Applying for Your Visa

You can begin making arrangements to obtain a visa after you receive the appropriate form. Once admitted to PC, you will receive either a

• Form I-20 (for degree students on an F-1 student visa) or a
• Form DS-2019 (for exchange students on a J-1 exchange visitor visa)

It is important that you read the form carefully and that you understand your responsibilities as an international student in the U.S. when you sign the form. Please make sure your name is spelled the same way on the form as it is on your passport and that your birth date is correct. If you find a discrepancy between the form and your passport, contact Presbyterian College’s Director of International Programs immediately.

Also know that, as part of securing a visa, all international students must purchase insurance through Presbyterian College.  Read about details of the World Class Coverage Plan from CISI here.

Please check with the nearest American Embassy or Consulate regarding the procedure to obtain a U.S. student visa in your country; in some instances, you will need to make an appointment several weeks in advance, or you may have to apply by mail. For further assistance with the application process and other information on studying in the U.S., you may also wish to contact an educational adviser at the advising center in your country.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires a one-time $200 fee from certain international students and visiting scholars. The SEVIS I-901 Fee covers operational costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). For more information about the fee and payment options, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s SEVIS webpage. Be sure to use your current mailing address when you register, as you will receive a printed receipt, regardless of your payment method. You will need the receipt to obtain your visa.

Student (F-1) Visa – Application Checklist:

• Signed and completed Form I-20 from PC, with pages intact

• Official acceptance letter from PC

• Proof of intention to return to your country after completing the degree program

For example, you might explain that you have close family ties in your country, that you plan to return to work in your family business, that you plan to return to your professional career, etc.

• Proof that you have sufficient financial resources to support your studies in the U.S., including the documents you submitted to PC with your application (Financial Statement for International Students, statements from your or your sponsor’s bank, etc.)

• Visa fee (separate from the SEVIS I-901 Fee)

Check with the U.S. embassy or consulate in your area to find out the amount of this fee.

• SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt

• Passport

Please visit the U.S. Department of State F-1 webpage for the most up-to-date information on student visa regulations.

Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa – Application Checklist:

1) Signed and completed Form DS-2019, with pages intact

As PC does not issue the Form DS-2019, you will receive this document from your sponsoring agency. 

2) Documentation, such as a letter from your sponsoring agency or Presbyterian College, proving your status as an exchange visitor

3) Visa fee (separate from the SEVIS I-901 Fee)

Check with the U.S. embassy or consulate in your area to find out the amount of this fee.

4) SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt

5) Passport

Please visit the U.S. Department of State J-1 webpage for the most up-to-date information on exchange visitor visa regulations.

Students from Canada:

Canadian citizens do not need a visa. To enter the U.S. as a student, present the following documents to the immigration officer at the border:

1) Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

2) Proof of financial support

3) SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt

DO NOT enter the U.S. on a visitor (tourist) visa.

If you are meeting with a consular official to apply for a visa, see Points to Remember.