Immigration Frequently Asked Questions
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For spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2, J-2) of students or exchange visitors
For students (F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3)
For exchange visitors (J-1)
Federally sponsored exchange visitor program (program codes start with G-1, G-2, or G-3)
This information is for a nonimmigrant that plans to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the US, returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State website HERE
- Step 1
Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 international student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at HERE
- Step 2
After you receive a Form I-20 from Oklahoma State University, follow the US Embassy/Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews. It is important for you to plan to start the process well in advance in case of delays while obtaining your visa. More information on visa wait times.
- Step 3
Complete the following forms:
- DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form
- Step 4
Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local US embassy or consulate’s web site.
- Step 5
If your Form I-20 is marked for "initial" attendance (see #3 on your Form I-20), you will need to pay the $200 SEVIS fee.
- Step 6
You will need to participate in a visa interview.
Students on F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3 visas must pay the $200 SEVIS fee. Exchange visitors (with J-1 visas) must pay the $180 SEVIS fee unless participating in federally sponsored exchange visitor programs (program codes start with G-1, G-2, or G-3). Spouses and dependent children of students or exchange visitors do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.
You do not need to pay the $200 SEVIS fee if you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months.
Effective July 31, 2013, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will no longer mail I-797C receipts. The payment confirmation that can be printed from the FMJFEE website will replace the I-797C mailed receipt. The payment confirmation can be printed anytime by clicking on the ‘Check I-901 Status/Print Payment Confirmation” button.
You must have a complete and accurate Form I-20 to complete the Form I-901 online and to pay the SEVIS Fee. Ensure a printer is connected and working before continuing. Students from Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Gambia will not be allowed to pay by credit card online. Students from these countries must pay by Western Union.
To Pay Online:
1. Fill out Form I-901 at www.fmjfee.com.
2. Complete the form online and provide the necessary Visa, MasterCard, or American Express information to pay the $200 fee.
a. Enter your name and date of birth exactly as it appears on your Form I-20.
b. Enter the SEVIS ID Number correctly from the Form I-20.
3. Print a copy of the online receipt. This receipt will be shown as proof of payment to the visa-issuing officer at the US Embassy or Consulate.
4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.
To Pay by Western Union
1. Do not file the Form I-901 online.
2. Print a copy of these instructions, a copy of the Western Union form example and a copy of your I-20. Take a copy of each of these three documents with you when you visit your local Western Union Quick Pay location.
3. Go to a local Western Union agent location and pay the I-901 SEVIS fee in the local currency.
4. Review the Western Union form to make sure that the Western Union agent uses your name, your SEVIS ID number and your date of birth (not the information that appears on the Western Union form example). Find the nearest Western Union location or call the telephone number of the Western Union Commercial Services Network Agent in your country as listed in your phone book.
5. After three business days, check on FMJfee.com to view your payment status. Once you see confirmation of payment on FMJfee.com print out the confirmation page. The confirmation page is proof of payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee, and you can use it for a visa interview at a US Consulate or Embassy and for admission at a US port of entry.
6. If you are paying on behalf of someone else, Western Union may require you to use your own name and address. If this happens please make sure that you are entering the student’s SEVIS ID. After submitting the payment, please send an email or have the student send an email to email@example.com with INFO CHANGE in the subject line. Include the SEVIS ID for which the payment was made and any information requiring an update.
For questions please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at 405-744-5459 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WESTERN UNION FORM EXAMPLE
Prepare and bring the following to your visa interview:
- A passport valid for at least six months
- Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11)
- School admission letter
- Completed visa applications (DS-160)
- Two 2”x 2” photographs in the prescribed format.
Click here for more information
- A receipt for the visa application fee, which varies by country.
- A receipt for the SEVIS fee - If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.
- Financial evidence showing you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
- Provide any information proving that you will return to your home country after finishing
your studies in the U.S. This may include:
- Proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.
- Proof that one or both parents is working in the home country;
- That other family members have not immigrated to the United States;
- That family members are not illegally present in the U.S.;
- That the student has job prospects upon return home;
- That the student's family is able to economically support him/her;
- Evidence of property or business interests in the home country, etc.
- If the applicant for a visa is a student dependent, he or she must present evidence of the relationship such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate, as well as the types of evidence previously mentioned.
Remain calm and answer all questions asked to you openly and honestly.
Immigration regulations can be difficult to understand. Please check this link for the basic guidelines that you will need to follow to maintain your immigration status as a student while you are in the U.S. There is a lot of information about immigration regulations throughout the ISS website. If you have any questions or difficulties once you arrive, come to the ISS office. Immigration counselors are available to answer questions and help you successfully navigate the immigration system and maintain your status.
- An overview of immigration procedures for students
- Student visa information from the Department of State
- SEVIS information from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)