Obtaining Your Visa

WHAT IS A VISA?

A VISA is the travel document that allows you into the United States of America. You will need your visa to enter, depart and return to the United States. If you are currently in your home country, you will need to obtain an F-1 International Student Visa. Click here for more information.

Before traveling to the United States and in order to get an F1 visa, you must:

  • Obtain the Form l-20. Once you have satisfied all requirements you will receive the form I-20 by mail from Jackson State University. Visit the Requirements for Obtaining an I-20 for more information
  • Pay the SEVIS Fee. You must pay this fee prior to the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. In order to do so, you must have your I-20 Form to complete Form I-901 (on-line) and obtain the receipt or Form I-797. Print multiple copies of the receipt. You will need one with you for the visa interview, one to submit to JSU Global during Check-In and you should keep one for your own records. Please note that this process requires the use of a credit card.
  • Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) Form. This requires you to upload one (1) passport picture. Please make sure to carefully review the instructions prior starting the process. Click here for photo requirements.
  • Prepare documents for visa interview. You must have a valid passport, letter of admission from the school, evidence of financial ability to meet expenses (original documents, no older than 3 months), and evidence of intent to depart the United States after completion of studies.Please see the U.S. Embassy Website for your country to see if additional documents are required and schedule your visa appointment.

 

Important: Students can apply for F-1 visas at any given time. However, the State Department will ONLY start to issue visas 120 days prior to the first day of the beginning of the academic program. In addition, international students will be able to enter the United States as early as 30 days prior to the beginning of the program.

ATTEND YOUR VISA INTERVIEW

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. An ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location. The following are some general questions and tips that may be asked or helpful during the visa application interview:

  • Why do you choose Jackson State University?
  • What can you tell me about this University and Jackson, MS where the University is located?
  • What is your plan after graduation?
  • What do your parents do?
  • What reasons can you give to indicate that you will return to your home country after you complete your studies in the United States?
  • Be confident and answer all questions in an open and honest way.
  • Read 10 Points to Remember for VISA Interview.
 
CHECKLIST OF WHAT TO TAKE TO YOUR VISA INTERVIEW
  • A passport valid for at least six months beyond period of admission
  • JSU Form I-20
  • JSU admission letter
  • Completed DS-160 visa application bar code page
  • A photograph (click here for photo requirements)
  • Receipt for the visa application fee
  • Receipt for the SEVIS fee payment
  • Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
  • Any information that demonstrates your intention to return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.

 

VISA DENIAL

Visas are given at the discretion of the issuing officer at the consulate. JSU cannot intervene in the consulate’s decision. If you are not granted a student visa at the first interview, you can apply again.  However, before you schedule another visa interview, you need to make sure that you have new information or evidence to address the visa denial reasons In the case of Visa Denial ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal and ask for the reason you were denied in writing. If you would like to postpone and will not enroll at JSU for the semester you were admitted and wish to defer your admission:

  • Contact the admissions office or department in writing (email or letter) to request a deferral.
  • Return the I-20 form to JSU Global ISSS.