Newly Admitted International Students

Applying for Your F-1 Visa

Applying for your F-1 visa is a multi-step process and it is very important that you complete all of the steps necessary. If you have any questions about the visa process, please email us at
  1. Obtain I-20 Form from MICA
    • An I-20 is an immigration document provided by MICA that certifies you have been accepted to the college, that you can fund your first year of study, and includes information about your start date, graduation date, and major.
    • You will submit the documents needed to receive your I-20 to your Admissions Counselor, not to International Education. Once your I-20 is created, MICA Admissions will send your I-20 to you.
    • I-20s will be sent electronically according to the US Department of Homeland Security guidelines for F1 students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  You must be print and sign the I-20 before visa interviews and travel to the US. 
  2. Pay I-901 SEVIS Fee
    • If you are already in the U.S. on F-1 status at a high school or college, you have already paid the SEVIS fee. If you ask your school to transfer your SEVIS record to MICA, you will NOT need to pay the SEVIS fee again.
    • If you do not currently have an F-1 visa, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee, a fee the U.S. Government uses to pay for administration of F-1 visas. You pay the SEVIS fee at You will need your MICA I-20 in order to pay the fee.
  3. Apply for F-1 Student Visa
    • You will need to visit the website of your local U.S. consulate or embassy for visa application procedures. However, all applicants will need to complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, to apply for your F-1 visa.
    • Canadian Citizens ONLY: You do not need to apply for an F-1 visa online. You will obtain your F-1 visa at the border. You will need to bring the documents listed in “Attend Visa Interview” section below to show the U.S. Border Agency Official when entering the United States.
  4. Pay Visa Application Fee
    • Note: Your visa application fee is separate from your SEVIS fee.
  5. Schedule Visa Interview at U.S. Embassy/Consulate
    • After completing your visa application, you will want to schedule your visa interview at your local consulate or embassy. Make sure to check the consulate or embassy’s website about service hours and what you can and cannot bring to your interview.
  6. Attend Visa Interview
    • You will want to bring the following items to your visa interview:
      • Proof of admission to MICA (Your acceptance letter)
      • Proof of payment of the visa application fee
      • Your MICA I-20
      • Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee
      • Passport (Valid at least six months into the future)
      • Financial support documents
      • Documents proving your intent to return to your home country after you complete your degree program (Examples: Employment, family obligations, future education, etc.)
  7. Receive F-1 Student Visa
    • Make sure to check all of the information on your visa and immediately contact your consulate or embassy if any information is wrong