The following links provide detailed information regarding the process for applying for a non-immigrant visa:



An interview with the American Embassy or Consulate is a required component to the visa application process. The following information regarding required documentation can also be found on the website.


Each applicant for a student visa must submit the following forms and documentation:

  • Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students or Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students. You will need to submit a SEVIS generated Form, I-20, which was provided to you by your school. You and your school official must sign the I-20 form. See the previous section for SEVIS information.
  • Online Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.
  • One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements;
  • A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.

Each applicant should be prepared to provide:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.;
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

Visa Wait Times for Interview Appointments and Processing

Visas cannot be issued earlier than 4 months prior to your program start date, listed on Form I-20, which will be sent to you from Cayuga Community College. Students are prohibited from using their visa to enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on Form I-20.

EducationUSA Guide: If You Want to Study in the United States: Getting Ready to Go