Visa Application

1. Official Financial Statements Requirement

Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) Requirements for 2020-2021 Main Campus

English Language InstituteGlobal Resident UndergraduateStandard UndergraduateGraduate
Estimated Tuition, Fees, & BooksUS $13,500US $19,186US $30,216US $38,212
Mandatory Health InsuranceUS $1,700US $1,700US $1,700US $1,700
Room & BoardUS $14,880US $14,880US $14,880US $17,868
Total Cost of AttendanceUS $31,880US $37,586US $48,596US $56,747
Additional Expenses per Dependent30% of Living Expenses

Requirements for Official Financial Statements

  • Statements must provide evidence of your ability to cover Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) Requirements for the first academic year.
  • Statements must be less than six months old.
  • Statements must be in English or sent with an official certified translation.
  • Statements must show either a savings account or bank draft account.
  • If a sponsor is supporting your studies in the United States, your sponsor must submit financial statements.
  • Statements must clearly show the name of the student or the student’s parent, guardian or sponsor.
  • All government-issued financial guarantee or sponsor letters must be addressed to EWU.

Documents you should not send as proof of financial ability
These documents will not be accepted as official:

  • Tax forms
  • Statements from investment funds (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.)
  • Letters from employers
  • Your credit card limit

Supporting Documents
If your education will be paid for by a parent, guardian or sponsor, they will be required to sign an affidavit of support acknowledging that fact.

2. Pay the SEVIS Fee to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

  1. Find the Form I-901 at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
  2. Complete the form online and pay by credit card (Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form).
  3. Print a copy of the online receipt.
  4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents.

  1. Go to the Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) I-901 SEVIS Fee Processing website.
  2. Download the Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.” Or request the form by phone at 800.870.3676 (inside the U.S.).
  3. Complete the Form I-901 (Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form).
  4. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on U.S. banks only) in the amount of $200 U.S., made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security”.
  5. Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on Form I-901.
  6. A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed within 3 days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires F-1 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee for administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS).

The fee must be paid at least three business days before you apply for your visa.

Common Questions

No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or online.

The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program or level, requesting a program extension, renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1 program benefits such as practical training. If you are in status when you travel internationally and are not physically outside of the United States for more than five months, you will not be required to pay the fee.

F-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee.

Yes, but you must submit the I-20 form with the SEVIS ID number that you listed on the I-901 form with you to the U.S. consulate/embassy. For change of status or reinstatement applications, please see the next question.

  • Obtain the appropriate Form I-20 from a DHS-approved school.
  • Pay the SEVIS fee by mail or online.
  • Make a copy of the I-797 (mail) or computer receipt (online) for your records.
  • Submit a copy of the I-797 or computer receipt with your visa, change of status or reinstatement application or for students who are exempt from visa requirements, such as Canadians, should take a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt to present at the port of entry with the appropriate I-20. It will not be possible to pay the fee at the port of entry.

3. Submit Your Visa Application

Complete the Online Visa Application
The DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application form must be submitted prior to your visa interview. To access the form and to review the frequently asked questions, visit You may also be able to access the application form through the consulate or embassy website.

After you have completed the DS-160, print the confirmation page with the barcode. You will need to bring this confirmation page with you to your visa interview.

What to Bring for Your Visa Interview

It is important to gather all of the documents needed for your visa interview before you go to the embassy or consulate. You will need to check with the embassy or consulate in your area for a full list of required documents, but here is a list of commonly required documents to get you started:

  • Passport: Must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U.S.
  • I-20 form: Signed by the P/DSO
  • I-901 SEVIS payment receipt
  • DS-160 application confirmation page
  • Letter of Admission to Eastern Washington University
  • Financial documents: Must show that you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your time in the U.S. Usually financial documents must be originals and issued by the bank or institution.

What to Expect in the Interview

In general, F-1 non-immigrant visa interviews are very short. The consular officer will ask questions to determine whether you are qualified to receive the visa and review the documents that you bring and any information in the government database.

The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means that you will need to show that you intend to return to your home country after your program is completed. It is your responsibility to prove that you will return home after your program by showing Home Country Ties. The following are examples of Home Country Ties:

  • Employment in your home country
  • Family residing in your home country
  • Community ties in your home country
  • Property that you own in your home country

Note: A round-trip airplane ticket by itself may be insufficient to show Home Country Ties.

Fingerprinting: Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this may vary based on location.

Administrative Processing: In some cases, the consular office may require additional time to review your application. If your application is given administrative processing please contact EWU as soon as possible. There is no definite timeframe for administrative processing and it is important to work with us while the consulate is conducting the review of your application.

Visa Approval: When the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee if one applies to your nationality. You will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. You can also find information on picking up your passport on the US Department of State travel website:

Double-check: Check your visa carefully to make sure that it has the correct program and biographical information. If the information is incorrect, contact the consulate or embassy immediately.

