F-1 Visa Process

This information is for persons who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State website.

F-1 Visa Filing Process

Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 student visa.

  • After you receive your I-20/DS-2019 form from Bradley University, follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible.
    • Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.
  • Complete DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate’s web site.

To pay SEVIS fee online:

  • Find the Form I-901
  • Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information.
    • The SEVIS fee for F-1 applicants is US $200.
  • Be sure to write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20/DS-2019 form.
    • Print a copy of the online receipt.
    • Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents
    • You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the visa interview.
    • If you have lost the receipt, the consular officer should be able to view your payment history in his or her database.
    • If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

Day of F-1 Visa Interview

Prepare and bring the following documents to your visa interview:

  • Visa interview appointment letter (printed)
  • A passport valid for at least six months
  • Original Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11) or DS-2019 (scanned or photocopies are not allowed)
  • School admission letter
  • Completed visa application (DS-160) (Visa application is completed online, please keep a printed copy)
  • Two 2”x 2” photographs in the prescribed format (no more than six months old)
  • A receipt for the visa application fee
  • A receipt for the SEVIS fee.
    • If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.
  • Original financial evidence (original bank statement etc.) that shows you have sufficient funds to cover yourtuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
  • Qualifications - Degree/Diploma certificates
  • Transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency if applicable (TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Standardized test scores if applicable (SAT, ATC, GRE, GMAT)
  • Resume or CV and list of publications (if any)
  • Any information that proves that you intend to return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, job, family, or other ties to your community.

Remain calm and answer all the consular officer’s questions openly and honestly in a disciplined & organized manner. If you have any questions, please contact the Bradley University Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

F1 Visa Interview Questions

All the Q&A is for reference only, gathered using social media, blogs and student feedback.

Visa Officer/Consular (VO) would like to know the following during the visa interview:

  • Student’s academics & interest in US education
  • Future intentions & ties to home country
  • Financial support for education and living (during their stay in USA)
  • Past education details (course details, GRE, TOEFL, GMAT etc.)
  • Work experience


What are you going to study in the USA?

To study MS in Computer Science Engineering.

Which University?

Bradley University

Why did you choose the USA?

As per U.S.E.F.I. United States Education Foundation in India, US education is six years ahead of the rest of the world. It is the center of excellence in the field of computer science and engineering.

It is the center of excellence in the field of computer science.

US universities have great facilities for research. Moreover, an MS degree from USA has high recognition.

How do you say that the USA is center of excellence?

Global technological leaders are from the USA (in the field of software/hardware) which includes IBM, Apple, Microsoft etc.

Why did you choose Bradley University?

Bradley University is a top-ranked private university in Peoria, Illinois, that offers 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students opportunities and resources of a larger university and the personal attention and exceptional learning experience of a smaller university. Bradley offers more than 185 undergraduate and graduate academic programs in business, communications, education, engineering, fine arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and technology.

Bradley University ranks among "Peterson's" 440 Colleges for Top Students and the Best 371 Colleges by "Princeton Review." "U.S. News & World Report" annually selects Bradley as being among the Top 15 Percent of schools in the nation. Bradley University has also been ranked among the Top Ten Midwest Master's-Level Universities in "U.S. News & World Report" every year since the magazine began its college rankings. In addition, "Colleges of Distinction" notes, "Bradley emphasizes experiential learning and hands-on career preparation in addition to traditional classroom work."

On average, 94 percent of graduates start jobs or are attending graduate school within six months of graduation.

How can you say USA universities are Primarily Research Centers?

The curriculum is more practical and application oriented.

Why only the USA and not any other countries?

The USA is the undisputed leader in information technology and communications.

How many schools did you apply to?

List the numbers of schools you have applied to, based on your preference.

What is your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/GMAT score?

Please mention your score. If you have scored low, be honest in answering the reason for the low score.

Will you work while studying?

Yes, if it is related to my studies like a graduate assistantship (on campus).

Tell me about your parents?

Please give full details about your family.

How they are going to fund you?

If a family member or some other person is supplying the funding, an affidavit of support should be included.

What is source of this income/fund?

There is adequate funding to cover all tuition, living expenses, books and insurance. Applicants must prove that they have enough funding for tuition, living expenses, books and health insurance. If a scholarship has been awarded, the applicant should provide the letter issued from the school. If personal funds will be used, there must be adequate funding for the entire course of study.

Will you work if you get a full time job in USA?

No. I am not interested, sir. I am interested in Education and sharpening my skills in the USA. I will bring back the experience and knowledge to my home country.

Students must prove that they intend to return to their home country after the completion of their course of study in the United States.

Are your relatives in the USA? 

Students with siblings living in USA may be asked this question.

Why did you come for Delhi instead of Hyderabad?  (If you apply from different locations)

Getting a visa appointment date in my state was difficult and I would like to organize my schedule.

Most common questions include:

  • How did you come to know about these schools?
  • Have you contacted any of your faculty?
  • Is it worth spending money on your master’s degree?
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters? Details about your sibling(s)?
  • If you have a brother/sister, what about their education and funding?
  • What will do after your MS?
  • What is the proof/guarantee that you will return to your home country?
  • What are your future plans?
  • Why do you think that you are eligible for F1 visa?
  • If you do not receive your F1 visa, what is your next step or plan?
  • Do you know anybody in this university?
  • Where exactly are you going in the USA?
  • Which Consultancy helped with F1 Visa documentation?