Student Visa (F-1/M-1)
Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F or M student visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by a SEVP approved school. Visit the Department of Homeland Security Study in the States school search page to search for SEVP-certified schools.
When you are accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. The U.S. school will provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1/M-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students (Form I-20) to present to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview. If your spouse and/or children intend to reside with you in the United States while you study, they must obtain individual Form I-20s, but they do not pay the SEVIS fee. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1)
Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a J-1 visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsoring organization. Visit the Department of State J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website to learn about program requirements, regulations, and more.
When you are accepted into the exchange visitor program you plan to participate in, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Most J-1 Exchange Visitors must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019. After your program sponsor enters your information in the SEVIS system, a SEVIS-generated Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019) is provided to you. All exchange visitors, including their spouses and minor children, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Each person receives a separate Form DS-2019. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
Step 1. Check the Validity of your Passport
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States (e.g. if you plan to go to the United States for one month in March, your passport must be valid at least through October).
- Your passport must have at least one blank visa page.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
Fill out the DS-160 Electronic Application Form.
All visa applicants must CAREFULLY check information entered on their DS-160 visa application form. Minor errors may be corrected on the day of the appointment, but if you notice a major error or have an update to your application (recent marriage, change in travel plans), please complete a new DS-160 form and bring the updated confirmation page with you to your appointment.
The Consular Section is not able to issue visas on the day of the interview. All applicants are encouraged to apply for visas well in advance of planned travel to the United States. The Consular Section strongly advises you to purchase tickets or book reservations only after you have received your nonimmigrant visa.
Students whose classes start within 30 days may request an expedited appointment by following the directions in our online Navigator.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation
For your interview, you will need a valid passport; DS-160 confirmation page; a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background (if not uploaded in the electronic application); original I-20 form; and the SEVIS payment receipt (SEVIS fee must be paid before the interview at fmjfee.com). Additional documents may be requested to establish whether you are qualified for the visa. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of your ability to pay or your educational background.
Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant visa.
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please go to NIV Appointment System. Please, have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
Step 5. Come to an Interview with a Consular officer
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview.
Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee
On the day of your interview, please pay the appropriate nonrefundable visa application fee. All visa fees must be paid in U.S. dollars or Kyrgyz som based on the exchange rate established by the U.S. Embassy at the cash desk of the Consular section on the day of interview. Please, note that this fee is non-refundable. Applicants should not pay this fee unless they are 100% confident that they want to apply for the U.S. visa.
NOTE: Payment for your interview is due at the time of service. We request the exact payment amount for the interview, either in KGS or USD (crisp and unmarked), but not both. We do not accept credit cards for payment. Applicants whose visas are approved may be required to pay an additional reciprocity fee. Please check the Reciprocity Fee Schedule and plan accordingly for your visit.
Step 7. Return to Collect your Passport and Visa
You will be informed of the time and date of that your may collect your passport at the time of the interview. In general, passport pass-back takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays at 14:30. Passports may be collected from the Consular section entrance with your payment receipt. Your designated representative may collect the passport on your behalf if you are unable to collect it yourself.