Getting Your Student Visa

Now that you’ve been accepted to study in the USA, you’ll need to prepare all the immigration and travel paperwork.

Step 1: Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

Pay the SEVIS fee before scheduling your visa interview. You will need to bring your receipt to the visa interview. Visit to pay your fee.

Helpful Tutorial

Link to I-901 Fee Payment Tutorial

More answers at

Step 2: Schedule Your Visa Interview - Pay the DS-160 Fee

Start as early as you can. The wait for an appointment can sometimes be long. There may be a wait after approval while the visa is being placed in your passport.

Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them varies depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you intend to apply. 

Step 3: Attend Your Visa Interview

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are sometimes taken before your interview, but this varies based on location.

secrets to f1 visa screenshot

The following are some general questions that may be asked during the visa application interview:

  • What do your parents do? 
  • How will you afford to pay for your education?
  • What will you study?
  • Why did you choose this degree?
  • What is your plan after graduation?
  • Will you return to your home country after you complete your studies in the United States?
  • Why did you choose the University of North Alabama?
  • What can you tell me about your school and the city where the university is located?

You might be nervous but these are normal questions. Be confident and answer all questions honestly. You can read about UNA in the folder that came with your admission letter and on the UNA website.

Step 4: Tell UNA the Results

If you are not granted a student visa at the first interview, you can apply again.  Before you schedule another visa interview, you need to make sure that you have new information or evidence to address the visa denial reasons.  If additional information is needed from UNA, the Office of International Affairs is happy to help you with that. Email us at

  1. Pay the SEVIS Fee
  2. Schedule your Visa Interview
  3. Attend the Visa Interview
  4. Tell UNA the results