Obtain your Visa
Visa Application Procedure & Entry to U.S.
- Schedule an Appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to you.
- Pay the I-901 fee
- Review interview tips and attend your visa interview
- Arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your DS-2019 or I-20
After you receive your immigration documents and review them, the next step is to schedule an appointment with the US Consulate for your visa application. If you are not sure which US Embassy or Consulate is closest to you, please visit the US Department of State website for a list of US missions around the world. Once you find the U.S. Consulate closest to you, please visit the “visa” section of the website to learn about the required procedures for setting an appointment and how to prepare for your interview. Click here for advice on how to prepare for your interview. Please note that Canadian and Bermudian citizens are not required to obtain F-1 visas to enter the U.S., but are still required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.
All new international students applying for an F or J visa are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to their visa interview. Click here to find more information on the I-901 SEVIS Fee, as well as how to pay. If you are a Canadian citizen, although you do not need an F or J visa to enter the U.S., you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to your entry into the US.
As a new international student, you are permitted to enter the US no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019. The start date can be found in Section 5 of your I-20, or Section 3 of your DS-2019. For information on what to expect at your port of entry, click here.
You are encouraged to come to Clemson as early as possible to obtain housing, register for courses, and complete the necessary paperwork for on-campus employment, if applicable. Your academic department may have orientation activities that occur in the week(s) leading up to the beginning of the semester. Be sure to regularly check emails sent to your Clemson email account prior to your academic program start as university departments will use email as the primary tool of communication.