A valid F or J visa is only required when entering the U.S. If you do not have any plans to leave the U.S. during your studies at UCO, then you do not need to update your visa. If you plan to travel to your home country or another country and then return to the U.S., you must have a valid visa.
Check with the U.S. Consulate near you for the most up-to-date application procedures and requirements.
Step One: Make the SEVIS Payment
To Pay Online
- Find form I-901
- Complete the form online and supply the necessary payment information from a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card.
- Write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20 or DS-2019.
- Print a copy of the online receipt. This can be used to prove you have paid the fee at the U.S. Embassy.
To Pay by Western Union
- The Western Union Quick Pay™ service is an acceptable payment method for the I-901 fee and is accessible in over 130 countries. Note that the payment process for Western Union has changed. See the detailed payment instructions for complete information.
To Pay by Mail
- Refer to chapter five of this tutorial from the U.S. government on I-901 SEVIS fee payment.
Step 2: Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Your Country
- Visit the U.S. Embassy website to find out the information on visa application requirements and procedures.
- Begin collecting documents necessary for visa application.
Step 3: Prepare Online Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160)
- The DS-160 form is issued by the U.S. Department of State and is used by the U.s. Embassy or Consulate during your visa interview. You may access the DS-160 instructions and application online.
Step 4: Make an Appointment for an Interview
In your first contact with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, find out how to make an appointment for the interview as soon as possible. Find out the appointment and visa wait time.
Step 5: Collect all supporting documents for Visa interview
- SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 form— Provided by UCO after admission
- Admission letter and/or scholarship certificate — Provided by UCO to you at the time of admission.
- Valid bank statement — Provided by you or your financial sponsor showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses in the U.S.
- Educational background — Includes the highest degree transcripts or certificates to demonstrate your educational background.
- Test scores — Includes TOEFL, IELTS or any other English tests you have taken for your admissions to UCO.
- Permanent residence — Be able to show that you have a residence in your country and will maintain ties to your country via family, job or property and will return home at the end of your study.
Note: Do check the Embassy website where you will be attending your interview to check for any additional documentation required.
Step 6: Prepare for a Successful Visa Interview
- The consular officer may ask questions regarding any public information that is available on your social media accounts. Be prepared to answer their questions.
- Be prepared to demonstrate ties to your home country. Ties to your home country are the things that connect you to your hometown, homeland or current place of residence (i.e., job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc).
- Practice your English in advance, as the interview will be conducted in English.
- Unless you are under 18 years old, do not bring parents or family members with you to your interview.
- Prepare to articulate why the program you will study in the U.S. will help or relates to your professional goals in your home country.
- Answer all questions concisely with the appropriate information.
- Be ready to explain any documents that you submitted during your application process.
- It is harder for students from certain countries to obtain visas, so expect potential challenges or delays in processing.
- Your main purpose to come to the U.S. is to study. You must clearly articulate your plan to return home after you have finished your degree.
- If you have dependents that will stay at home while you study in the U.S., be prepared to share how they will support themselves in your absence.
- Remain positive. It can be a tricky and challenging process, but a positive attitude can go a long way.
Step 7: Get ready to Come to Oklahoma
The visa renewal process is similar to the first-time application process. If you are planning to renew your expired student visa in your home country you must apply early and expect delays.
In order to re-apply for a visa, you'll need these documents:
- SEVIS I-20/DS-2019 form with an updated travel signature.
- Passport, valid six months into the future.
- Financial Support Documents (i.e., sponsor support letter, bank statement obtained within the last six months, employment letter, etc.)
- Enrollment Verification Letter and UCO official transcript.