How to Apply For Your F-1 Visa

How to Apply For Your F-1 Visa

Financial Documentation

International students are required to prove that they have enough money to pay for tuition and living expenses while they are studying in the U.S. You must provide a bank statement showing this as part of your application. If you arrive at Lane Community College and are unable to pay your tuition, fees, and living expenses, you will need to return home.  It is considered immigration fraud if your bank statement is falsified in anyway.

Immigration document Form I-20

When you have been accepted at Lane, we will send the I-20 Form (the Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Student Status). When you receive the I-20, check it carefully to make sure your name, birth date and country of citizenship are correct. If you find a mistake, notify the admissions advisor. You will be sent a corrected I-20. If the information is correct, please read the information on page two, then sign the I-20 in the space provided. You will use this document when applying for your student visa.

SEVIS I-901 Fee

A SEVIS I-901 fee is $200 and can be paid online with a credit card, or by mail. The SEVIS fee is a onetime payment required by the U.S. government. Lane receives no funds or services as a result of this fee. For more information, please see or  Please note you must pay this fee within 30 days of receiving your I-20.

Applying for a Student Visa

To get a student visa, apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of permanent residence. Although you may apply at any U.S. consular office outside of the U.S, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside your country of permanent residence. You should check specific requirements for the consulate or embassy you will be visiting, but the documentation required usually includes the following:

  • Form I-20 A-B provided by Lane Community College
  • Receipt of payment of the SEVIS I-901 Fee
  • Completed application form DS-156
  • One 2-inch by 2-inch photograph of yourself
  • Financial documentation showing that you or your sponsor have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during your period of intended study
  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution you will be attending, such as TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc (not required to be admitted to the Lane IESL Program)
  • A passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States
  • Be able to establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer that you have binding ties to your home country which you have no intention of abandoning and that you will depart the United States when you have completed your studies

Allow at least four to six weeks to complete the visa application process. If you have questions about applying for a student visa, contact the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in your home country. The U.S. Department of State website has tips on applying for the F-1 visa. This information can be found at the following internet site:

Immigration Requirements

  • If you enter the U.S. on the I-20 issued by Lane, you must register and attend Lane as a full-time student.
  • You can transfer to a different school only at the end of a term.
  • Full-time students should not enter the U.S. on a tourist visa waiver, as they cannot be changed to a student visa while the student is in the U.S.
  • The I-20 and I-94 (the white card) are very important. Do not lose them!

All F-1 students must register and be full-time students (18 hours per week minimum for the English language program, or 12 credits for students in a college major). It is your responsibility to meet this requirement. If you do not, you are breaking immigration laws. See your international advisor if you have questions about immigration rules.