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Getting a Student Visa

Pre-Arrival Visa Information for Accepted International Students

Immigration rules and regulations can be confusing and difficult to follow. Please review the information on this page very carefully.

You must be an accepted student before you can apply for a visa. Learn how to obtain your student visa and how to properly enter the United States using the visa that you receive before you submit your visa application.

Congratulations on your admission to SUNY Plattsburgh! The Global Education Office (GEO) is your office on campus. Our goal is to help you with any question, concern, or challenge you may have. We can answer questions about visas and immigration, the college in general, academics, adjusting to a new culture, and anything else you want to know!

How to Successfully Get Your Student Visa

If you follow the instructions that we have outlined on this website, you should be successful in getting your student visa and in arriving to the United States without difficulty.

Once you are admitted, we issue your Form I-20. The next step is for you to apply for your student visa. The instructions vary depending on the visa type you need. Please carefully review the information below and contact us if you have any questions along the way. You may also want to visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website for more information about this process.

  • How to Start the Visa Application Process
    1. Pay the U.S. SEVIS I-901 fee and print out the receipt. You will need to present this receipt at your visa appointment. This fee is required for ALL international students who want to study in the United States. If you have more questions about the SEVIS I-901 Fee, we invite you to visit this link: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm.
    2. Please visit https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160). Print out the DS-160 barcode page and bring it with you to your visa appointment. This form is required.
    3. Make an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country with jurisdiction over your place of residence.
    4. Choose your visa type below for links to pages with additional steps and helpful information about the visa process that are relevant to your particular student visa application process.
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