Step 3: Your F-1 Student Visa and I-20 Issuance
Please review the information on this page and the Visa Information page to learn how to apply for your USF F-1 student visa.
Your F-1 student visa will be issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Citizens of Canada, Bermuda, or the Bahamas do not need a visa.
- International students living outside of the U.S.
You will receive a notification that your I-20 is ready to download at your @dons.usfca.edu email address after you have:
- Submitted a non-refundable enrollment deposit AND
- Submitted the I-20 Application Form in your Dons Status Page.
- Confirmed your mailing address in your Dons Status Page. Please let us know ASAP if there are any errors by emailing your admission counselor or email@example.com. International students are required to report any change in address (local or permanent) to USF for immigration purposes. Your local address must be inside the U.S., and your permanent residence address must be outside the U.S.
- International students already studying in the U.S. with an F-1 student visa
You will receive a notification that your USF I-20 is ready to download at your @dons.usfca.edu email address after you have:
Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security charges a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee. You must pay this fee before applying for an F-1 visa, even if you are a citizen of Canada, Bermuda, or the Bahamas. Please follow the instructions on the Visa Information page.
Apply for the F-1 Student Visa
Although the specific visa application process is different in each country (please check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country), you will generally need:
- Current passport valid for travel to the United States (valid for at least six months)
- One passport-style photograph
- SEVIS I-901 fee and proof of payment
- Online nonimmigrant visa application form (DS-160) and printed confirmation page
- Proof of payment for the visa application processing fee ($160), paid through the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your country
- Original USF Form I-20
- Copy of your USF admission letter, academic letters, and test scores to show your acceptance to USF, academic preparation, qualifications, and English language proficiency
- Certification of finances and supporting documents to show that you have sufficient funds to pay for your educational and living expenses for at least your first year in the U.S.