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How to Apply for an F-1 Visa

Before entering the United States, you must apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Please read instructions carefully and follow the steps.

Note: Canadians and Bermudians re not required to obtain visa stamps to enter the U.S., but must pay SEVIS Fee. Please keep a copy of your SEVIS fee for entering the U.S.

Step 1: Paying SEVIS Fee -I-901
Before you apply for your first * F-1 visa for entry to the U.S., you must pay the SEVIS fee, $200. It can be done either by postal mail or online.
Online using a credit card: www.FMJfee.com, or by paper: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/I-901.pdf

Fee receipt: You will be able to print the payment receipt when you complete the form  online. If the payment is submitted by mail, you will receive a paper receipt in the mail.

*International students who are currently holding an F-1 visa (attending a US high school for example) do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again.

Step 2: Make an appointment and Read U.S. Embassy’s website
Visit http://www.usembassy.gov/ to locate a U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your home and make an appointment for your visa interview. Please check the website of the US consulate you’re visiting for a complete list of required documents for your interview.

Step 3: Fill out visa application online
DS-160 Visa Application Form instruction and Form

Step 4. Make sure you have the following documents in addition to any documents required by U.S. Embassy or Consulate

  • Lehigh’s admissions letter
  • I-20 issued by Lehigh University
  • Passport
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt (proof of SEVIS I-901 Fee payment)


Office of International Students and Scholars • Lehigh University • 32 Sayre Drive, Coxe Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015 • 610-758-4859 • Fax: 610-758-5156 • intnl@lehigh.edu
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