6: Visas and Immigration

  1. Schedule an appointment for a visa interview at a United States embassy or consulate nearest to you. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants varies, so applying for a visa early is strongly recommended. Click here to find the United States embassy or consulate nearest to you.
  2. Go to your scheduled visa appointment to apply for your visa. Bring the following documents:
  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • I-20 Form
  • Your letter of acceptance to UH Hilo
  • Evidence of sufficient financial support
  • Visa application (DS-160 form) confirmation page and application fee payment receipt (if you are required to pay before your interview)
  • Photo: You will upload your photo when completing the visa application form (DS-160) online. (If the photo upload fails, you must bring a printed photo in the format described here.)
  • SEVIS fee receipt (you can print a copy of your receipt after you pay the fee online)
  • Any other documents required by your specific embassy or consulate
  1. At your visa interview, be prepared to explain (1) your academic and career goals and (2) your intention to return to your home country upon completion of your academic studies.

Be aware that visa applications can be denied, but most students do not have difficulty obtaining an F-1 student visa.