Print Visa Application Checklist

Good to Know

Plan ahead so that you will have time to attend your visa interview and get your visa before classes start.

You should apply for your visa 60 to 90 days before you plan to travel.

You can download all necessary visa forms at the U.S. Consulate’s website.


Listen carefully to the embassy official’s questions. Even if the official asks a question you think is strange, you must answer it. The official is usually trying to decide whether you intend to stay in the U.S. after you have completed your program. If the official thinks you plan to stay in the U.S., he or she must refuse your visa.

Keep in mind that an official may see as many as 200 people each day. Officials do not have a lot of time to discuss your application. They must make a quick decision. Help them by being prepared.

Remember, the F-1 visa is for people who intend to return to their home country. Tell the official when you are going to go home.

If Your Visa is Denied

  1. Notify EWU.
  2. If it’s your first application, you should always re-apply.
  3. Contact your consulate for special re-application instructions. You may have to wait before you can re-apply.

US Consulate

The SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you re-apply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.

Be prepared to show additional evidence or explain in a different way how your situation has changed since the first application. Think again about your ties to your home country. These might include family relationships, job, home or farm ownership, or other commitments. Is there any additional evidence that you could present? Did you explain your situation clearly? Did you answer all the questions?

You can learn more about visa denials at the U.S. Department of State.

You cannot apply more than 120 days before the date you plan to enter the United States.

Glossary of Terms

Alternate Responsible OfficerA person designated by a Department of State authorized exchange visitor program sponsor to support the Responsible Officer and maintain SEVIS data.
Authorized Overseas StudyOverseas study authorized by a Primary/Designated School Official that contributes to completion of your program of study. This includes graduate research and formal classes or programs.
Continuing exchange visitorFor purposes of nonimmigrant status, a continuing exchange visitor is one who maintains status in a single program.
Continuing studentFor purposes of nonimmigrant status, a continuing student is one who has not completed, or terminated, a program of study and has maintained status. Continuing students may, under certain circumstances, transfer schools while continuing to maintain status. F-1 and F-3 students may also change their level of study while continuing to maintain status.
Department of Homeland SecurityDepartment of Homeland Security
Department of StateDepartment of State
Designated School OfficialThe person designated by a SEVP approved school to support the Principal Designated School Official and maintain SEVIS records.
Exchange visitor program sponsorThe designated sponsor of a Department of State approved exchange visitor program.
F-1Nonimmigrant status conferred on students attending SEVP approved academic institutions and language training programs who meet the requirements outlined in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(1).
F-2Nonimmigrant status conferred on the spouse or minor child of an F-1 or F-3 student.
F-3Border commuter students in academic institutions and language training programs.
Form DS-2019Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, created by DOS-approved exchange visitor program.
Form I-20Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, created by SEVP-approved schools.
Immigration and Customs EnforcementImmigration and Customs Enforcement
J-1Nonimmigrant status conferred on exchange visitors participating in DOS-approved exchange visitor programs.
J-2Nonimmigrant status conferred on the spouse or minor child of an J-1 student
P/DSOEither a PDSO or a DSO.
PassportAn official document from a person's country of citizenship that attests to their identity and status as a citizen.
PDFAdobe Acrobat standard file format
Primary Designated School OfficialThe person designated by a SEVP-approved school to have primary responsibility for students in that program and maintaining SEVIS records.
Port-of-EntryThe term port of entry means a port or place designated by DHS at which a person may apply for admission into the United States, including international airports, seaports and land ports of entry.
Receipt for SEVIS I-901 feeThe I-797 or Internet generated receipt given to student or exchange visitor upon payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee.
Responsible OfficerThe person designated by a Department of State authorized exchange visitor program sponsor to have primary responsibility for exchange visitors in that program and maintaining SEVIS records.
SchoolAn SEVP-approved academic or vocational institution or language training school.
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
SEVIS ID numberThe unique identifying number assigned to a student or exchange visitor within SEVIS that appears on the Form I-20 or DS-2019.
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)Student and Exchange Visitor Program
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
VisaIf you are a citizen of a foreign country, in most cases you'll need a visa to apply to enter the United States. A visa doesn't permit entry to the United States. A visa simply indicates that a U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate reviewed your application and determined that you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.

Consular affairs are the responsibility of the DoS. A visa allows you to travel to the United States as far as the POE. Only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter the United States (for more information on what to expect at the POE).

There are two categories of U.S. visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant.

Immigrant visas are for people who intend to live permanently in the U.S. Nonimmigrant visas are for people with permanent residence outside the U.S. but who wish to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis for tourism, business, temporary work, study, or medical treatment.
Visa exemptCitizens of Canada or Bermuda or residents of certain other islands described in 8 CFR 212.1a, do not need a visa. These applicants for F-1, F-3, or J-1 nonimmigrant status may apply at the Port-of-Entry.