Getting Your Student Visa

All international students are required to obtain an I-20 (certificate of eligibility) to apply for an F-1 student visa. Please submit the following documents, in addition to the admission materials required. If you are a student with an active F-1 student visa and you currently hold an I-20 from another U.S. institution, you must arrange for the transfer of your SEVIS record to Trinity and obtain an I-20 from Trinity. It is recommended that you submit your documents early, particularly if you will be applying for a new F-1 visa.

Form I-20

Students residing overseas:

  • Submit financial support document(s). (Please contact the International Student Advisor (ISA) to get the necessary form(s) and the one year estimated amount required for your specific degree level/major.)
  • Copy of your passport biography page

Students with current F-1 visa status need to submit the following items in addition to those listed above:

  • Copies of all your previous I-20’s
  • Copy of your passport visa page
  • Transfer form (Please contact the ISA regarding transfer information)
  • Copy of your I-94

Apply for an F-1 Student Visa

As soon as you receive your form I-20, you should begin the visa application process. Keep in mind that it is best to apply for your student visa as early as possible (up to 120 days before the first day of classes).


  • All F-1 visa applicants are required to pay the one-time SEVIS I-901 fee of $350. You will need your SEVIS number which is on the top left hand side of the first page of your I-20.
  • The purpose of the fee is to help cover the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Complete the Visa Application

Applying for the F-1 student visa may vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate you are dealing with. You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee. There is an online visa application available, which allows you to complete and print the Form DS-160 to take to your F-1 visa interview.

Please follow the direction on the consulate/embassy website for F-1 visa application.

NOTE: When completing any forms or applications, be sure to enter your name exactly as it appears on your passport.

Schedule and Prepare for your Interview

You can schedule your F-1 visa interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. An F-1 student visa for the USA can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You will only be able to enter the US with an F-1 visa 30 days before your start date.

We recommend you review these helpful visa interview tips before your appointment:

The following documents are required for your F-1 visa interview:

  • A valid passport
  • The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
  • The application fee payment receipt
  • A passport photo
  • A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form 1-20
  • Acceptance letter
  • Financial evidence that demonstrates that you and/or your sponsor(s) have sufficient funds to provide for tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study
  • 901 receipt
  • You may also be asked for:
  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  • Scores from standardized tests such as the TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
  • Evidence to prove your intent to return to your home country upon completion of studies

Attend your F-1 Visa Interview

Your F-1 visa interview will determine whether you are qualified to receive an F-1 student visa. Assuming that you have prepared the appropriate documents and meet all of the F-1 visa requirements, your visa will be approved at the discretion of the consular officer.