Apply for U.S. Visa
Once you receive your immigration packet, you will need to obtain an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy to enter the United States. In order to obtain your F-1 visa, you will need to make an appointment at the local U.S. Consulate in your home country. The waiting time for an interview can vary, so make your appointment as soon as possible.
*Note – Canadian Citizens: You must pay the SEVIS fee (see below), although you do not need to apply for an F-1 visa. Canadian students are exempt from the visa requirement, although they will be considered in F-1 status when they enter the U.S. with their I-20.
During the student visa interview, all applicants must provide documentation, such as:
- Visa Application
- Visa fee Receipt: A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee and a visa issuance fee (if applicable). All applicants, including dependents, must pay the MRV fee.
- SEVIS Form I-20 from Pacific Oaks College
- SEVIS fee Receipt: After receiving your I-20, you will need to go online and pay the SEVIS fee I-901. You can pay this fee here. Dependents do not need to pay this fee.
- Valid passport for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States
- One (1) 2×2 photograph
The information listed above is not an exhaustive list. Please always check the Department of State’s website before your interview.
Crossing the Border
Once you have obtained your visa (if required), you will use it with your I-20 (or DS-2019) and passport to enter the United States. You will also need proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee. You may also need to show proof of funding as well, so it is a good idea to bring copies of these financial documents with you. Be sure that you do not pack your passport, SEVIS I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, or proof of funding in your checked baggage. These documents should be hand carried. If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter
**Note – Be advised that you may be refused entry into the United States if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form. If you wish to enter the country before the 30 days, you will need to do so as a tourist. However, before you begin your studies, you will need to leave the United States and reenter in F-1 status.
Once You Are In the United States
It is important to safeguard all your immigration documents at all times. After you have entered the United States, you must check in with Pacific Oaks within 10 days of your arrival. Be sure to bring all your immigrant documents with you at that time so the Designated School Official (DSO) can make copies of all your documents and properly register you in SEVIS as required by immigration regulations.
If you have any questions about your immigration status or the information outlined in this document, please contact your Designated School Official.