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F-1 Visa Process

If you are a citizen of a foreign country and would like to study as a non-immigrant student in the U.S., you will need a student (F-1) visa.

Applying For F-1 Visa

  1. Apply to the Center for English Language and American Culture at the University of New Mexico. If you are accepted to the program, you will receive your official acceptance letter and I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form.

     

  2. Once you receive the physical copy of your CELAC I-20 form and acceptance letter, pay the $200 mandatory SEVIS fee (Form I-901).

    • The SEVIS fee is a U.S. government fee that pays for the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is in addition to any visa fee. Beginning September 1, 2004, all students applying for a visa must pay a mandatory U.S. $200 SEVIS fee. Please note that this is not a university fee. This payment will be recorded in the SEVIS system and must be fully processed before you have your visa interview. Therefore, you must pay it at least three business days prior to the visa interview and you must bring proof of payment to the interview.

    • You can pay the SEVIS fee in one of two ways:

      • Preferred payment is through the Internet at www.FMJfee.com by using a credit card and completing the online Form I-901. You must print the computer-generated receipt to bring to the visa interview. This will be your proof of payment.

      • If credit card is not available, you can pay by check or money order through the mail by submitting a completed Form I-901 and a check or money order drawn on a US Bank payable in US$ Currency. To download the form I-901 go to the website. If you do not have access to the Internet and need to pay the SEVIS fee by mail, please contact us and we will fax the form to you. You will need to wait until you receive the receipt (Form I-797) as proof of payment for the interview. Since we do not know how much time it takes to obtain this receipt we strongly recommend you try to pay the SEVIS fee through the Internet (option 1. above).

    • For more detailed information on the fee payment process please go to the SEVIS website.

     

  3. After you pay the SEVIS fee, you will need to make an interview appointment.

     

  4. On the day of your visa interview, you will need to bring the following documents with you:

    • Valid Passport

    • I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form

    • Acceptance letter to the program on your I-20 form

    • Proof of payment of the $200 SEVIS fee

    • Proof of financial guarantee and letter of sponsorship

    • Evidence that you will return to your home country when you complete your studies. For example, demonstrate proof of property, family, future employment, or continued education in your home country.

     

IN CASE OF DENIAL, ASK THAT THE REASON BE GIVEN TO YOU IN WRITING BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE CONSULATE. ONLY IN THIS WAY CAN YOU ADDRESS THE U.S. CONSULATE’S CONCERN IF AND WHEN YOU RETURN FOR A SECOND INTERVIEW.

For information about reasons for visa denial, visit this website.

If you have already applied for a visa using another school’s I-20, and you want to attend CELAC, you will need to return to the consulate and apply for a new visa that has the University of New Mexico listed as the school you will attend. Otherwise, you will need to attend the school whose name appears on the visa.