Step 4—Pay SEVIS Fee and Apply for F-1 Student Visa
A valid F-1 student visa is required for entry into the United States.
To apply for the F-1 visa, follow the instructions below:
- Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee
After you receive your SDSU I-20, you must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee at http://www.fmjfee.com before applying for a student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Detailed information on payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee can be found at www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/.
- Apply for a F-1 Student Visa
Information on applying for an F-1 visa, can be found on the U.S. Department of State website https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student.html. When applying for a visa, you will need to show a valid passport, proof of SEVIS fee payment, SDSU I-20, and proof of funding for your education. To locate the U.S. Embassy or Consulate near your overseas residence, visit http://www.usembassy.gov/.
- Traveling and entering the United States
When entering the United States, international students must present the I-20 and valid F-1 visa to U.S. Customs and Immigration. Canadian students must present the I-20 and proof of SEVIS payment at the port of entry into the United States; however, a visa stamp is not required in the passport.
Upon completion of your program, you will receive your SDSU I-20 when your current school transfers or "releases" your SEVIS record to SDSU. You must notify the International Student Adviser at your school of your intent to transfer to SDSU. Please use the admission letter that is included in your welcome packet to provide evidence of your acceptance to SDSU. The SDSU SEVIS School Code is SND214F00142000.
You do not need to pay an additional SEVIS fee when you receive your SDSU I-20 if you have maintained your F-1 visa status at your current institution. If you leave the country prior to enrolling at SDSU and your F-1 visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa to return to the U.S. to begin your studies at SDSU.