All international students who come to the United States to study fulltime must have an F-1 student visa. If you are already in the United States with another type of visa, please check here to determine your eligibility to enroll in the IEP.
The IEP will send you an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility as part of your acceptance package after you submit a complete application to the Intensive English Program. Please read it carefully and make sure all information is correct. In Section 11, please write your name, signature and date on the first line.
Before you schedule an appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you must pay the SEVIS fee of $200. This fee is different from the visa application fee, and it is paid separately. The easiest way to pay this fee in most countries is online at www.fmjfee.com using a credit card. When you pay the SEVIS fee, you will need two numbers:
After you pay your SEVIS fee, you should schedule a face-to-face interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Please bring the following documents with you to your consular interview:
Consular interviews typically last only a few minutes. During this time, the official is usually trying to decide if you intend to stay in the US after you have completed your program. The consular official will ask you questions to determine your social, economic and familiar ties to your home country. If the official thinks you plan to stay in the US permanently, he or she will probably deny your visa. Tell the official when and why you will return to your home and family.
Also think about what you want to study English in the United States. The consular official may ask you questions similar to the questions below to determine if you are a serious student and if you plan to return to your home country:
Do not say that you want to go to Miami to be with friends and family, because you like the beach, or for some other reason not related to your studies.
Remember that each consular official may see as many as 200 visa applicants a day. Help them by being prepared. If the consular official approves your visa, they will put a visa stamp in your passport. In some consulates, they will put the visa stamp in your passport on the day of your interview, while in other countries they will keep your passport for up to a few weeks.
If the consular official says that he/she cannot grant you a student visa, ask them the reason for their decision. Send an e-mail to the Assistant Director for Student Services with this information. We will advise you on the next step. We typically recommend that you try to reapply for the F-1 visa only if there is a significant change to your situation or if there is information that you did not adequately present the first time.
With your F-1 visa, you are permitted to enter the United States up to 30 days before the program start date listed in Section 5 of your I-20. You may be turned away at the port of entry if you try to enter the United States after the start date on your I-20. Contact us if you think you will not be able to arrive by your program start date.
When you pass through customs, you will need to present:
Do not put these items in your checked luggage. You must have these documents in your hands when you enter the United States. The immigration official should stamp "F-1 D/S" on your passport, I-94, and I-20. The immigration official will return your passport/F-1 visa, I-20 (pages 1-3), SEVIS fee receipt, and I-94 to you. Please bring these documents when you come to campus to begin for registration and orientation. We will review them to make sure you have entered in the correct status.