UMD: A Globally Connected University

Apply for Your Visa

Apply for Your Visa

Visa Process 

A visa is a document that is placed into your passport and allows you to request permission from an Immigration officer at a port-of-entry (usually at an airport) to enter the United States. The visa itself does not guarantee admission into the U.S.; all other documents must be in order as well. The procedure to enter the U.S. is covered in more detail on Arrival and U.S. Customs

F-1 (Student) Visa

The F-1 visa is the most often used visa by international students to study at an accredited U.S. college, university, or English language institute. Students on F-1 visas come to the United States for a full degree program. To apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility I-20 document. 

J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Visa

The J-1 visa is used for educational and cultural exchange programs at the University of Maryland. Students on J-1 visas typically come to the United States to study for a shorter period of time - one to two semesters. To apply for an J-1 student/scholar visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility DS-2019 document. 

Visa Application Steps

  1. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee *
    • SEVIS Fee:
      • F-1 students:  $350
      • J-1 students:  $220
    • Print out your receipt of payment for your visa interview.
      *You may have received an I-20/DS-2019 from several schools, but you should only pay the SEVIS fee once and apply for your visa with the I-20/DS-2019 of the school you plan to attend.
  2. Schedule a visa appointment/interview*
  3. Attend the visa appointment and bring the following documents with you:
    • ​​A completed visa application form
    • Form I-20 or DS-2019
    • Proof that you paid the SEVIS fee & visa application fees
    • A passport valid for at least 6 months or more into the future
    • Financial support documentation that was used for your I20/DS2019 creation
    • For dependents applying for an F-2/J-2 visa: bring your marriage certificate and/or children’s birth certificate confirming your relationship.

    Additional Documentation May Be Required

    • Your admission letter from the University of Maryland 
    • Any standardized test scores  you submitted to UMD
    • Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study, examples include: proof of property ownership, bank accounts, significant family in your home country, a job offer in your home country upon completion of your U.S. studies, etc

After the Visa Appointment

If all goes according to plan, you will receive an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport. Congratulations! Check your visa for errors before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You may not enter the U.S. on your F-1 or J-1 visa more than 30 days prior to the report date on your I-20/DS-2019.

Please contact ISSS if you received a late visa appointment and will not be able to enter the U.S. by the report date on your I-20/DS-2019, or if your visa application has been denied.