A visa is required for all non-U.S. citizens who wish to study in the United States. Most international students studying at Kirkwood Community College apply for an F-1 Non-Immigrant Student Visa. Other types of visas (J-1 or M-1) are sometimes authorized for students.
1. Once your application is complete at Kirkwood, Kirkwood will send you the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form you need to apply for your F-1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
2. Contact your U.S. embassy or consulate to set an appointment to apply for the visa. Plan ahead and start the visa application process early. It can take several months to process the application and schedule a visa interview. Contact the embassy now to find out how long the process may take.
3. For your visa appointment, take the following documents:
- SEVIS I-20 Kirkwood sent you
- I-901 -- SEVIS fee and processing fee
- High school and/or college transcripts
- Financial guarantee letter
4. Once you have your student visa, you may travel to the U.S. At the immigration checkpoint, present your valid passport, student visa, completed I-94 (you will receive on the plane) and I-20 documentation to the port-of-entry official.
5. Upon arrival in the United States, report to the International Programs office so that we may make copies of your immigration documents and document your arrival in the SEVIS system.