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Applying for an F1 Visa

Applying for an F1 Visa

Citizens of most countries must obtain a visa to enter the USA. If your primary reason for coming to the US is to study, it is recommended that you get an F-1 student visa.

We suggest that you read's "How to Apply for an F-1 Visa" for more guidance.

F-1 Visa Application Checklist:

  1. Obtain a SEVIS I-20 from RCC. If you need to apply for an F1 visa, you will need to receive a SEVIS I-20 from RCC. To be issued an I-20, you must submit all required documents for admission to the College. Please visit the How to Apply page for more information.
  2. Check over your I-20. Make sure all information is correct and matches what is on your passport. This includes your name and date of birth, which will be month/day/year format. Please email if any mistakes are found.
  3. Pay the SEVIS fee. This fee is a US government fee and cannot be paid directly to Rockland Community College. The fee for F-1 students is $200 and must be paid at least 3 business days before your appointment at the consulate. Instructions on how to pay the fee can be found at Make sure to print and bring a copy of your receipt to your visa appointment.
  4. Have a valid passport. The expiration date on your passport must be more than 6 months after the date you enter the United States. For example, if you enter the United States on January 1, 2014, your passport should expire after June 1, 2014.
  5. Complete the Non-Immigrant Visa Application. Learn more about completing the DS-160.  Be sure to complete the online visa application and print out a copy for you to bring with you to your visa interview.
  6. Make a visa appointment at the U.S. consulate. The U.S. Department of State’s website provides information about how you to apply for the F-1 visa. There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you intend to apply.

If you are already in the U.S. and need to change your status from B-2 to F-1, please visit our Change of Status page.