Applying for a Visa
You will receive an email notification from Kent State if you are accepted. Within 2-3 days of your acceptance, a copy of your admission letter will be emailed to Kent State International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). We will then email you a scan of this letter.
In order for you to come to the United States to pursue your educational objective, you must apply for a student visa. For most students, this is an F-1 visa. In order for you to apply for this visa, we must create a Form I-20/DS-2019 immigration document. Follow these steps to apply for a student visa.
- First: Have you sent us proof of financial support for one year? You must show that you have the financial resources to pay for one year of studying in Kent. This document can be in the form of a bank statement, graduate assistantship letter, or financial guarantee from your government. If you do receive an assistantship, please email us a copy of the offer letter, as we only receive notification of your acceptance to Kent State and we are generally not notified whether or not you will receive funding from your department or school. The total amount of funding we are required to see can be found here: Tuition & Fees
- Note: Are you transferring from another US high school, college, university or institution? If so, we do not create a new SEVIS record for you; instead you should arrange for the transfer of your record to Kent State University. You will need to read our Transfer In Guide for more information and to arrange this transfer: Transfer In Guide June 2014.pdf. After your record is transferred to us, we can create a new Kent State I-20 for you, provided that you have shown us your proof of financial support.
- Second: After we have proof of financial support, we create the I-20 and send it to your mailing address, along with a packet of information. You will receive an email from ISSS with a scan of the documents we are mailing, as well as tracking information for the package. Depending on where you live, it may take two to three weeks for your I-20 to arrive. We use DHL to mail documents internationally. Please be patient during this time - we have no control over the international mailing system. If you have not received your I-20 four weeks after you were notified that you were accepted, please contact us at ISSS@kent.edu.
- Are you from China? Your I-20 will be sent to our Beijing China Center. The China Center will then contact you to arrange for delivery.
- Are you from Saudi Arabia? Check with your local DHL Center to see if your packet has arrived. Your local DHL Center may try to contact you by phone when your I-20 arrives.
- Are you from Iran? It may take significantly longer (one to three months) for your I-20 to arrive after we have mailed it.
- Do not make your visa appointment until you have your I-20. You will not be able to obtain a visa without your I-20. We cannot expedite or “rush” an I-20 to you if you have scheduled a visa appointment without an I-20.
- Third: After you have received your I-20, you can apply for your visa by following these steps:
- Verify your personal information on your Form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1). Ensure that your name and birth date match your passport. If you find mistakes, notify our office immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and include a scan of your passport.
- On Form I-20, print and sign your name at Number 11 on the bottom of the first page. On Form DS-2019, complete “Exchange Visitor Certification” Box (at bottom).
- Prior to applying for your F-1 or J-1 student visa you must pay a $200 SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). You can pay the SEVIS fee two ways: (1) online by credit card at https://www.fmjfee.com/ or (2) mailed by check or money order. You will be able to print a receipt electronically if you use payment option #1. You will receive a receipt by return mail if you use payment option #2.
- Schedule the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you: http://www.usembassy.gov/. If you are from Canada, you do not need to apply for an F-1 visa at your local consulate. You will find information about Canadian student visas here: http://canada.usembassy.gov/visas/visas/student-and-exchange-visas.html.