Prepare For Visa Interview
With the exception of citizens of Canada, all potential students must have an F-1 visa to study in the United States. Students who have already been accepted by Seattle Central College and received their I-20 form should then apply for their student visa, following the procedure described below:
1. Make an appointment with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate
(Applicants from Taiwan: American Institute in Taiwan): Students must apply for a visa at the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence after receiving their I-20. The local Embassy or Consulate will provide the students with specific application instructions. Students are encouraged to apply for their visas early (You may apply for a visa within 90 days of your start date at Seattle Central) to provide ample time for visa processing.
First time student visa applicants are required to appear for an in-person interview. Each embassy/consulate sets its own interview policies and procedures. Students should keep in mind that June, July, and August are the busiest months in most consular sections, and interview appointments are the most difficult to get during that period. December can also be quite busy due to holiday closures. Planning ahead will help students avoid having to make repeat visits to the Embassy.
Visit the Department of State website for a list of US Embassies and Consulates.
2. Pay the I-901 Fee (also called the SEVIS fee)
The I-901 fee must be paid before the visa appointment. Click here for instructions and acceptable payment methods. Using a major credit card is the easiest method. Please use your SEVIS ID found on the upper right hand side of your SEVIS I-20 (the number beginning with “N”) and print out your payment confirmation as a receipt. Please bring this payment confirmation with you to your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate and when entering the U.S.
3. Bring all necessary forms and documents to the interview (visa application, SEVIS I-20, etc.)
Before your interview, read through our page of tips and guidance on preparing for your visa interview.
Please note that the consular officer may need to get special clearances depending on the course of study and nationality of the student. This can add time to the regular visa processing. More specific information on the visa application process and required documents can be found here.
If approved for a visa, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allows you to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.
If your F-1 visa application is denied, please visit our visa denial webpage for more information.
NOTE: Seattle Central Community College recently changed its official name to Seattle Central College. The name change was approved by the Seattle Central Board of Trustees on March 13, 2014, and the change was approved in SEVIS by SEVP on April 29, 2014. Depending on when your I‐20 form was issued, our name in section 2 could be Seattle Central Community College or Seattle Central College. We have been informed that if it does reflect our old name, it is not necessary to re‐issue your I‐20 form prior to applying for your F‐1 visa at the consular post. If need be, you can download and print this letter, and present it as confirmation that Seattle Central’s name change is official.