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Alright, that’s enough information on your visa. Let’s dive into your interview now. By now, you must have gotten the I-20 from your university. If you haven’t, please contact your university’s ISSO to get it as soon as possible. Without it, you cannot proceed forward.

Before you book your visa appointment, make sure you complete the following:*

  • confirm your enrollment at the university

  • acquire your I-20

  • complete the online visa application, a.k.a. form DS-160

  • pay the non-refundable visa application fee and SEVIS I-901 fee.

Here are a few edge cases to watch out for:

  • danger Acquiring multiple I-20s: It’s OK to have multiple I-20s. However, while completing your visa application form (DS-160), you should only mention the details of the university you’ve chosen to attend. If you change your university after receiving your visa, you have to redo the entire application (please avoid this!).

  • danger Wrong information on I-20: It happens. If there is an error on your I-20, request for correction from the university’s ISSO as soon as possible. You need the corrected version for your visa appointment.

  • danger Changing visa appointments: After scheduling an appointment, you will receive a confirmation email indicating a date and time until when you can make changes to the appointment. No changes are allowed post that.

Assuming you’re all good to go, let’s get into what you need to take with you.

Preparing Your Documents

Getting your visa is a two-step process.

  • First: you need to go for your biometrics appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC).

  • Second: you need to give your much-anticipated visa interview in the U.S. Consulate.

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