Office of International Studies and Programs


Departments

New F-1 Students

Once you have been accepted to Central Washington University, you will be contacted by the Office of International Studies and Programs regarding documents needed to create your I-20. The I-20 is used to apply for an F-1 student visa.

To obtain this document from CWU, you will need to submit the following documents to brianna.drakos@cwu.edu:

  • A copy of your passport (Passport must be valid 6 months beyond the expected stay in the US)
  • A completed Confidential Financial Statement.
  • Proof of funds available in the amount of at least one academic year (Must have a print date of 90 days prior or less)

For international mailing of your CWU acceptance letter and document I-20 you will need to set up a shipment at eShipGlobal.
NOTE: Make sure you select yourself as the receiver and CWU – Office of International Studies and Programs as the sender. Once the applicable fees have been paid, your documents will be mailed.

F-1 STUDENT VISA APPLICATION PROCESS:

  • Step 1: Check your I-20 for Accuracy!
    Check the information on your I-20 and make sure that it is accurate. If there is any error, please contact CWU immediately to correct.
  • Step 2: Pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee
    Upon receiving your I-20, you will need to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee. Print out and keep your payment receipt.
  • Step 3: Schedule Visa Appointment
    Schedule your visa interview online at USEmbassy.gov and select your home country. You cannot apply for the F-1 Student Visa until three months prior to your program start date.
  • Step 4: Complete the Visa Application Form
    Complete the DS-160 application
    and pay the application fee. Print your confirmation page to take to the visa interview.
  • Step 5: Make Sure You Have All Your Documents Ready
    Before your interview, review all of your documents. Not having all of your documents with you can delay the visa process.

DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR VISA INTERVIEW (BUT NOT LIMITED TO):

  • Acceptance Letter from CWU
  • Form I-20 (issued by CWU)
  • Confirmation Page of Form DS-160
  • Valid Passport
  • 2” x 2” photo of yourself (see requirements)
  • Visa application fee payment receipt
  • SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt
  • Financial evidence proving you or your sponsor have sufficient funds to cover your studies
  • Transcripts and/or diplomas from previous schools
  • Standardized test scores such as TOEFL or IELTS (if available)

AFTER YOUR VISA INTERVIEW:

Upon approval or denial of your application for an F-1 student visa, please notify our office.

ARRIVING TO THE US:

  • You can enter the country up to 30 days prior to your start date listed on your I-20.
  • Hand carry all documents and have them ready for the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer when you arrive to your port of entry. Do not place your documents in your checked luggage!
    • A valid passport
    • A valid Form I-20 issued by CWU
    • A valid F-1 Student Visa
    • Receipt of I-901 fee payment
    • CWU Acceptance Letter
  • Check your entry stamp in your passport to ensure you have been admitted as an F-1 Student.

Great Resources for F-1 Students:
Study in the States: This is a great resource for potential F-1 students as well as current F-1 students. It has information on applying for visas and maintaining status in the United States.

How to get your I-94: This website allows you to print off your electronic I-94 card. This card is generated once you have entered the United States. If you entered by crossing the border (Canada or Mexico) you may have received a paper I-94.

SEVIS I-901 Fee: Where you pay your SEVIS I-901 fee.

U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services: This website has information regarding working in the United States as an F-1 student, updates on immigration rules and regulations, and application forms.