Student Visa

Applying for a U.S. Student Visa

  1. Print and sign the front page of your I-20 or DS-2019.
  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.
  3. Obtain and complete a visa application form (DS-160).
    • 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.
    • Please note: You may schedule an interview up to 120 days prior to the start date of your program AND many U.S. Embassies/Consulates may 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 printed and signed 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.
    • Photo measuring 22mm x 35mm (if your photo upload failed when submitting the DS-160)
    • Original school transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates, and any copies of any test scores submitted as a part of your admission (TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, etc.)
    • Copy of financial document submitted to UMKC as proof of how you will pay for all educational, living and travel costs.
    • Any evidence that demonstrates strong ties to your country or any other residence outside of the U.S.

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

  • As part of the visa requirements, you must prove that you have sufficient money to cover the cost of your education.  You will have submitted these documents to UMKC and may present the same documents if requested at the interview.
  • You should have a clear educational goal you are able to articulate to the visa officer. It is important for you to know about UMKC and your academic goals here.  If you have any questions, please contact us.  Consider why you chose UMKC over other institutions. Reasons may include but are not limited to: degree programs available/research options; financial assistance; low cost of living expenses and tuition; you may have a friend who is currently enrolled or you might have met a faculty or staff member from UMKC, etc.
  • Consider your long-term goals as it relates to career potential in your home country (or at least outside of the United States). 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. Because the F-1 and J-1 visas are non-immigrant visas, 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.