Step 4Get your travel documents
Follow this process to get an F-1 Student Visa that will allow you to enter the United States to study at Northwestern College:
Obtain your Form I-20 from Northwestern
Once Northwestern receives your financial documents and deposit, we'll issue you a Form I-20. Review it carefully when you receive it, then sign at the bottom of page 1 to acknowledge that everything is correct and that you will comply with the terms of the I-20 as described on page 3. If you are younger than 18, your parent will also need to sign the bottom of page 1.
- Pay your SEVIS (I-901) Fee
SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System that tracks the entry, status and exit of international students in the United States. Print your I-901 receipt since you’ll need it for your visa interview.
- Apply for an F-1 Student Visa
Once you have your Form I-20 and have paid your SEVIS/I-901 Fee, complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160). Then make an appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate that is nearest your home in order to interview for an F-1 Student Visa to enter the United States to study at Northwestern College. (Note that an F-1 Student Visa isn't necessary if you are from Canada.)
Bring the following with you to your visa interview:
- A passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your first year of study in the U.S.
- Your Form I-20 and Northwestern College letter of acceptance
- Your Form I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt
- One 2-inch-by-2-inch photo (see specifications)
- The visa application fee (more information)
- Transcripts and diplomas documenting your prior academic record
- Standardized test score reports used for your application to Northwestern (e.g., TOEFL and/or SAT)
- Documentation of sufficient funds to pay your portion of your first year's college expenses (a recent family bank statement or employer's wage statement previously submitted with your enrollment deposit to Northwestern College—see "Personal Funds" at top of second column in the "Financials" box on the I-20 Form)
An F-1 Student Visa is a non-immigrant visa granting you permission to seek temporary entry to the U.S. for the particular purpose of college study only. The U.S. government cannot grant an F-1 non-immigrant visa to anyone that an officer believes does not intend to return to their homeland following completion of studies.
You will not be granted an F-1 Student Visa more than 120 days prior to the start date of your academic program, and you will not be allowed to enter the U.S. with your F-1 Student Visa more than 30 days prior to that start date.