F1 Visa

 Students are encouraged to visit the offiical F1 visa      application information from Study in the States site.  

I am transferring my I-20 to UW Bothell:

  • You do not need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee again.
  • It is OK if your current, valid visa has a different school name on it. This is very common for transfer students.

If you plan to leave and re-enter the U.S. before you begin your studies at UW Bothell: 

  • If your current visa has expired, you must use your UW Bothell I-20 to apply for a new F1 visa (see visa section below). CIE strongly recommends you apply for a new F1 visa in your home country. If you get a copy of your old I-901 SEVIS fee receipt online, if needed.
  • You must use your UW Bothell I-20, valid visa, valid passport and UW Bothell admission letter to enter the U.S.. 

If you don't plan to leave the U.S. until you begin your studies at UW Bothell:

  • You can stay in the United States, even if your current visa has expired.
  • While you stay in the U.S. in between schools, you can not work or study.

I am entering the U.S. with a new I-20/SEVIS record:

  • Once you receive your UW Bothell I-20, you can pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee . This fee is imposed by USCIS.
  • You will use the UW Bothell I-20 and I-901 SEVIS fee receipt to make an appointment to apply for your F1 visa at a U.S. Consulate.
  • Immigration regulations allow you to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20. The program start date is typically the first official date of the quarter.

Applying for Your F1 Visa

  • Emergency Visa Appointment: During COVID-19, we are aware that some U.S. Consulates offer emergency visa appointments. Once it is within 60-days from the start of the quarter, you can go online to schedule this appointment. Some countries require you to wait until 30-days before, such as in Japan. Please contact your local U.S. Consulate for further details.
  • Students are encouraged to visit the Study in the States site and Department of State's Visa site for official application information.
  • Applying for a U.S. visa can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks or longer, so you should allow enough time for the visa application process.
  • CIE strongly encourages students to apply for the F1 visa in their home country. If there are any delays or visa denials, then at least the student will be at home during this difficult time.
  • Your UW Bothell and I-901 SEVIS fee receipt allows you to make an appointment to apply for an F1 visa.  

Tips for the Visa Interview

The following are tips for you in consider when preparing for your visa interview. You should also visit the website of the U.S. Consulate in your home country for further information about preparing for your interview.

1. Be honest. Students have been denied visas for presenting false information.

2. Ties to your Home Country. You must be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the U.S. “Ties” to your home country that bind you to your home town, homeland, or current place of residence such as job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc.

3. Financial Support. Make sure you bring sufficient proof that you have enough money to support yourself in the U.S.

4. English. Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. If you are coming to the United States to study only English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country.

5. Know the Program and How It Fits Your Career Plans. You should be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future professional career.

6. Employment. Your main purpose in coming to the U.S. should be to study, not to work in the U.S. before or after graduation. While many students do work on-campus during their studies, employment is not their main purpose.

List of U.S. Consulates & Embassies

If you are unsure of where your nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy is located, we encourage you to use the U.S. Department of State's directory - www.usembassy.gov/ 

Your Social Media Accounts

Please note that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers can ask for your social media account information when you to apply for F1 visa and/or travel through U.S. ports of entry. We advise all students to be smart about your online presence and always be compliant with federal laws and regulations.