials to your interview:

  • Admission Letter from the IELP
  • I-20 issued by the IELP
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt
  • Completed Form DS-160
  • Passport valid for at least six months after you plan to enter the United States
  • Two 2-inch by 2-inch (5-cm by 5-cm) passport photos
  • Dependent Information and Documentation (Dependent Information and Documentation Link: 
  • Students with spouses will need to show an additional $12,204 in checking and savings accounts and an additional $5,944 for each child who will come as well.

Each embassy and consulate sets its own interview policies and procedures regarding student visas. Students should consult embassy websites or contact embassies directly for specific instructions.

Visa Approval and Issuance

Once you have your visa, you may enter the United States no more than 30 days before your program start date, as shown on your I-20.