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Step 3: Apply for the Student Visa

If you are currently in the U.S. and already hold an F-1 international student visa, please continue to Step 4.   

Students from Canada or Bermuda are exempt from having to apply for a student visa. However, these students must still pay the SEVIS Fee and carry the receipt, along with the I-20 and SMSU Admission Letter to show the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the port of entry when entering the U.S.  Please pay the SEVIS Fee and continue on to Step 4.   

How to Apply for the F-1 Student Visa 

Apply for your student visa early (at least 2-3 months in advance) before the semester begins.  U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide are often booked for appointments many weeks in advance.  You can start this process once you get an email about your I-20 SEVIS Number.  Follow the checklist below to obtain your student visa.  

Once you get your Visa please continue on to Step 4.


DO NOT enter on a visitor's visa (B-1 or B-2) and expect to change status in the U.S.  This is extremely difficult and it will cause further complications for you. 

Visa Delay/Denial 

Most students will be successful in obtaining their student visas. Despite this, a small number of students may have their visa applications denied. If your visa is denied you may reapply for the visa within a 12-month period without having to pay the SEVIS fee again. The most common reasons for visa denial are:

  • Failure to prove sufficient ties to your home country.
  • Failure to provide sufficient evidence of financial support.
  • Failure to explain why you chose to study at SMSU, in your major, and what your future plans are at home.

Become a Mustang by following these simple steps

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Step 1

Apply Online For Admission

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Step 2

Get Your I-20

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Step 3

Apply for the International Student Visa

(Skip this step, if you already have one!)

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Step 4

Make Your Travel Arrangements to SMSU

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Step 5

Attend the Mandatory International Student Orientation

Last Modified: 3/26/24 3:35 PM | Website Feedback