Student Visa

Applying for a U.S. Student Visa

  1. Sign the front page of your I-20 or DS-2019 and contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F-1 or J-1 student visa appointment. Please visit the U.S. Embassy website for more information.
  2. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. All individuals applying for a student visa pay this fee unless they have paid it with a recent prior admission. The SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt will serve as proof of your payment. Alternatively, you can pay your SEVIS I-901 fee via Western Union by filling out the Form I–901 prior to visiting. After making the payment at a local Western Union, the payment will be posted to your account immediately.
  3. Obtain and complete a student visa application form. This form is available at the information counter of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate or online.
    • Because the requirements to apply for a U.S. visa differ from country to country, you should contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country to obtain specific visa application information.
    • Online you can obtain detailed U.S. visa information for your country.
    • Please note: Many U.S. Embassies/Consulates now take approximately four (4) to six (6) weeks to process student visas.
    • It is important to bring with you any fees you need to pay when you go to the Embassy/Consulate.
  4. Go to the Embassy/Consulate or follow the mailing instructions given by the Embassy or Consulate to apply for a student visa. Along with the completed visa application, you must also bring or mail the following items:
    • The original I-20 or DS-2019 form and the admission letter sent by UMKC.
    • A nonrefundable visa application fee. See payment instructions on the application form.
    • A passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond your intended stay in the U.S.
    • Original school transcripts and public examination certificates, including a student copy of your TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT or GRE score report, if applicable.
    • Original documents of your sponsor’s most recent salaries or tax forms. If you are producing fixed deposit certificates, you must provide evidence that your sponsor has had this money in deposit for a reasonable amount of time.
    • One set of all financial documents (Bank Verification).
    • Any evidence that demonstrates strong ties to your country or any other residence outside of the U.S.
    • All other documents listed on the visa application

You may find the following tips to be useful when applying for a student visa:

  • You must be honest when completing your visa application.
  • You must prove that you have sufficient money to cover the entire cost of your education during your first year of study (and adequate funds for each subsequent year of study). You should provide as much financial documentation as possible to the Embassy/Consulate (such as detailed bank statements, property records, letters from you or your parents’ employers, etc.).
  • You must have a clear educational goal in mind when you apply for a visa. It is important for you to know about UMKC. Read the information we have sent you. If you have any questions, contact us. The consular official will be looking for specific information about how you decided to attend UMKC. What process did you follow? Why did you choose UMKC over other institutions? Reasons may include but are not limited to: degree programs available; financial assistance; low cost of living expenses and tuition; location (metropolitan city but not a big city like Los Angeles, New York, etc.); you may have a friend who is currently enrolled; or you might have met a faculty or staff member from UMKC. Think about all of this and anything else and be prepared to respond to the questions. In addition, you must have a clear employment objective when you return to your home country.
  • If the Consular Official believes that it is your intent to immigrate to the U.S. rather than return to your country after your studies are completed, your visa may be denied. This is one of the major reasons for visa denials.
  • You should not be discouraged if you are denied a visa. If you are denied a visa, the Consular Official will notify you in writing of the specific reason. You then should reapply for a student visa when you can submit the needed items or documentation. Please contact Jillian Gotfredson for assistance.
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