How to Apply for a Student Visa

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How to Apply for a Student Visa for UArts’ ESL Institute

Apply for your F-1 student visa early. In some countries, it can take several weeks to obtain a visa from the U.S. embassy after you have received admission to UArts ESL Institute (ESLI).

The Form I-20 is used to apply for the F-1 student visa. University of the Arts issues the Form I-20 for study at ESLI.

To obtain the I-20

  1. Complete parts I and II of the ESLI application.

  2.  Send the completed ESLI application, original financial documents and a photocopy of the page in your passport that shows your name and date of birth to ESLI.

  3. Upon receipt of these documents, ESLI will process and send you an admission letter and the Form I-20 via courier service. Sign and date the Form I-20 when you receive it.

  4. Pay your SEVIS fee. For information about that fee, go to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website. Up-to-date information with new SEVIS regulations is located at

  5.  Submit the Form I-20, your admission letter, financial documents, passport, SEVIS receipt and any other required documentation (such as transcripts or academic records) to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country, and apply for an F-1 student visa. We recommend contacting the embassy before your application to verify the embassy’s specific policies and procedures. Find more information about a particular embassy.

  6. Present the Form I-20 and your passport to the immigration officer when you arrive in the U.S. The officer will return your copy of the I-20 to you and will staple the Form I-94 in your passport.

  7. Bring the Form I-20, the Form I-94 and your passport with you to ESLI on registration/orientation day.

  8.  If you have questions about your application, contact Mara Flamm, director for International Programs.

Note: If you enter the U.S. using an I-20 from University of the Arts’ ESLI program, you must complete the ESLI session to which you have been admitted before you are eligible to transfer to another school or university.