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How to Apply for an F-1 Student Visa from Abroad

We are delighted that you are interested in studying in our school and we hope that you will be able to do so. The following information is provided to help you apply for a student visa and prepare for your entry into the U.S. as an F-1 student. While this will give you a general idea of the process, each U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy has its own system for visa applications. Therefore, you should also check with your local consulate to find out how to arrange for the visa interview and what documents are required. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs for more information.

1: Admission

To get started please contact an admissions representative. Our friendly staff speaks many languages; please ask for someone who speaks your native language. Alternatively, you can fill out our application form and send it to info@solex.edu

2: Documents for Admission

  • Copy of Passport (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended stay
  • Copy of High School or University Diploma (translated into English)

If you have a spouse and/or children who are going to accompany you while in the US, you will need to provide the following documents in order to submit each dependent’s I-20:

  • Copy of Passport for each dependent (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Proof of your relationship to your spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and/or birth certificates translated into English.)

3: School Fees

You need to pay the following fees:

  • Application Fee: $150
  • Shipping Fee: $100 (delivery within 2-5 days)

You can pay online on our website. If you need help, please ask your admissions representative for assistance. In the case that your application is not accepted, your fees will be returned.

4: I-20 Form

When we have reviewed your application and determine that you meet all academic and financial standards for admission, the Designated School Official (DSO) at SOLEX College will issue you a SEVIS I-20 form.

5: SEVIS Fee

After you have received your form I-20, you must pay a $200 SEVIS I-901 fee. You may pay online or ask SOLEX College for assistance. Please keep your receipt, and bring it to your visa interview.

6: Visa Interview

You will need to contact the U.S. Embassy in your country and apply for a visa interview. You must take the following documents with you to the interview:

  • Form I-20, properly signed by the DSO and by you
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended stay
  • Evidence of intent to depart the U.S. after completion of studies
  • Passport (should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended period of study in the United States)
  • Proof of payment SEVIS I-901 fee
  • Form DS-160
  • Photograph(s)
  • Proof of Payment for the Visa Interview Fee of $160
  • School Information
  • Home Accommodations

7: Departure Preparation

After the U.S. Embassy grants you an F-1 visa your next step is to prepare yourself for departure. Provide the following information to SOLEX College admissions representative:

  • Flight Information: Let us know the date and time when you will be arriving in the U.S. and your flight number.
  • Tell us if you would like to be picked up at the airport. An additional fee will apply.
  • Tell us if you would like housing assistance.

Remember: You cannot arrive in the United States more than 30 days prior to the start date of your classes.

8: Admission to the United States in F-1 Status

Upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry, you need to proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation:

  • Form I-20, properly signed by the DSO and by you.
  • Passport valid for at least six months.
  • F-1 visa. For initial entries, the name of the school on the F-1 visa must match the name of the school on your Form I-20.
  • Evidence of financial support, including the same financial support information used to obtain the F-1 visa.

In certain cases, you may have to provide proof of having paid the SEVIS fee.

9: I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and I-20 Forms

Once your inspection is successfully completed, the customs officer will:

  • Stamp your SEVIS Form I-20 for duration of status (“D/S”) for F visa holders
  • Stamp the Arrival-Departure Record Form (I-94) and staple it in the passport

If there is no one meeting you at the airport, you should do one of the following:

  • Take a taxi to your destination. Taxis will charge you anywhere from $40-60 depending on where you are going.
  • Take a bus or the "L" train service. Visit Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to plan your trip.
  • Take a train. Visit Metra to plan your trip.

10: Report to SOLEX College

You need to report to SOLEX College almost immediately and do the following to have your SEVIS record registered in SEVIS in a timely fashion:

  • Bring arrival documents (passport, visa, I-94, and I-20)
  • Take the placement test
  • Get your books, class schedule
  • Make arrangements to pay tuition

We wish you luck with your studies!