Getting Your F-1 Student Visa | Accepted International Students

Before you begin the visa application process, you must have the following documents:

  1. Form I-20 (Sent to you in the mail from Carroll University after you have been admitted.)
    Your I-20 document is required when applying for an F-1 student visa at an American Embassy or Consulate and for entry into the United States. This I-20 has been produced by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is an acknowledgement that your record is in the SEVIS system. The form includes your SEVIS ID number, which is the number in the upper right hand corner above the bar code (usually starts with an N). As you continue your experience at Carroll, you will be reporting status maintenance (through the Office of Global Education) to SEVIS.
  2. SEVIS Fee Receipt
    All new students coming in F-1 status must pay a $350 SEVIS fee prior to applying for your visa. Please review the SEVIS Fee Payment Information page for more information.
  3. Additional I-20 Forms
    If you have family members traveling with you in F-2 status, Carroll will mail an I-20 for their use. Each F-2 dependent should have his or her own I-20 form. Each F-2 dependent I-20 is issued their own SEVIS number but an additional SEVIS fee does not need to be paid.

Applying for Your Student Visa

You must apply for your visa well in advance of your arrival. Obtaining a student visa can take several weeks or even longer, depending on your home country.

To apply for a U.S. visa, you will need to present the following documents at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you:

In addition, the application for a U.S. visa requires you to present:

An application fee and an interview will also be required.

There have been (and continue to be) changes in the visa application process and these changes are usually reflected on the consular websites.

Find a U.S. Consulate or Embassy >>

Canadian Citizens: Canadian citizens do not require an entry visa to enter the U.S. from Canada, but do require an I-20, passport, financial documentation and proof of SEVIS fee payment and must follow certain procedures. Please review the Important Information for Canadian Students page for more information.

Special Notes

Consulate Questions, Visa Delays or Denials

If the U.S. Consulate has any questions regarding your studies at Carroll University or if your visa application is delayed or denied for any reason, please contact International Admission at or 262.951.3137.


In advance of your interview, you are encouraged to review the following:

Visa appointments are very short and questions vary. It is important to come prepared to your interview, ready to answer questions about Carroll University, the major you intend to study, and how campus life is structured at Carroll. We encourage you to review the resource we have sent in your admission package, entitled “Ten Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa,” published by the Association of International Educators. While published in 1997, these general points provide good guidance and still are relevant today. Here are some of the facts you may want to prepare for your interview:

Here is a list of important documents to bring to your appointment:

If you are looking for more information, visit the Department of State’s Interview Preparation website.

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