Visa Procedures for International Students
Who issues student visas?
The U.S. Embassies and Consulates issues student visas. You are only able to apply for an F-1 student visa outside of the United States.
When can I apply for a student visa?
You are eligible to apply for your student visa once you have been accepted by the college and receive your I-20 document.
Embassies and Consulates can only issue student visas 120 days prior to the start date listed on an I-20.
Do I need an interview?
- Most countries require student visa applicants to appear for an interview. The consular official typically holds the interview.
- Each embassy and consulate set their own procedures for student visas.
- Consult your Embassy website for specific application instructions.
- Visit the U.S. Department of State for more information about the visa interview.
How do I set up an interview?
- Pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Fee.
- The fee is currently $200 USD.
- It is highly recommend you pay this fee online.
- You MUST show your receipt during your interview.
- Make an appointment at the U.S Embassy in your home country. Many branches use an online booking system.
- Prepare your documents for the appointment (see below).
- Attend your visa appointment.
What documents do I need?
You will need the following documentation:
- I-20 immigration document form from HACC. Please sign the I-20 prior to your appointment. Sign under #11 on page 1 of the I-20.
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160
- A valid passport. The passport should be valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States.
- One 2x2 photograph. Learn more about the required photo format.
- A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee
- Receipt to show payment of the SEVIS fee
- High school or university transcripts translated in English
- TOEFL score or IELTS score (if available)
- Documents indicating reasons to return home (if available)
- Financial documents showing adequate sponsorship. Sponsorship should cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study.
- Dependent information. Your information should include proof of all dependents relationships via marriage certificate or birth certificates.
What are some common interview questions?
Practice these common interview questions to prepare:
- Why do you want to study at HACC?
- Tell me about HACC. What campus will you attend? How many students attend the college?
- Do you have any family members or relatives in the United States?
- If you have relatives in the United States, identify who they are. What is their relationship is to you and where they live?
- What major do you plan on studying at HACC? Why did you pick this major?
- What ties do you have in your home country that will draw you home?
- Who is funding your education? How do you know this person?
- What is your educational goal?
What do I do after the interview?
Notify the International Admissions Coordinator of your approval or denial.
If you are approved, you will need to make travel arrangements after you receive your visa. You may only enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the start date. Please plan accordingly when making travel arrangements.
Approved students must also attend HACC's New Student International Orientation.
If you are denied, you will need to politely ask the consular official why the application was denied. Ask when you may reapply for a visa. Contact the International Admissions Coordinator to review your options.
Who can I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact:
Jill L. Matolyak
International Admissions Coordinator