Determine the Type of Visa You Need to Enter the U.S.
Most students admitted to JSU should apply for an F-1 student visa. If you receive an I-20 document from JSU, then you will apply for an F-1 visa.
J-1 students are usually in formal exchange programs or receiving most or all of their funding from their home government, a U.S. government agency, or JSU. If you receive a DS-2019 document from the university or another U.S. agency, then you will apply for a J-1 student visa.
If you think you have received the wrong type of visa document, please contact the office of the International House and Programs. Do NOT enter the United States as a visitor (B1/B2 or visa waiver). Individuals with these immigration statuses are not eligible to register for an academic course of study.
Steps We Suggest You Take to Obtain a Visa:
1. Pay the SEVIS Fee
New students will need to pay the SEVIS fee before applying for an entry visa or entering the United States. This fee is charged by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and it is not administered by JSU. The fee cannot be paid prior to the issuance of the I-20 or DS-2019. In order to pay the fee, please go to the I-901 fee website. There is a helpful video tutorial if you need additional help.
2. Locate the Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Your Home Country
You can find more information about embassies and consulates at the USEmbassy.gov website or the State Department website.
3. Schedule Your Visa Appointment
Your local embassy or consulate will have specific instructions for scheduling and for making appointments. Waiting times for an appointment can be lengthy (up to several weeks or longer) especially during the busy summer months. Schedule your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your visa documents.
4. Prepare for Your Interview
All visa applicants must provide the following documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of their application.
- Valid passport
- Valid I-20 or DS-2019
- Admission letter
- Proof of financial support for one year
- Receipt of payment of the SEVIS fee
- Visa application forms
- Any other documents requested by the specific embassy or consulate
5. If you have dependents:
Your spouse and children under age 21 are eligible to accompany you to the U.S. with a dependent visa (F-2 or J-2). You must request a dependent I-20 or DS-2019 document for each eligible dependent. Dependents are not required to pay for the SEVIS fee. F-2 visa holders are not permitted to work in the U.S. Also, they cannot study full-time at a university or other post-secondary institution.
6. If Your Visa is Denied
If you visa is denied, then ask the consular office to provide a written explanation of the denial. Next, contact our office (International House and Programs) for assistance. Email the details of the denial and the denial reason to email@example.com. Please include in the subject line the title “Visa Denial"