Home The Applying for a student visa

Applying for a student visa

Applying for a student visa

Covid19 warning

Visa processing may be delayed due to COVID-19. You can find the current status of visa processing at your nearest US consulate at Consulate news and events .

Consulate news and events

On this page

ListensymbolOverview of the application process Clipboard iconRenewal of your visa User hours symbolVisa delays and denials

A visa is:

  • an entry permit to be obtained from a consulate outside the United States.

  • To enter the USA, you need a valid, unexpired student visa.

Exceptions

  • Citizens of Canada or Bermuda do not require an entry visa. You still need to apply for an I-20 / DS-2019.

    what is a cohort effect
  • If you have a student visa that has not yet expired, you do not need to apply for a new one. You still need to apply for an I-20 / DS-2019.

Overview of the application process

Receive your I-20 / DS-2019 and pay your SEVIS fee Receive your I-20 / DS-2019 and pay your SEVIS fee Complete the DS-160 visa application Complete the DS-160 visa application Schedule your visa interview Schedule your visa interview Prepare your documents Prepare your documents Take part in your interview Take part in your interview Obtain and review your entry visa Obtain and review your entry visa

How to apply

Receive your I-20 / DS-2019 and pay your SEVIS fee

  • Follow our instructions to apply for an I-20 / DS-2019.
  • After receiving your I-20 / DS-2019, pay the SEVIS fee .

Complete the DS-160 visa application

  • You have to DS-160 .
  • review frequently asked Questions about the DS-160.
  • Answer truthfully to the best of your knowledge and belief. ISSO cannot provide advice on how to fill out the DS-160.
  • If you have any questions, please contact your local embassy or consulate.

Helpful tips

US address or contact point

Not sure who to list? Use your school or department address. The phone number is 212-854-1754.

Relatives

Relatives must submit their own DS-160.

Course of study

Use your course name as it appears on your letter of admission or on your I-20 / DS-2019.

Planned length of stay

Use your best estimate of the time it will take to complete your program. The answer to this question doesn’t determine that Duration of your visa .

Current information on work / education / training

Select the best option that applies at the time of submitting the application.

Person / organization who pays for your trip

Include your main source of funding as it appears on your I-20 / DS-2019.

Schedule your visa interview

  • Follow the directions for your Embassy or consulate .
  • You can interview no earlier than 120 days before your visa start date.
  • In general, it is recommended that you apply for a visa in your home country and not in a third country if possible.
  • Every message has its own Visa processing times .

Prepare your documents

Expand all Collapse all

Students

Students

1.
Passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the USA)
two.
DS-160 confirmation page
3.
Valid I-20 / DS-2019 (original, not a copy)
Four.
Copy of Columbia's letter of admission / email
5.
SEVIS fee receipt
6.
Financial documents (issued within the last 3 months)
7.
All other documents listed on the embassy / consulate website
1.','class':['row_1','col_0']},{'data':'

Passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the USA) ',' class ': [' row_1 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

2.','class':['row_2','col_0']},{'data':'

DS-160 Confirmation Page ',' class ': [' row_2 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

3.','class':['row_3','col_0']},{'data':'

Valid I-20 / DS-2019 (original, not a copy) ',' class ': [' row_3 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

4.','class':['row_4','col_0']},{'data':'

Copy of letter of approval from Columbia / email ',' class ': [' row_4 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

5.','class':['row_5','col_0']},{'data':'

SEVIS charge receipt ',' class ': [' row_5 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

6.','class':['row_6','col_0']},{'data':'

Financial documents (issued within the last 3 months) ',' class ': [' row_6 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

7.','class':['row_7','col_0']},{'data':'

All other documents listed on the embassy / consulate website ',' class ': [' row_7 ',' col_1 ']}]]' sortable = '0' class = 'table-responsive hidden-xs'>

Relatives

Relatives

1.
Passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the USA)
two.
DS-160 confirmation page
3.
Dependent I-20 / DS-2019 (original, not a copy)
Four.
Copy of the student ID I-20 / DS-2019
5.
Copy of Columbia's letter of admission / email address
6.
Financial records
7.
Proof of relationship to the student (marriage certificate or birth certificate)
8.
Copy of student's visa page and copy of student's I-94 Arrival record (only if the student is already in the USA and relatives will follow later)
1.','class':['row_1','col_0']},{'data':'

Passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the USA) ',' class ': [' row_1 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

2.','class':['row_2','col_0']},{'data':'

DS-160 Confirmation Page ',' class ': [' row_2 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

3.','class':['row_3','col_0']},{'data':'

Dependent I-20 / DS-2019 (original, not a copy) ',' class ': [' row_3 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

4.','class':['row_4','col_0']},{'data':'

Copy of student I-20 / DS-2019 ',' class ': [' row_4 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

5.','class':['row_5','col_0']},{'data':'

Copy of admission letter / email from Columbia student ',' class ': [' row_5 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

6.','class':['row_6','col_0']},{'data':'

Finanzdokumente ',' class ': [' row_6 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

7.','class':['row_7','col_0']},{'data':'

Proof of kinship (marriage certificate or birth certificate) ',' class ': [' row_7 ',' col_1 ']}], [{' data ':'

8.','class':['row_8','col_0']},{'data':'

Copy of the student's visa page and u00a0Copy of the student ID I-94 u00a0 Arrival data record u00a0 (only if the student is already in the USA and relatives will follow later) ',' class ': [' row_8 ',' col_1 ']}]]' sortable = '0' class = 'table-controlled hidden-xs' >

Take part in your interview

Obtain and review your entry visa

  • Check the Show in your passport to ensure that all the information on it is correct.
  • Your I-20 / DS-2019 should be returned to you. You need it to enter the USA.

