International Student Services

Apply for an F-1 Visa

The F-1 visa is issued by U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad, and each Consulate/Embassy has differing requirements and procedures for the visa application. It is recommended that you apply for your visa in your country of citizenship or permanent residence. It is not possible to renew an F-1 visa while in the United States.

Visit your country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate website to learn where you will apply for your F-1 visa. Learn how to schedule an appointment, how many times you can apply for your visa, what specific documents are required, and what procedures must be followed.

Apply for your F-1 visa as soon as possible. Make sure that you allow adequate time for security checks.

DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travel to the United States, including for F-1 student study. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website. Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and, combined with a personal interview, determine your eligibility for the F-1  visa.

Review the Frequently Asked Questions for instructions about using the DS-160.

Documents for Your Visa Application Interview

  • All appropriate U.S. Department of State forms and documents as listed on the Embassy/Consulate Web site, including your non-refundable visa application fee and photographs.
  • Valid passport.
  • Information showing admission to a UT Dallas program.
  • Financial Support Evidence.
  • Receipt for payment of SEVIS I-901 fee.
  • Documents proving intent to return to the home country after completion of F-1 status.
  • Form I-20 signed by your UT Dallas International Student Advisor.
  • For students renewing their visa after a stay in the United States:
    • Transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended,
    • Support documentation from your academic program,
    • UT Dallas enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s Office,
    • All U.S. transcripts, and
    • All previously issued I-20s.

Security Clearances

Students can experience significant delays due to required security checks. Masters and PhD students in scientific and technical fields are advised to provide detailed information about their field of study when applying for visas.

Some helpful items to bring to your visa interview include:

  • a resume,
  • a list of publications including samples, and
  • a letter from the UT Dallas academic department specifying the area of research and possible applications.

Exceptions: Canadian Citizens

Canadian Citizens do not need F-1 visas to study in the U.S. When you enter the U.S. to study, you will need to provide the Officer at the port of entry:

  • Proof of identity and citizenship (a Canadian passport for example)
  • The original Form I-20 signed by your UT Dallas International Student Advisor.
  • Proof that you have paid your SEVIS I-901  fee
  • Information showing admission to a UT Dallas program.
  • Financial Support Evidence
  • Proof of your ties to Canada