Visa Appointment and Interview
The information on this page is meant to help take some of the mystery out of the visa interview process. You can schedule your visa interview at any time. However, you must have the I-20 or DS-2019 before the visa appointment. Plan for enough time for the document to arrive. Also, the actual visa cannot be issued more than 120 days before your program start date. To apply for your visa, you will need to submit Form DS-160 and then schedule your visa interview. Information and instructions are provided in the link.
We recommend you visit the "Helpful Links" below. The first one will take you to a website that lists U.S. Embassies and Consulates. You will want to find the one that has jurisdiction over your area of residence, as that is where you will go for your visa interview. Check the embassy or consulate website, as embassies and consulates can vary in their processes and requirements. The second link will direct you to wait times for your requested visa status at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The third link provides an overview of student visas.
Please note that UAF issues the form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for students admitted into an academic degree program entering the U.S. in F-1 Student immigration status. The form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for an Exchange Visitor is issued for exchange and study abroad students who will be attending for a semester or a year. These students enter in the J-1 Student immigration status.
A Message for Students Planning to Study in the United States from David Donahue
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, U.S. Department of State
Note for Canadian Citizens!
Canadians are NOT currently required to have a U.S. visa to enter the U.S. as students. However, you are required to pay the $200 SEVIS fee at least three days before you enter the U.S. You will need to present your I-20 and your Canadian passport to the immigration inspector when you enter the U.S. You may also be requested to present original evidence that you are able to pay for your U.S. education and for your living expenses. Evidence of your financial ability might include: bank statements; affidavits of support, with documentation of your sponsor’s financial ability to support you; scholarship letters; or graduate assistantship offers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.