Extension of your visa

Do I have to renew my visa?

If your visa expires while you are in the US, nothing will happen as it is just a travel document. Further information on the visa process can be found here. However, if you are traveling internationally, you will need an unexpired visa to apply for entry into the United States (with the possible exception when traveling from Canada, Mexico, or certain neighboring Caribbean islands).

The visa renewal process is similar to the initial application for an F-1 or J-1 student visa described above. You must have the visa from a. receive US consulate or embassy abroad, ideally in your home country, where you were most recently successful, and you have to prove your non-immigration intentions and the connection to your home country.

Required documents for a visa extension

Generally these are the documents you will need, but each consulate may need additional application documents Consulate to which you will apply.

  1. Your passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  2. latest I-20 with valid travel signature and updated proof of finance.
  3. a copy of your certificates and a certificate of enrollment from the student secretariat if you apply for a visa during your studies.
  4. Your EAD card and proof of employment if you are using OPT or STEM OPT Extension

Visa delays and denials

Visa delays

After your visa interview you will be notified if Administrative processing is necessary.

Sign in to Compass report if your visa is delayed. We will follow up your application, but cannot clarify any individual cases. Most students receive their visa before starting their studies.

Visa refusals

Sign in to Compass report if your visa is denied.

You can reapply and bring additional ones with you supporting documents such as proof of attachment to your home country. A support letter from your faculty can be helpful.

Sign in to report delays or rejections

Please click on the appropriate link below:

THIS morning page
Log in with your UNI. at
ISO-CUIMC
Log in with your UNI. at
THIS morning page
Log in with your PID and PIN (request your PIN here)
ISO-CUIMC
Log in with your PID and PIN (request your PIN here)

Interesting Articles

Editor'S Choice

The science of the flu shot
The science of the flu shot
Once in the air with the autumn cold, flu vaccinations are being given out in clinics and pharmacies across the country. Vaccination, while imperfect, is the most reliable way to avoid a potentially fatal infection. While many accept it as a seasonal inconvenience, the flu kills about 19,000 Americans in an average year. After the pioneering work of Hilary Koprowski,
Alumni publish 'Semper Fi' with Jai Courtney in the lead role
Alumni publish 'Semper Fi' with Jai Courtney in the lead role
Three Columbia alumni released Semper Fi earlier this month, a feature film starring Jai Courtney and distributed by Lionsgate. The film was produced by Alumna Karina Miller '04, co-written by Alumna Sean Mullin '06, and co-written and directed by Alumna Henry-Alex Rubin '95.
Columbia filmmakers make a splash at the Nashville Film Festival
Columbia filmmakers make a splash at the Nashville Film Festival
Current student Asad Farooqui and alumna Fany de la Chica '18 are represented at this year's Nashville Film Festival.
Review: 'The Emperor of All Diseases
Review: 'The Emperor of All Diseases'
It's difficult, if not impossible, to reach middle age without seeing the ravages of cancer up close.
Alexandra Carter
Alexandra Carter
As director of the Law School's Mediation Clinic, Alexandra Carter ’03 has been training students in various forms of alternative dispute resolution since 2008. Under her guidance, students learn negotiation strategies and advise clients in federal, state, and New York courts; Cases range from family business disputes to complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2016, Carter partnered with the United Nations Institute for Education and Research and their students are the exclusive providers of alternative dispute resolution classes for the United Nations Diplomatic Corps in New York. She is currently training judicial and administrative directors in New York state courts which will soon require most civil disputes to be resolved through alleged mediation rather than in public courts. In 2019, Columbia University honored Carter with the Presidential Award for Teaching for its innovative pedagogy and commitment to its students. Carter developed her passion for mediation and teaching as a student at the Law School's Mediation Clinic, led by Professor Carol Liebman, who became her mentor and role model. As a student, Carter won the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for Clinical Advocacy and the Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize for Best Oral Argument in the 2002 Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition. Prior to enrolling in Law School, Carter was a private equity analyst with Goldman Sachs and Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan, where she researched contemporary literature to assess cross-strait political tensions. After Carter got her J.D. received, she worked on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and then joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore as a litigator. She was retired to the academy by Liebman and other mentors from Columbia Law School. Carter's new take on negotiation is the subject of her upcoming general interest book Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything, which will be the main title published by Simon & Schuster in May 2020.
Ars Nova announces Melis Aker '18 as a resident of Play Group 2019
Ars Nova announces Melis Aker '18 as a resident of Play Group 2019
Alumna Melis Aker '18 joins Alumna Julia May Jonas '12 as a new member of the Ars Nova Plays Group 2019. The Play Group is a two-year residency where members become part of the Ars Nova resident artist community.
Clinic for Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine
Clinic for Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine
What are tendonitis and tendinitis? Tendons are strong strands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Tendonitis is when a tendon is inflamed. It can hit any tendon in the body. When a tendon is inflamed, it can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort. Another problem called tenosynovitis is linked to tendonitis. This is the inflammation of the lining of the tendon sheath around a tendon. Usually the vagina is inflamed by itself, but both the vagina and tendon can be inflamed at the same time.