A visa is a document that is placed into your passport and allows you to request permission from an Immigration officer at a port-of-entry (usually at an airport) to enter the United States.
The visa itself does not guarantee admission into the U.S.; all other documents must be in order as well. The procedure to enter the U.S. is covered in more detail further down this page.
F-1 (Student) Visa
The F-1 visa is the most often used visa by international students to study at an accredited U.S. college, university, or English language institute. Students on F-1 visas come to the United States for a full degree program.
If all goes according to plan, you will receive an F-1 visa stamp in your passport. Congratulations!
Some U.S. Embassies actually put your I-20 in a sealed envelope and staple it to your passport. It is recommended that you do not open this envelope. The Immigration officer at the U.S. port-of-entry will open it and check your documents when you arrive. Check your visa for errors before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
You may not enter the U.S. on your F-1 visa more than 30 days prior to the report date on your I-20.
If you received a late visa appointment and will not be able to enter the U.S. by the report date on your I-20, please contact OIS as soon as you know this information so that we may defer this date on your I-20 so that you are not turned away at the port-of-entry into the U.S.
Director of Intercultural
Engagement and Development