Applying for F-1 or J-1 Visa
You can apply for an F-1 student visa only after you receive your SEVIS I-20 from California State University Fullerton (also called Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student). You can apply for a J-1 visa only after you receive your SEVIS DS-2019 from California State University Fullerton (also called Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status).
You need to first pay a SEVIS Fee, and then go the U.S. Embassy in your country to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa. To locate a U.S. Embassy in your country, please click here.
If your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 is issued on or after September 1, 2004, you are required to pay a SEVIS fee. This SEVIS fee is in addition to the F-1 or J-1 visa application fee. Effective October 27, 2008, the SEVIS I-901 fee amounts are as follows:
|F-1 Visa applicants||$200|
|J-1 Visa applicants||$180|
According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations [8 CFR 214.13(d)(1)], anyone seeking initial F-1 or J-1 from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance is subject to the new SEVIS fee. The fee must be processed at least 3 business days before the consular interview, unless the applicant has a printed receipt from Internet payment. Fees will not be payable at the consulate. For more information, go to the US Citizenship & Custom Enforcement website.
To pay the SEVIS Fee via the internet, follow the instructions below:
- Go to the SEVIS I-901 Fee website
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and answer "YES" you hold a valid I-20 or DS-2019.
- Fill out the next page on personal information.
- F-1 Student: If you have received a Form I-20 from California State University Fullerton, then enter the following information for School Code: LOS214F00210000
- J-1 Student: If you have received a Form DS-2019 from California State University Fullerton, then enter the following information for Program Number: P-1-03438
- The form requires the SEVIS Identification Number on the I-20 or DS-2019. This number is in the upper right-hand corner of the I-20 or DS-2019 and begins with an "N", followed by 10 digits.
- Check that the information is correct on the next page.
- Choose First-Class Mail or expedited delivery. First-Class Mail is recommended because you will print the receipt at the end and this will be presented at your interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- The Credit Card Form has a place for card holder address. You do not need to fill this in. It is not a required field. The space is too small for most international addresses.
- Print at least 2 copies of the receipt.
SEVIS Information For Students From Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Kenya Only
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that they are having credit card payment issues from these countries. F-1 and J-1 students from these countries will not be able to make online credit card payments for their SEVIS I-901 fee. For more information on alternative payment methods, please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Documents Required on the day of your Visa Appointment
You will need to bring the following documents with you to your visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country:
- Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months after your entry date)
- Form I-20 or DS-2019 from California State University Fullerton
- Printout of SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
- Financial Documents (bank statements, affidavit of support, scholarship letters)
Planning Your Arrival Date to the United States
According to U.S. immigration regulations, if it is your first time to study in the U.S. as an international student, then you cannot arrive earlier than 30 days from the reporting date indicated on the Form I-20 (found on Item 5, Report date) or Form DS-2019 (found on Item 3, From date). If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. on or before the date indicated on your Form I-20 or DS-2019, please contact the International Students & Scholars Office immediately.
Revised — November 2015