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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) for current and future students, their families and educational advisors


UMass Lowell Navitas Global Student Success Program


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The US Student Visa Process

Don’t know where to start to get a U.S. student visa? Follow these step by step instructions.

Guide to a U.S. Student Visa

  1. Obtain passport from your government.  Your passport must be valid at least six months prior to your intended visa application.

  2. Upon accepting your offer, paying the initial deposit, and sending your visa request documents, you will receive the SEVIS Form I-20. This is the form you take with you to the embassy for your interview. Carefully read all the information, paying particular attention to page 2. Below are the list of documents you will need to provide to request your UML 1-20.

    • Visa Request Form
    • Felony Disclosure Form
    • Original Bank Statement
    • Sponsorship Letter (if applicable)
    • Supporting Letter (if bank account is not in the student’s name)
    • Sponsorship Letter (if applicable)
  3. Pay the one-time SEVIS fee. Please refer to the SEVIS fee website at for guidance on this transaction.

  4. Make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country to apply for an F-1 visa and schedule an interview that will allow you enough time to comfortably arrive in the U.S for check-in.

  5. Attend the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you have questions, email to speak with one of our staff. We are happy to schedule a skype call to give you tips for your interview and help you feel more comfortable with the process. You will need to remember to bring the following documents:

    • A current passport (valid for at least six months)

    • Your original letter of offer from UMass Lowell

    • A valid SEVIS I-20 form issued by UMass Lowell

    • Original copies of all financial documents (such as a bank statement, loan, scholarship, or affidavit of support) showing enough funding for one academic year

    • Proof of ties to your home country (such as a job, ownership of a property, or family business)
    • Copies of all academic transcripts and certificates
    • Copies of TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Versant English Placement Test or GMAT or GRE results (if any)

    • A copy of the SEVIS fee payment receipt

    • Photos as required (specifications will be explained on the relevant US Embassy or Consulate website)

Did You Know?

  • The student F-1 visa you will receive will be for your entire university program duration (this is inclusive of students taking ESL).

  • After completing your studies you are eligible to undertake OPT (Optional Practical Training). This allows you to work in the United States for either one or three years after graduating depending on your major.

  • As per the recommendation of NAFSA (Association of International Educators), there are 10 Points to remember when applying for an F-1 or a J-1 visa. You can read these on the link below:

    10 points to remember when applying for a F-1 Student visa