Welcome to our Student Visa page. If you plan to enroll as
an international student at St. John's, you need to apply for your
official Student Visa. To learn how, please read all the
What is SEVIS?
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information
System. The Department of Homeland Security - Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) administers SEVIS. Its purpose is to
monitor students and scholars in the U.S.
Preparing for Your F-1 Visa
Preparing for an F-1 Visa interview is vital if you plan to enter
the United States for the first time to study. To learn about
bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue your
studies, renewing your visa or applying for your Student Visa,
please visit the U.S.
Department of State online.
How to Obtain Your F-1 Visa
Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about getting
your F-1 International Student Visa. For a list of U.S. Consulates
and Embassies near you, please visit http://usembassy.state.gov/.
Your Next Steps
When you receive your I-20 Form from St. John's, follow the U.S.
Embassy/Consulate instructions for scheduling your F-1 Student Visa
Apply for your Student Visa as far in advance as possible.
Though many consulates suggest making your appointment no more than
90 days from your intended travel date, some consulates can make
earlier arrangements for your interview.
You will need to complete the following forms:
- The DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form.
- The DS-158 Contact Information and Work History for
Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant.
- The DS-157 Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application - if you
are a male between the ages of 16 and 45.
To pay the Visa Application fee, follow the instructions on your
local U.S. Embassy or Consulate's Web site. If your I-20 was issued
on or after September 1, 2004, and is marked for “initial”
attendance (see #3 on your I-20 Form), you also need to pay the
$100 SEVIS fee.
To Pay Your Fee By Mail
Please follow these steps:
- Obtain Form I-901: “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M
- Download the form at www.FMJfee.com or request it by
phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the US).
- Complete Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it
appears on your I-20 form.
- Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft
(drawn on U.S. banks only) in the amount of $100 USD, payable to
“The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs
- Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on
- You should receive a Form I-797 Receipt Confirmation Letter by
mail within three (3) days of the fee's processing. Make copies of
this receipt letter and keep them with your other important
To Pay Your Fee Online
Follow these steps:
- Find Form 1-901 at www.FMJfee.com.
- Complete the online form and provide necessary Visa, MasterCard
or American Express information. Be sure to write your name exactly
as it appears on your I-20 Form.
- Print a copy of your online receipt.
- Make copies of your receipt to keep with your other important
Bring your receipt for fee payment to your interview. If you
lose the receipt, the Visa Officer may be able to view your payment
history on his database.
If you are transferring from another school, extending your
program, applying for an F-2 dependent Visa, or have paid this fee
and been denied a Visa within the last 12 months, you do not need
to pay the $100 SEVIS fee.
At Your Interview
Remember to bring the following items with you to your Visa
- A passport valid for at least six months.
- Form I-20 (sign the Form under Item 11).
- Your official University Admission letter.
- Completed Visa applications (DS-156, DS-158, and, if
- Two 2”x 2” photographs in the format prescribed at www.travel.state.gov.
- A receipt for your Visa Application fee
- A receipt for your SEVIS fee. (If you have not received an
official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee
electronically, the Consulate will accept the temporary receipt you
printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the
Consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your
payment was processed at least 3 business days before your
- Financial evidence that syou have sufficient funds to cover
your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to
- Any information proving that you will return to your home
country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include
proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.
Note: Many foreign banks can issue checks or money orders drawn
on a U.S. bank. Therefore, you may obtain a check from 1) a bank
chartered or operated in the United States; 2) a foreign subsidiary
of a U.S. bank; or 3) a foreign bank that has an arrangement with a
U.S. bank to issue a check, money order or foreign draft that is
drawn on a U.S. bank.
During your interview, remember to remain calm and answer all
the Visa Officer’s questions openly and honestly. If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact the International Student
& Scholar Services Office at St. John's: by phone, 1 (718)
990-6083; by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.