APPLYING FOR AN F-1 VISA
WHICH VISA IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Most international students in the United States come in F-1 status; most of the rest come in J-1 status.
To be eligible for the J-1 student visa, the student must be financially supported by a scholarship, fellowship, a teaching or research assistantship, home government, the United States Government, the government or an international organization. The students funded by personal and family funds are not eligible for J-1 visa.
There are some major differences between F-1 and J-1 visas. The following are some of the highlights.
|Source of Funding||Substantial financial support from private sources||Substantial financial support from other sources other than personal or private|
|212(e) – Two-year Home Residence Requirement||Not subject to the two-year home resident requirement||Some students may be subject to 212(e), “two-year home resident requirement“|
|On-Campus Employment||May employed part-time (20 hours per week) while school is in session and full-time during breaks||May be employed part-time (20 hours per week) while school is in session and full-time during breaks with ISSS written approval|
|Off-Campus Employment||Eligible for 12 months Optional Practical Training during/after program of study in field related to major. No job offer is required when applying
May be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (part-time during school/full-time during breaks) if approved by Academic Advisor.
|Eligible for 18 to 36 months Academic Training post-completion. Must have a job offer in hand before graduation to apply|
|Dependent||Cannot engage in employment or study||May apply for employment authorization or study part-time or full-time as a student|
I-20 "CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY"
The I-20 is used to apply for an F-1 student visa. If your plans change and you do not plan to attend the Colorado School of Mines, email the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are an undergraduate or email@example.com for graduate students.
REVIEW YOUR I-20 FOR ACCURACY, SIGN AND DATE.
Your name and birthdate should match your passport. If corrections are necessary, email a copy of your passport to Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Program State Date coincides with International Student Orientation on the Mines campus. You must enter by the program start date. If your arrival is delayed, please email the International Office at isss.mines.edu for instructions.
- The Program End Date is an estimate and may not reflect the actual completion date of your degree program.
- The Estimated Average Costs are based on non-resident tuition and fees, and estimated living and school expenses. Actual costs may be higher or lower depending on specific program costs and individual needs. For cost details, go to Financial Aid.
I-901 SEVIS FEE
The I-901 SEVIS Fee ($200) is a required payment to the US government based on your I-20 SEVIS ID number. You are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before you apply for your F-1 visa or enter the US.
PAY THE I-901 SEVIS FEE AT FMJFEE.COM.
Print payment confirmation and keep it with your I-20.
APPLY FOR YOUR F-1 VISA
Now that you have paid the SEVIS fee and have your I-20, you can make an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for an F-1. Please review the visa application checklist below:
An international student applying for an F-1 student visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad will need to present the following:
- I-20 Certificate of Eligibility Form provided by ISSS at Colorado School of Mines
- Letter of admission provided by Colorado School of Mines
- Financial support documents (Current proof of support that would meet expenses for program duration as indicated on Form I-20 (i.e. bank statements, award letters or loan approval letters)
- Passport valid for a minimum of six months into the future at the time of entry
- Form DS-160 “Nonimmigrant Visa Application” available at your local US Embassy or Consulate’s website. http://www.usembassy.gov/
- Two photos (see requirements here)
- MRV fee Machine Readable Visa, currently $160 USD
- Receipt for payment of $200 SEVIS I901 Fee
Visa reciprocity fee may be required by home country. For more information, please visit travel.state.gov/visa/reciprocity/index.htm
• Contact the U.S. embassy/consulate in your home country where you are planning to apply for the visa for specific information on appointment wait times and additional F-1 visa application requirements and procedures.
For Canadian Citizens: You are not required to apply for an F-1 visa. You can enter the US with a valid passport, your I-20 and I-901 Fee payment confirmation.
Transfer your SEVIS record to Mines
You must transfer your SEVIS record to MInes if any of the following apply:
- you are currently enrolled in a college, university, or high school in the U.S.;
- you have recently graduated from a college, university, or high school in the U.S.;
- you have completed or are completing a period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT);
- you are currently in valid F-1 or J-1 status, even if you are outside the U.S.
You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again!
Instructions for transferring SEVIS record
- Ask your current (or previous) institution’s International Student Adviser to complete the Recommendation Email you sent them via the Mines Welcomes You! Pre-Arrival/Orientation Module.
- Complete any form your current school requires for transfer.
- Wait: The ISSS cannot create your new I-20/DS-2019 until after your SEVIS transfer date. This means your I-20 may take more than 10 business days if you are transferring your SEVIS record to Mines!
SEVIS transfer deadlines:
- F-1 students: within 60 days of the program end date on the I-20 or within 60 days of the OPT end date.
- J-1 students: by the program end date on the DS-2019.
HOW EARLY CAN I ENTER THE US?
You may only enter the US up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20; not earlier! Arrival to the US should be a smooth experience if you have everything prepared in advance. Information on what to expect when entering the US can be found at Study in the States.
Complete the Pre-Arrival Checklist. This checklist is mandatory for all students.
Summer Orientation, which is not mandatory but is strongly recommended, will provide you with much more
information on Mines and will assist you in transitioning to college life. Learn more and find registration at the link
COLORADO DRIVER'S LICENSE
If you apply for an Colorado driver’s license and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) cannot verify your immigration status, please visit the International Office, 1st floor Student Center, for assistance.
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
If you will be working on-campus before the term begins and need to apply for a social security number, please visit the International Office.