I-20 Form

The I-20 Form is an important document that you should keep safe, as you will need it throughout the international student life cycle:

  • You are expected to have the original I-20 Form with ink signatures at your visa interview.
  • You are expected to have the original I-20 Form with ink signatures on hand as you enter the country.
    • Do not pack it away in your suitcase. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will instruct you to present your I-20 Form at the port of entry.


  1. We have now registered you in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This is the Web-based system that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools, F-1, M-1and J-1 students who come to the United States to attend those schools.
  2. You can now pay the SEVIS I-901 fee once you have received your I-20 Form in the mail. We are sending another email soon to help you with this process.
  3. The I-20 Form lists your program start date 30 days before which you are allowed to enter the United States. This proves that you are legally enrolled in a program of study in the United States.
  4. Please note that the name (i.e., Academic and Language students vs. Vocational Students) on the I-20 Form will dictate the type of student visa you may obtain from the U.S. Department of State and the status you will need to maintain in the United States. You and EOU’s international representative must both sign the I-20 Form in ink. If you are under age 18, your parents must sign the I-20 form for you.

Paying the I-901 Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee

The regulation requires all prospective F-1 Visa students to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before the Department of State issues you a visa.

To pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, visit to access the SEVIS Form I-901. Watch the I-901 SEVIS Fee payment tutorial to learn about each step of the payment process.

You must receive the I-20 Form from EOU first before you attempt to pay the I-901 fee. Information provided by EOU on the I-20 will be used by you to fill out the I-901 and pay the fee.

How to Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee

  • A prospective F-1 visa student with a country of citizenship or country of birth of Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or Gambia must pay by money order, Western Union Quick Pay or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank. All other prospective F-1 students also have the option to make a credit card payment on
  • SEVP will accept third party payments, meaning someone else can pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee using the same method of payment. For students who cannot pay the fee by credit card, third party payers are also restricted from paying the fee by credit card.
  • Visit SEVP’s website for instructions on how to complete the Western Union Quick Pay/Quick Collect form.
  • You can access the PDF version of the SEVIS Form I-901 on SEVP’s website. Print and mail in your paper SEVIS Form I-901 with your check or money order, according to the instructions on the form.
  • For detailed instructions or for assistance on how to make an I-901 SEVIS Fee payment, call the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400.

Print a Receipt

In order to get your student visa, you must present proof of your I-901 SEVIS Fee payment at your visa interview.

  • The printed confirmation will serve as proof of payment for the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
  • Print a receipt of payment after you have completed your I-901 payment on
  • If you would like to request corrections to your I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt because you have noticed misspellings, you must first email a detailed request to

Other information

Because of the high volume of fee transfer and change requests, please email your request a minimum of two weeks before your visa interview to ensure enough time to complete the changes. You can check the status of your request by logging into to review the status of your correction and print your I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt. Within two weeks, if your requested changes are not complete, please contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400.

Student Visa

Upon Your Acceptance

EOU has now registered you for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and sent your I-20 Form via mail. If you have not yet paid your I-901 fee, please do now before proceeding to apply for your student visa.

If you have already paid the fee, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a student (F or J) visa.  You must present the I-20  Form to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview.

How To Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the embassy or consulate website.

Complete the Online Visa Application

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application, and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
  • Photo –You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview

Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require an interview of any visa applicant.

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live.

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply.

Select a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

To find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate office near you, visit the site. You were provided (if applicable) with a letter from Eastern’s president to the Consulate in support of obtaining your visa.

Prepare for Your Interview

  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. If your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality. Review the instructions available on the website to learn more about fee payment:

Gather Required Documentation

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students – We have mailed your signed I-20 Form to you via U.S.Postal Service. If you have not yet received it, please email me immediately.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for a student visa, and may request additional documents, such as evidence of:

  • Your academic preparation, such as:
    • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended and
    • Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school
  • Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study
  • How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs

Attend Your Visa Interview

A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a student visa, or if another category is more appropriate for your purpose of travel.  You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing.  The consular officer will inform you if this is required.

After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you.