Skip to body

Office of International Studies and Programs


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 your documents that we need to create your I-20. The form 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:

  • Copy of your passport (Passport must still be valid; Expired passports will not be accepted)
  • 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)

Once we have received these documents, we will create your I-20 and inform you when it is ready. To have your I-20 mailed to you in your home country, you will need to set up a shipment online at NOTE: Make sure you set yourself as the receiver and CWU as the sender! Once the applicable fees have been paid, we will receive a notification and create the shipment.


  • Step 1: Pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee

Once you have received your I-20, you will need to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee. You can do so online by going to and entering the information as directed. Please make sure to print a confirmation of your payment and keep it with your I-20! This will be needed for your visa interview and for initial entry into the United States.

  • Step 2: Set Up a Visa Appointment

To set up an appointment for your visa interview, please go to and select your country. You will be redirected to the closest US consulate or embassy to you. Remember that you cannot apply for the F-1 Student Visa until 3 months prior to your program start date, so make sure you check your I-20 for the date. Also make sure to check what documents to bring to your visa interview. Not having all of your documents with you can delay the visa process.
Make sure to schedule your appointment ahead of time! Consulates and Embassies’ appointment schedules can be filled very quickly, and you may have difficulties getting an appointment.

  • Step 3: Make Sure You Have All Your Documents Ready

Before you go to your interview, please review everything and make sure you have all required documents. Make sure you go to your consulate’s website and confirm what documents you need to bring.
Some of the documents are (but not limited to):

  • Form I-20 (issued by CWU)
  • Form DS-160 (can be found on your consulate’s website or here)
  • Passport
  • 2” x 2” photo of yourself (see requirements on your consulate’s website)
  • Receipt of your visa application payment
  • Receipt of your I-901 SEVIS fee payment

You may also want to bring along documents to prove you have the financial ability to pay for school and living expenses during your stay, as well as any academic documents that you may have provided to CWU in your application.

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.
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